Mel B is preparing to enter treatment in her native Britain after an "incredibly difficult" six months during which she was diagnosed with PTSD, she tells The Sun on Sunday.
The newspaper explains that the Spice Girl, who recently finalized a lengthy and contentious divorce from Stephen Belafonte that left her "financially battered," has been struggling with alcohol and sex-addiction issues too.
"I've been working with a writer on my book, 'Brutally Honest,' and it has been unbelievably traumatic reliving an emotionally abusive relationship and confronting so many massive issues in my life from the death of my dad to my relationship with men," the "America's Got Talent" host told the Sun on Sunday in a statement. "I am being very honest about drinking to numb my pain but that is just a way a lot of people mask what is really going on."
She continued, "Sometimes it is too hard to cope with all the emotions I feel. But the problem has never been about sex or alcohol — it is underneath all that." She goes on to reveal that she has "recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder."
On Aug. 9, Mel (born Melanie Brown) — who says she's tried "many different therapies" — started a new treatment course called EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, "which in a nutshell works on the memory to deal with some of the very painful and traumatic situations I have been through. I don't want to jinx it, but so far it's really helping me. I am fully aware I have been at a crisis point. No one knows myself better than I do — but I am dealing with it."
The pop star-turned TV host, 43, says she wants to get better for not only her own sake but for her daughters, Phoenix Gulzar, 19, Angel Murphy Brown, 11, and Madison Belafonte, nearly 7. "I love my three girls more than life itself. I have also made the decision to go into a proper therapy programme in the next few weeks, but it has to be in the UK because I am very, very British and I know that will work best for me," she explained.
"I am still struggling but if I can shine a light on the issue of pain, PTSD and the things men and women do to mask it, I will do. I am speaking about this because this is a huge issue for so many people," she added.
"I'm not perfect and I have never pretended to be," she said. "But I am working on being a better version of myself for my kids, whom I love more than life itself, and for all the people who have supported me."
The Sun on Sunday also interviewed one of Mel's longtime friends, Rusty Updegraff, with whom she fell out during her relationship with Stephen and with whom she reconnected late last year. The restaurateur worked for Mel, helping with childcare, earlier this year.
"Mel keeps it together when she's on 'America's Got Talent' and does not drink. She is professional. But she's drinking most days she isn't working," Rusty told the newspaper. "She will work out at 9 a.m. and be on the booze at 10 a.m." He says she likes to drink straight vodka, which he's tried to dilute with water, as well as tequila, beer and wine.
"She says writing the book has brought back upsetting feelings about her dad and her marriage and I feel she is drinking more because of that," Rusty explained. "She gets drunk quite quickly. When she's drunk, she knows everything. She's like, 'I have it all, I can do it all. I manage myself.' But she can't."
According to Rusty, Mel also acts out sexually. "I've known her have sex with three men in a day and then they are on rotation. She'd be doing this guy and that guy, and then the chauffeur who brings her home," he told the paper, adding that one of the famous men she's slept with is troubled pop star Aaron Carter.
"Mel has got crazier over the years and I've had enough. I cannot deal with it any more," Rusty added. "I know people will say it's none of my business — but she won't listen to anyone. I hope this is a wake-up call for her. She needs help, but lives in her own little world."
According to Mel, she is indeed ready to get better.