September 13, 2000: SPICE Girl Mel B has told police she is happy in Little Marlow - after a Sunday newspaper revealed she had once been the victim of hate mail.

The Sunday Mirror claimed that the 25-year-old star, of The Manor House, Little Marlow, said she was subjected to racial abuse in letters sent to her home.

Police said yesterday the incidents did happen - but two years ago when she first moved into the village.

PC Barry Feltwell, who spoke to her yesterday, told Midweek: 'This is an interview she gave to a reporter two years ago, when she first moved into the area.

'This happened when she first moved into the area and it was all sorted out and there's been no problem since. She is very happy in the village and she gets on well with everybody.'

The paper quoted her as saying: 'We were the only black people in the area. At first, I got hate mail... I was more angry than upset.'

More than a dozen letters were sent, but residents in the tiny village said yesterday they didn't know of any race problems in the area.

Quentin Falk, of Church Road, Little Marlow, said: 'We are very surprised and shocked that something like this can come into our village. Certainly, this issue has never come into our lives and this is the first time we have heard of these kind of problems in Little Marlow.'

Another villager, who didn't want to be named, said: 'I don't think the problem of race is even an issue and she'll always be welcome here.

'We are a very small village and if anything had been going on here, I'd have known about it. We're a pretty friendly bunch and we all know each other.'

Mel B has lived in the house since June 1998, sharing with her now-estranged husband Jimmy Gulzar and their daughter Phnix Chi.

The couple separated last year and are now divorcing.