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Friday, 13 October, 2000, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Mel C 'depressed'
Melanie C
Mel C is on anti-depressants
Spice Girl Mel C is reported to be suffering from depression, triggered by digs from the media about her weight and sexuality.

Despite a successful solo career, the singer told British newspapers that she has been upset by jibes about her new fuller figure and suggestions that she is a lesbian.


It's an illness and nothing to be ashamed of

Mel C

She added that she has been prescribed anti-depressants to help cope with her feelings and wanted to be open about her condition.

"It's an illness and nothing to be ashamed of. I hope that I can dispel the stigma attached to this condition," she told The Mirror.

The 26-year-old singer was diagnosed with depression by doctors three months ago after the continued media interest in her body shape and love life became too much.

When she first found fame with the pop group the Spice Girls five years ago, Mel C was dubbed "Sporty Spice" because of her athletic figure.

In the past few months, however, she has been photographed on holiday in a bikini and looks to have gained a more rounded figure.

New album

Earlier this year she was also prompted to dismiss rumours about her sexuality after she was reported to have shared a room with her personal assistant Ying Yau in Barbados.

Mel C is said to have tried to laugh off the criticisms but ultimately took the attacks to heart.

Melanie C
Mel C has had success as a solo artist

Doctors are said to have also advised Mel C to take a break from her gruelling work schedule, even though the Spice Girls are about to release their first single for almost a year.

The double-sided single Holler Holler/Let Love Lead The Way, out on 23 October, will be followed in November by their third album Freedom.

All four members of the Spice Girls have been busy pursuing solo careers but Mel C - whose full name is Melanie Chisolm - has been the most productive and successful.

In August, she has had three hit singles, two of which have gone to number one. Her debut solo album Northern Star has sold just under one million copies.

She was also recently nominated for three awards by MTV Europe.

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