|Date||31 May 1998 (officially announced)|
In the days leading up to the official announcement on the 31st of May 1998, Geri left the Spice Girls due to depression and differences within the group. Geri's departure occurred during the European leg of the Spiceworld tour. It was revealed in the documentary Spice Girls: Giving You Everything, that she left at the end of a plane flight home to England, saying "bye" several times, creating confusion amongst the other Girls.
The other Girls carried on without Geri, performing two Spiceworld concerts in Norway (May 28th and 29th) and the Wednesday National Lottery show in England. The press began to ask where Geri was, but instead of confirming her departure from the group, they stated publicly that she was just unwell. Privately, Geri's whereabouts were unknown to the other Girls and their pleas for her return were unsuccessful.
—Melanie BrownThankfully we've been really busy, so we didn't have a lot of time to think about it when Geri first left. But it really hit home when we had a few days off. We were just gutted, we couldn’t even get out of bed. You know, when you feel just so deflated, absolutely deflated. It was like you had just lost part of you, like a death. And on stage it was hard because there is always interaction in the show and there was quite a lot between Geri and me. For the first few shows it was really weird because I kept thinking, where is she?
The first official confirmation was announced to the media by Geri's solicitor on 31st May. Her action caused controversy, with the Spice Girls due to embark on the North American leg of the Spiceworld tour, which they eventually completed without her. The statement passed through her solicitor, Julian Turton, and the spokesman for the remaining four members, Alan Edwards:
"This is a message to the fans, sadly I would like to confirm I have left the Spice Girls, this is because of differences between us. I am sure that the group will continue to be successful, and I wish them all the best. I have no immediate plans and I wish to apologise to all the fans and to thank them and everyone who's been there. Lots of love Geri. PS: I will be back"
Prince Charles wrote to Geri saying:
"The group will not be the same without you."
Viva Forever was the last single taken from Spiceworld. The music video for the single was made before Geri's departure and features the girls in animated form – a decision made because there was no time to produce a video due to the heavy world tour schedule. Originally planned as a double A-side with Never Give Up On The Good Times , the idea was dropped for several reasons, mainly due to time restraints (since there was no time to re-record and edit out Halliwell's vocals or make a video for the track).
—VictoriaI really miss Geri a lot. Right at the beginning, I was really upset and gutted. The next minute I wanted to punch her in the head. It kept changing from day to day. We'll get through it. I got on really well with Geri and I really like her. I will always be her friend."
The four remaining members were adamant that the group would carry on and that their approaching North American tour would continue as normal, however, Halliwell's departure threw most of the group's plans into disarray. It was cited as the reason the planned live album was cancelled. It also meant that most of the material the group had recorded throughout the first half of 1998 at Dublin's Windmill Lane Studios with long-time collaborators Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe, was eventually scrapped. A rumoured animated series by Disney also failed to materialise. This affected the company financially, and shares in record label EMI dropped by 10p.
—Melanie BrownThe first few times on stage without Geri were strange. Obviously we had to share out the lines she sang between us and sometimes I'd forget to sing her lines.
While on tour in the United-States, the group continued to record new material and released a new song, Goodbye, before Christmas in 1998. The song was seen as a tribute to Geri and topped the UK Singles Chart, becaming their third consecutive Christmas number-one – equalling the record previously set by The Beatles.
- Scary Movie (2000)
- Cindy: She's gone and she's not coming back!
- Bobby: It's been over a year now Cindy.