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Spice Girl Melanie Brown: Love can be heartbreaking, but it can also be full of joy

Scary Spice - aka Melanie Brown - talks to Lauren Taylor about loving life in the single lane and her daughter borrowing her old Spice Girls outfits

Celebrity dating: Mel B launching The Truth Flirts podcast
Celebrity dating: Mel B launching The Truth Flirts podcast
Mel B with daughter Phoenix Chi Gulzar

By Lauren Taylor

Three years on from a traumatic divorce, Mel B is happily single, raising three daughters solo and loving life.

But it's no secret the Spice Girl has been through a lot when it comes to relationships.

She's spoken at length about her 10-year marriage to Stephen Belafonte, who she had eight-year-old Madison with. She had 20-year-old Phoenix with first husband Jimmy Gulzar. She's also had "a few" proposals and, of course, she dated Eddie Murphy - father of Angel, now 12.

But the 44-year-old is now hosting a new podcast, The Truth Flirts, an eight-part series discussing the highs and lows of modern dating with a slew of celebrity guests - including Daisy Lowe, Megan Barton Hanson and Jamelia - and tackling everything from polyamory and parenthood to Brexit and feminism.

The first episode sees Mel discuss sex and money with Love Island's Wes Nelson.

We caught up with Scary Spice to find out where her head's at when it comes to love.

On ever getting married again

"I would never say never. It's not going to happen tomorrow. I'm not actively looking for anything like that but, yeah, if it happens. I think I'm always going to be a lover of love and a believer of love. I've always been positive. Everyone goes through ups and downs in relationships. I've been married twice, engaged a few times, but I don't think I'll ever give up on love - it's a beautiful thing."

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On healing after a difficult divorce

"I think everybody needs time to heal, time to build your inner strength back up to start your healing process. That's what I did and that's going to be an ongoing thing for me. I think anybody who's been in that kind of intense relationship should find time to do that. That's just my experience. Being around my mum, my sister - my mum's one of seven, so I've got lots of nephews and nieces - being around family has been amazing for me."

On single life

"I've been on my own now for three years and I'm having a great time. I'm up in Leeds raising my kids, shooting back down to London and Los Angeles and Australia for work and just enjoying life. I'm not really on the dating scene, but I'm happy where I am."

On lessons she's learned about love

"I've been in love many times. I've been lucky enough to experience what a kind, loving relationship feels like. Love can be heartbreaking and at the same time it can be full of joy and passion and beauty."

On modern dating compared to the Nineties

"Back in the day when I was in my 20s, getting ready to go out for a date involved all the Spice Girls helping each other to pick out different clothes, but that was 20 years ago. From what I've experienced so far on the podcast, it's a very different time to be dating. There's so many dating apps and people have a lot more choice, but at least it's all out there in the open if you're really shy or if you're a bit nervous to go up to that person and ask them out on a date. My friend signed me up for an app about two years ago and I found it very funny."

On hosting a dating podcast

"I'm a very nosy person, so to interview rather than be interviewed was different for me. I've got two celebrity guests that come on each podcast and they're very open and willing to share their opinions and it's a lot of fun. I got to tackle every kind of topic when it came to dating - nothing was off-limits. Some of them had nightmare stories."

On the joys of being a single mum

"I'm close to all my kids. There's a female energy in our house and we play music and cook together. It's a beautiful thing. All three of my kids are very, very different - they've all got strong, independent, caring personalities. I'll find my 20-year-old posting something on Instagram and I'll be like, 'That's my outfit! Those are my trousers that I wore in one of my Spice Girls videos. Why are you raiding my wardrobe without asking?'"

On the challenges of solo parenting

"I was a single parent for eight years with Phoenix when she was first born. Being a single parent is really challenging because you do feel by yourself in a world where you're doing it for the first time. Even throughout my marriage I'd say I was kind of a single parent because I was doing everything for my kids, plus working. I've always been the provider and supporter for my kids. This time around I have a little more support because Phoenix is 20, so, yeah, it feels very safe and lovely."

On being a homebody

"I've never really been that girl that goes out a lot. Since I've been 15 or 16, I've always been the girl that opts to stay at home with my mum and have some dinner and watch TV. I've never really been a partier like that. I've been on the party scene, don't get me wrong, but I'm very much a homebody. I'm back in Leeds, looking outside my window at nature and sheep and a bunch of greenery - it's lovely, very peaceful.

On self care

"I've always done meditation. I became a reiki master at 19, so I've always been into the mind and the body and the soul and making them feel good. I don't have time to exercise every day, so I do a quick meditation or do some reiki on myself. Even if you just take five or 10 minutes out of the day to do that, you always feel much better and more grounded."

The Truth Flirts is launched with dating app Badoo - the place to date honestly. Listen now via iTunes and other podcast providers: bit.ly/TheTruthFlirts

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