'No regrets' about leaving Spice Girls

2001-03-22 12:44

London - The woman chosen as one of the original Spice Girls before being replaced by Emma ôBaby Spiceö Bunton said on Wednesday she had no regrets about leaving the band.

ôNo, I don't regret it, though obviously the money would be nice,ö Michelle Stephenson said in a television documentary screened on Britain's ITV.

Stephenson, who joined the group in April 1994, left at the end of that first summer, before the Spice Girls went on to become the biggest selling girl group in the world.

ôI was the one at university, the intelligent one as it were,ö Stephenson said. ôThey all thought I was 'Smart Spice'.ö

She added: ôI was not happy in the band. It was not the kind of music I wanted to be doing. It was very, very pop.ö

Former Spice Girls manager Chris Herbert said in the documentary that Stephenson had not fitted in with the rest of the group and was asked to leave.

Stephenson told another ITV programme earlier on Wednesday she had left when her mother became ill and was now writing music herself for other people.

The fly-on-the-wall documentary, entitled Raw Spice showed the group - Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty), Melanie Brown (Scary), Victoria Beckham (Posh) and Emma Bunton (Baby) - before they were famous and living together in a semi-detached house in London after the group was formed from auditions which attracted hundreds of hopefuls.

The Spice Girls' first single Wannabe went straight to No 1 and they have sold 38 million albums world-wide since 1995, making them Britain's biggest pop phenomenon since the Beatles.

In recent years the band members have all pursued solo careers with varying degrees of success.

The first to leave was Gerri Halliwell who quit abruptly in 1998. Sporty Spice, who has enjoyed the most success as a solo artist, said earlier this month she may be the next to leave.