Spice Girls Peppery In First Post-Ginger Interview

Remaining Spices reported to be defensive about bandmate's departure on eve of U.S. tour.

In their first interview since Ginger Spice (a.k.a. Geri Halliwell) shocked the free

world by announcing that she had left the all-female, mega-selling British pop

group, the Spice Girls lived up to their name, and then some.

"Geri was never in charge in the first place," the newly reduced quartet

reportedly insisted in an interview with BBC Radio One's "Breakfast Show" DJ

Kevin Greening. The encounter with Greening for England's BBC News

occurred at the Girls' Palm Beach, Fla., hotel room Monday on the eve of their

current U.S. tour. Throughout the interview, the mood of the four remaining

Spices was peppery, to say the least.

When asked about his opportunity to grill the Spice Girls on Ginger Spice's

recent departure, Greening said, "They were squirming and dodging questions.

What they did not say was probably more revealing than what they did say."

Greening asked the Girls who would be in charge of the group now that Ginger

has departed, and Baby Spice (a.k.a. Emma Bunton) quickly took offense.

"Obviously, Geri was very good at talking, and sometimes she took that role, but

it doesn't mean she was in charge of us," Baby Spice said.

Determined to get at the heart of this Spicey dilemma, Greening persisted,

pushing for reasons as to why Ginger quit. "It's none of your business," Sporty

Spice (a.k.a. Mel C) said. "The fact is Geri's left, the Spice Girls are continuing,

and that's all you need to know."

When the Girls began objecting to his incessant questioning on the subject of

Ginger's departure, Greening explained that these were answers that their fans

wanted to know. Baby Spice responded that she had spoken with many fans

who had not asked about Ginger.

Greening retorted, "Maybe they were too polite to ask."

To which an angry Baby Spice replied, "No, don't lie. It's just the press and you

lot."

The Spices reportedly told Greening that they are "completely over" Ginger's

departure, which Posh Spice (a.k.a. Victoria Adams) said was "as big a surprise

to us as it was to everyone else."

Later that evening, the Girls kicked off their 40-city U.S. tour with a concert in

Palm Beach. The band is performing without Ginger, although she appears

momentarily in some old footage on the tour's giant video screen.

Another sticky subject that Greening broached during the interview was the

World Cup soccer match between England and Tunisia. Even though Posh

Spice (a.k.a. Victoria Adams) is supposed to be engaged to David Beckham, a

player on the English team, the girls were terse on the subject. Baby Spice told

Greening, "Do you know what? We're here to talk about the show, not football."

After matching wits with the vixens, Greenberg told BBC News, "They

were on edge from beginning to end. They were obviously, from the outset,

expecting a hard time. I'd only asked them about the football and ... they were

already huffing and puffing."