As showbiz reunions go, it seemed a marginally less likely prospect than Brangelina renewing their vows. When the Spice Girls announced that ‘the time now feels right to explore some incredible new opportunities together’, it followed months of vehement denials from Victoria Beckham’s camp. Among them, last March, she said: ‘ There won’t be a reunion. We’re still very close, but I think you need to know when it’s time to actually say, “ That was great, we achieved a lot,” and everybody moves on.’
In November, following another round of rumours, a rep for the fashion designer and erstwhile pop star insisted, “The constant stories about Victoria taking part in alleged Spice Girls activity is nothing more than tabloid nonsense.’ Her reticence to indulge talk of a reunion was supported by her staunch refusal to follow any of her former bandmates on social media (apart from Mel C, on Instagram). If friendship never ends, it seemed theirs hadn’t quite made it into the digital age.
Flash-forward to last week, and the much-dismissed Spice Girls comeback was very much underway. After all five members (plus their former manager Simon Fuller, who has a stake in Victoria’s fashion label) were pictured meeting for the first time in six years at Ginger Spice’s house, the rumour mill promptly span into orbit. While initial reports suggested that Victoria was taking part on the proviso that she wouldn’t sing, others floated the idea of a world tour. Elsewhere, they were said to be eyeing up TV deals, endorsements, their own record label and even a performance at Prince Harry’s forthcoming wedding to Meghan Markle. Despite no consensus on what the band actually planned to do, they were confidently predicted to earn £10m each. Was this all just more ‘tabloid nonsense’? Apparently not.
‘The 20th anniversary celebrations fell apart because Victoria was adamant she had left that chapter of her life behind’, said a well-placed source. ‘She told the other girls after the Olympics performance that that would be the last time she would sing with the group, and Mel C didn’t want to be part of it without her. Since then, she’s had a change of heart. Nothing is confirmed, but now a live tour isn’t out of the question. They’re discussing other plans as well, but that seems to be the end goal.’
As for what changed Victoria’s mind, the source says: ‘She’s always been proud of the band’s girl-power legacy, and now feels like a good time to update their message. It helps that Mel B is no longer with Stephen Belafonte, who created a bad atmosphere on the 2007 tour, and was one of the reasons that Victoria and Mel didn’t stay in touch after it ended. The huge sums they stand to make has played a part in Victoria’s decision. Keeping her fashion empire healthy is still her main priority, and it’s unclear whether she can afford to say no to the reunion and the personal money it will bring in.’ In December, it was revealed that Victoria's clothing line made a loss of £8.4 million in 2016, despite husband David's business (DB Ventures, which handles earnings from his image rights) subsidising it by £25 million. Te losses were 78% up on the previous year’s £4.7 million deficit, although in November it was announced that the brand had received a £30 million investment from Neo Investment Partners, a growth equity firm. Last year, the brand also announced a lucrative partnership with Reebok.
Meanwhile, a second source close to Victoria denied reports that her re-entry into the Spice Girls is an attempt to ‘grab the showbiz limelight back from husband David’. According to e Sun newspaper, ‘She is still smarting over David’s move to Miami and this is her way of taking back control.’ Following the news that David will relocate to Florida to establish his major league soccer franchise, the newspaper had previously reported that Victoria was ‘seething, devastated and furious’ at ‘his selfish decision to spend less time with her and the kids’.
‘Nonsense. David and Victoria are joint shareholders in their business, so this was a joint decision,’ said the second source. ‘Victoria has been part of all of the possible Miami permutations and negotiations over the last year, and the whole family recently sat and discussed what it means to them. They are genuinely hugely excited by this great opportunity and are all looking forward to spending time in Miami.’