OK! brings you an ex­clu­sive ex­tract from Spice Girl Mel B’s ex­plo­sive new book


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As a child I was called ‘The Wind’, but to Eddie [Mur­phy] I was ‘The Whirl­wind’. The first day that I went to his house, I shouted, ‘I’m here, where are you?’ and then ran through his beau­ti­ful, pris­tine man­sion, and ran around the gar­den, jump­ing onto the steps of the swim­ming pool, lis­ten­ing to my loud voice echo through the gi­ant build­ing. ‘I’m here, where are you?’ he yelled back. ‘Come and find me,’ I hollered back from the top of a gi­ant Gone with the Wind sweep­ing stair­case.

‘Er, ex­cuse me, madam.’ A guy with a se­ri­ously anx­ious ex­pres­sion came run­ning out of a room. ‘Mr Mur­phy doesn’t like any­one mak­ing loud noises,’ he said. ‘Melanie, I can’t see you,’ came Eddie’s voice, bel­low­ing from a room down­stairs. ‘I think he does now,’ I said to the man who turned out to be a mem­ber of his house­hold staff. And I ran down the stairs, yelling, ‘I’m here,’ be­fore sprint­ing through another door­way and be­ing chased by Eddie, who was laugh­ing. Right from the get-go we were like two lit­tle ex­citable kids.

His place was gob­s­mack­ingly in­cred­i­ble. In the foyer, there was a glass roof and a but­ton you pushed to make the whole ceil­ing open up. There was a tiny, per­fect Wendy house in the play­room, and a vast

jacuzzi which I later dis­cov­ered he’d never even been in. Af­ter a cou­ple of days, I made him get in it. Naked.

I sat in the kids’ teeny Wendy house with [my daugh­ter] Phoenix. Then I asked Eddie if the fol­low­ing day I could have a proper English af­ter­noon tea with his kids in the Wendy house. I ar­rived in the af­ter­noon to moun­tains of scones, jam (or ‘jelly’ as it’s called in Amer­ica) and sand­wiches. His cook must have had one hell of a job on her hands find­ing out ex­actly how to make ev­ery­thing, as she’d never even heard of a scone. And there were huge pots of tea (Yorkshire tea) in china teapots that looked like they had been spe­cially bought for the oc­ca­sion. ‘Is this ev­ery­thing you wanted?’ he asked. ‘No,’ I said. ‘I need you to bring it to the Wendy house.’ I got him to crouch down and join us, scoff­ing cu­cum­ber sand­wiches and munch­ing on the jam-covered scones.

Phoenix – who came ev­ery­where with

me – loved be­ing with his kids and hav­ing this chil­dren’s par­adise to ex­plore. We’d spend days play­ing and hav­ing fun.

Eddie ac­tu­ally lis­tened to ev­ery­thing I said – some­thing that took me by sur­prise be­cause so many guys I have dated never took much no­tice of what I said. I re­mem­ber when I went into his gym for the first time. It was like some state-of-the-art gym that an Olympic ath­lete would use. Here was a prob­lem, though. ‘ You’ve got terrible mu­sic on your workout playlist,’ I said. The next time I went in there, ev­ery playlist had been changed, and all this ’90s mu­sic I loved was boom­ing from the speak­ers. I was switch­ing things up!

‘Melanie,’ Eddie told me af­ter the first day we spent to­gether, ‘I gotta let you know; you re­ally make me laugh.’ I was chuffed to bits. I made the world-fa­mous co­me­dian Eddie Mur­phy laugh. Eddie had a plan for our re­la­tion­ship right from the start. He doesn’t like sur­prises; he doesn’t like dis­or­der; he likes to know what’s com­ing and when. That’s why he’s such a bril­liant co­me­dian. All those seem­ingly im­promptu, mad per­for­mances are painstak­ingly con­structed, sec­ond by sec­ond. No mis­takes. All great co­me­di­ans are like this. Noth­ing is left to chance.

In that six weeks all we did was kiss, cud­dle and have fun. We had a proper ‘tra­di­tional’ courtship be­cause Eddie is old-fash­ioned. He was con­stantly telling me to slow down. ‘I want to know all about you, and I want you to know all about me,’ he said. ‘Well, what bit don’t you know?’ I laughed. ‘I’m Mel B, Scary Spice, and you’re Eddie Mur­phy.’ He shook his head. ‘But that’s not who we ARE, Melanie. You know that.’

