'Numbers aren’t relevant...' Spice Girls star Mel B has felt invigorated in her 40s

Mel B has found being in her 40s “really freeing”.

The 48-year-old singer – who has three children, Phoenix, 25, Angel, 16, and 12-year-old Madison from previous relationships – understands why some women “panic” when they reach the milestone age and though the decade can come with a lot of “challenges”, she believes it is a time for confidence and self-assurance.

She told Britain’s HELLO! magazine: “You are as old as you feel.

“Numbers aren’t relevant. You can have a bit of a panic when you come into your 40s, because you haven’t got things quite as you thought they were going to be.

“You have some of your hardest challenges. But there’s also something really freeing about it.

“I don’t know if it’s because you’re putting yourself out there or just ready for it in life. But there’s a lot to be said about women in their 40s because they’re more aware and self-assured. It’s an age not to mess with.”

The Spice Girls star’s marriage to Stephen Belafonte ended in 2017 amid accusations of him abusing her and though she is “on a path to self-healing”, it will take a lot of time.

Mel – who is now engaged to hairdresser Rory McPhee - said: “It’s about claiming back your power and that’s not easy when you’ve been left devastated, physically and emotionally.

“The scars may not be visible, and you have to rewire everything because somebody has taken control of every aspect of your being, but in a drip-drip fashion so you’re not aware of it.

“It’s passive-aggressive and presented as, ‘I’m looking after you’. They take over everything – your car keys, your credit card – so it’s like learning to walk and talk again, to have your opinions back and remember who you are…

“It’s excruciating at times because you’ve been left hollow. You have to remind yourself what baby steps you’ve taken. I know I’m getting better. I’m more in my own skin, I’m more forgiving of myself.”