Spice Girls Scooter Suit Underway

It looks like Spice Girl Power is the power of five once again... though only in the courtroom.

Italian scooter company Aprilia is suing the Spice Girls, including former member Geri Halliwell, for delivering only four members to its advertising campaign instead of the original five, according to Reuters.

After the girl-power group sued Aprilia for monies owed in a 1998 sponsorship deal, the scooter company filed a suit seeking nearly 1.5 million pounds ($2.4 million) claiming they didn't get their money's worth out of their agreement, thanks to the departure of Halliwell in May 1998 (see "NEWS FLASH: Geri Halliwell Quits Spice Girls").

The firm, which brought out a limited edition of its Sonic scooter called the "Spice Sonic,'' is arguing that its marketing campaign was designed to center on the five-girl group, including pictures of the 50cc bike being ridden by all five members. The deal also included sponsorship

of the 1998 Spice World Tour (during which Halliwell left the group).

Aprilia went ahead with the sponsorship, withholding part of the payment. The Spice Girls' own company, Spice Girls Ltd, subsequently launched a suit looking for the almost $350,000 it claimed was still owed.

Aprilia decided to launch a counterclaim after the publication of Halliwell's autobiography, "If Only," which the company says proves that while Aprilia had no idea Halliwell was intending to leave, the other bandmembers were aware of her intentions.

The case began Monday in London's High Court and is expected to last eight days and may include testimony by all five group members. According to Britain's Dot Music, Halliwell and Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton are expected to take the stand this week.