It takes me a while to drop my loud front, which I have al­ways used as my pro­tec­tive ar­mour. Geri used to call our Spice per­sonas (Posh, Scary, Gin­ger, Sporty and Baby) our ‘Bat­man suits’, be­cause we could hide be­hind them. I will al­ways make jokes, laugh and be loud, partly be­cause I ac­tu­ally like to have a laugh, partly be­cause I’m a North­ern girl who tries not to take life too se­ri­ously, and partly be­cause it gives me time to work out whether I can trust some­one enough to open up to them. ‘Tell me about your fam­ily,’ Eddie would say as we sat around his pool, hav­ing iced tea and bagels with cheese and mayo (strangely I started crav­ing these again as soon as I left Stephen) brought to us by a mem­ber of staff.

I’d tell him about work­ing in a jeans shop in Leeds – fun­nily enough it was called Trad­ing Places, which is the name of one of his most fa­mous films – about my dad work­ing in a fac­tory, about my days danc­ing at the Horse­shoe in Black­pool when I was six­teen, where we’d have money docked for com­ing on­stage late or hav­ing a rip in our tights. Some­times he’d laugh, some­times he’d ask me to re­peat things. He would run through the names of all my mum’s four sis­ters: ‘Sheila, June, Di, Pamela.’ He barely asked any ques­tions about the Spice Girls. He was more in­ter­ested in the prizes I’d won for Sports Day at school than the Brit Awards I’d won with the girls.

He’d play old Elvis movies and films like Blaz­ing Sad­dles, which starred his hero Richard Pryor. (‘ You haven’t seen this, Melanie. You have to watch this.’) He liked to talk about why a film was ‘a clas­sic’, and what made a great di­rec­tor and writer. I would sit and lis­ten, en­tranced. He’d talk about the movie busi­ness and his child­hood in the projects in New York, liv­ing in fos­ter care with his older brother, Char­lie, when his mum was ill.

He was fas­ci­nat­ing to me. He’d had a life I could and couldn’t imag­ine. His real dad had walked out on him when he was three, and had later been stabbed and killed by a girl­friend. His mum had mar­ried a guy called Ver­non Lynch, the step­fa­ther he adored.

Eddie was all about fam­ily. His beau­ti­ful brother Char­lie, who sadly passed away in 2017, was his clos­est friend be­cause they’d done ev­ery­thing to­gether. He bounced all his ideas off Char­lie, who was also a gifted co­me­dian and writer. But Eddie also needed space to think. We’d have dis­cus­sions about God and

spir­i­tu­al­ity. I don’t think there was any­thing we didn’t talk about. I felt com­pletely safe with him.

His king­dom was mag­i­cal. You’d walk into one room and Ste­vie Won­der would be there play­ing on a pi­ano. I spent hours talking to Ste­vie about mu­sic, and he knew lots about the Spice Girls, which sur­prised me. Ste­vie and I would sit and hold hands be­cause that is the way he con­nects with peo­ple, and we’d drink tequila shots to­gether. But then ev­ery­thing and ev­ery­one at Eddie’s was a sur­prise.

Den­zel Wash­ing­ton was another reg­u­lar at Eddie’s. He was some­one I was to­tally in awe of un­til one night he knocked on our bed­room door (this was months later, when we ac­tu­ally made it to bed) drunk as a lord and talked and joked for hours like one of my un­cles af­ter a night out – he even tried to crash out in the bed with us, be­cause he could barely move.

Eddie had an amaz­ing chef, and ev­ery evening at 6pm there would be a huge buf­fet, and tons of peo­ple would ap­pear and sit around the house eat­ing. The more time we spent to­gether, the more it be­came ap­par­ent to both of us that we had some­thing in­cred­i­bly spe­cial. De­spite the age dif­fer­ence, there was some­thing so young and in­no­cent about our re­la­tion­ship. And like a cou­ple of kids, we spent hours work­ing out when to take our re­la­tion­ship to the next level.

We fi­nally de­cided it would hap­pen about six weeks af­ter we met, and I was un­be­liev­ably ex­cited. I re­mem­ber go­ing out and buy­ing some green see-through un­der­wear em­broi­dered with cher­ries, putting it on and mak­ing jokes about pop­ping my cherry. When it came to it, I felt more shy and ner­vous than any­thing else. It was like po­etry, ev­ery touch, ev­ery kiss, ev­ery sense was out of this world. We were com­pletely be­sot­ted with each other.

This is an edited ex­tract from Bru­tally Hon­est by Melanie Brown with Louise Gan­non (Quadrille, $29.99) Avail­able in stores na­tion­ally now. ‘HE EVEN TRIED TO CRASH IN THE BED WITH US’

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