Mel B has hinted her ex-husband stopped her being friends with the Spice Girls.

The 44-year-old singer - who divorced Stephen Belafonte last year amid claims he was abusive - admitted she's glad to be working with Geri Horner, Emma Bunton and Mel C again because they are so ''supportive'' and have helped her through a difficult period that also saw her mourn the loss of her father.

She said: ''I've got my girls, I'll be okay. I feel very loved and very supportive and I feel very lucky to be back in contact the way that I have always wanted to be, because for a long time I couldn't be during my ex marriage. Thank you ladies!''

Earlier this week, Mel confirmed on 'Loose Women' that the group were getting back together for a tour hours before they made an official announcement - and she joked her bandmates didn't get upset with her because they ''felt sorry'' for her after all the difficulties she's been through.

Speaking on 'The Jonathan Ross Show', she said: ''They felt sorry for me because I'd been through a lot, they felt sorry for me, they were like, 'Let's not have a go at her.' ''

Geri added: ''The brilliant thing about us lot is it's like family. We have been together over 20 years and we have our ups and downs just like normal families, and sometimes we disagree but the best thing about it is a couple of nights ago we were in my kitchen, we all came together and we just had a really big group hug, a little bit of a tear, a scream, it's been a long time coming, we've wanted this to happen.''

While Mel B has spoken a lot about their reunion plans, Mel C admitted she was ''paranoid'' about the news leaking out so used a code word suggested by her daughter Scarlet, 10, when talking about the group.

She explained: ''In my house we did have a code for Spice Girls because I was so paranoid. Because I'm a good girl, and I do as I'm told, and so I kept the secret.

''My little girl said 'Mummy, why don't you call it Cucumber?' So any time I spoke about Spice Girls it was called 'Cucumber.' And then at the other end of the spectrum, Melanie [B] just went on national TV and said we were doing it.''

The full interview will air on 'The Jonathan Ross Show' on ITV on Saturday (10.11.18).