Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs programme, the singer (real name: Melanie Chisholm) detailed her clash with Beckham and the subsequent breakdown of her well-being that exacerbated her eating disorder and depression.
"We'd all had a few bevvies and on the way out there was a little scuffle between myself and Victoria,” said Chisholm, 46, who was known as Sporty Spice. “I was told if that behaviour ever happened again, then I would be out."
Realising that she nearly lost her place in the band before they rose to fame, Chisholm began to struggle more emotionally, and her eating disorder spun out of control.
"I think that is where the start of some of my problems came because I had to be very, very strict with myself. I couldn't allow myself to relax because if I did I might mess it all up,” says Chisholm, who then went from “being anorexic to having a binge eating disorder. “No matter how much you eat, you can’t fill this hole. My appearance began to change, which was the biggest fear.”
Seeing herself often described as “the plain one at the back,” Chisholm tried to make herself perfect, exercising obsessively and spiralling into depression. Her physician later diagnosed her with depression, which Chisholm called a massive relief.
“I thought, 'Oh my God, there's a name for it and I can be helped,’" Chisholm said through tears.
Chisholm also detailed being bullied by one of her bandmates, explaining that she was too scared to complain because they were one of the biggest acts in the world at the time.
“When your absolute ultimate fairy tale actually happens to you, you feel guilty about complaining about anything,” says Chisholm. “We were the biggest band in the world, and I felt guilty about complaining.”
Now a mother to 11-year-old Scarlett, the singer said being a parent has "made [her] braver” and even motivated her to leave Scarlett’s dad, property developer Thomas Starr.
"I make big decisions. Leaving her dad was hard but I wasn't happy and she wasn't happy, and it wasn't the environment I wanted my child to grow up in,” said Chisholm. "I couldn't have done that without the strength that I got from her."
In addition to creating a successful solo career and being a full-fledged triathlete, Chisholm recently returned to the stage with her former bandmates on the Spice World stadium tour.
“Even though we’ve had our differences, when we are on stage together on that stage, we are formidable, and we would kill for each other,” said Chisholm. “And that’s a really powerful thing to have.”