“Sadly I would like to confirm that I have left the Spice Girls. This is because of differences between us. I’m sure the group will continue to be successful and I wish them all the best. PS: I’ll be back.”

This was the headline-devouring announcement made to the press on May 31 of 1998, by Julian Turton – solicitor of Geri Halliwell, also known as ‘Ginger Spice’, of pop juggernaut Spice Girls. All over the world, red-haired teens were immediately kicked out of their Spice clubs.

At the time, rumours had been roiling amongst the pop community for several days, after Halliwell failed to join her four bandmates for two shows in Norway and an appearance at the BBC’s National Lottery Show; British tabloids reported that on a plane ride from Helsinki back to London, the girls argued the entire way, and upon touching down at Heathrow Geri was so livid that she left the airport alone. ‘Sources’ alleged that Melanie Brown (‘Scary’ Spice) enjoyed mocking Geri for her (apparently godawful) dancing, while others attested it was just a case of too many big personalities in the pot.

Not long after, a spokesperson for the all-girl group announced that a statement would be made to the media at 2pm on Sunday May 31; at the appointed time, 30 journalists assembled outside Turton’s offices and waited half an hour before the solicitor emerged to deliver the news.

A statement from the remaining Spice Girls – Victoria Adams (at the time), Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, and Emma Bunton – followed Halliwell’s, which attested they were “upset and saddened” by Geri’s decision. It concluded with the assurance: “The Spice Girls are here to stay … Friendship never ends.”