Geri Halliwell ‘left humiliated’ as she faces ‘worst PR crisis of her career’ amid Christian Horner sexting scandal

ON January 29 this year, Geri Horner, née Halliwell, took to Instagram for the last time.

To her 1.4million followers she posted a glamorous, heavily airbrushed magazine cover of herself, headlined “Perfect”.

Geri Halliwell’s life now seems far from ‘perfect’ after being publicly humiliated with infidelity claims against her husbandRex

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner has been accused of ‘sexting’ another womanGetty

Social media is, indeed, a cruel beast. Fast-forward five weeks, and the poor, very publicly humiliated star’s life seems anything but.

At 3.45pm on an otherwise non- descript Thursday — although, ironically, a leap year when women are encouraged to subvert tradition and propose to their men — Geri discovered husband Christian Horner was caught sexting another woman.

Sure, there is no suggestion of a physical affair, but 79 leaked WhatsApp messages show her husband clearly was in the throes of an emotional one.

(A nadir, of course, that he nipped to an aeroplane toilet to self-pleasure).

In the words of the Spice Girls themselves, “Stop right now, thank you very much.”

Indeed, for a woman who has spent the past 30 years espousing Girl Power, the situation in which she now finds herself is anything but.

It is, though, one that millions of women have found themselves in since time immemorial — a libido-led husband.

But few have had their relationship meltdowns played out on such a global scale.

One can only imagine the sheer inner turmoil the heartbroken superstar must now be battling.

Utterly devastating

Putting the obvious personal trauma aside, put simply, as PR nightmares go, this doesn’t get much worse.

A source close to Geri said yesterday: “This is humiliation on an international scale for Geri, and it’s almost impossible to imagine what she’s going through right now.

“Christian has always privately asserted that the claims levelled against him were nonsense.

“She’s not the type of woman to go through someone’s phone, so to see these in black and white after all his protestations of innocence is utterly devastating.

“Geri has been bombarded with messages of support, and texts checking in on her, but she’s largely shutting everyone out, and simply trying to put one foot in front of the other.

“Of course, to leave Christian — and walk away from the blissful life they’ve built for themselves — would be the ultimate act of ‘girl power’.

“But as anyone with kids knows — not to mention a hinterland of love and connection — that is easier said than done.”

Geri has been bombarded with messages of support amid the claims against her husbandDoug Seeburg – The Sun

To further rub salt into the wound, today alienated Geri has awoken 3,000 miles from home, in the Middle East. For a woman idolised by millions, never will she have felt more alone.

Geri was already safely ensconced on a private jet heading to Bahrain, where Christian is attending today’s Grand Prix — having a combined marital fortune of £480million does have its perks — when the tranche of messages were leaked.

It was too late to turn the plane around. Her day from hell had begun.

Whatever happens now, Geri would do well to “own” the narrative.

Geri knows of this woman, and had no qualms about their working relationship

Red Bull insider

To either come out swinging — issue a statement saying she and Christian have no secrets and made the joint decision to move on and make a go of things.

Or hire a pitbull divorcee lawyer, and hit the Red Bull boss where it hurts.

Whether she does either remains to be seen. I’m told Geri is now directing media inquiries to her legal team.

But not even the best lawyer in the world can undo time, or take back those damning messages.

Former Spice Girl Geri is seeing her relationship meltdown played out on a global scaleRex

Geri, famed for that Union Jack dress, has spent the past few years steadfastly rebranding her carefully cultivated image.

Out went the provocative ensembles, in came a plethora of all-white outfits, literally a symbol of purity and chastity.

Again, how ironic this now looks in the face of her husband’s sexts.

(Although, quite how he managed to woo Geri with such chat — at one point he waxes lyrical about Coco Pops, and let’s not go there with the “finger” text — is in itself baffling).

In the past few years she’s become a children’s author, has done countless charitable acts and moved to the countryside, where she’s more likely to be seen in Hunter wellies than six-inch Christian Louboutins.

In another unfortunate plot twist, I’m told Geri was “personally aware of” the appointment of the female colleague at the centre of this tawdry scandal.

A Red Bull insider says: “Geri knows of this woman, and had no qualms about their working relationship.

“This was the woman for whom her husband turned. Again, this is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow.”

The reaction on social media has been mixed. Naturally “Christian Horny” gags are rife: “Has Christian been showing people his horn?” is another comment doing the rounds.

While many sympathise with the Spice Girl, who brought absolutely none of this on herself, others are less forgiving.

Underneath her last “Perfect” Instagram post, yesterday scores of so-called fans posted unkindly.

“Where’s the girl power now? A woman has spoken, where’s the support,” queried one, a reference to Horner allegedly abusing his position — something his F1 team have cleared him of and he strenuously denies.

Others, more alarmingly for Geri’s PR team, have brought up the manner in which she and Christian got together in the first place.

They mixed socially before they began dating, first meeting at the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix.

Christian left his long-term partner Beverley Allen just six months after the birth of their daughterDesmond O’Neill Features Ltd

They officially got together, though, after the Formula One boss left his long-term partner Beverley Allen just six months after the birth of their daughter, Olivia.

But the pair were spotted cavorting in a North London pub by a friend of mine long before they went public with their romance.

“They were very flirty, joking to pub goers they were engaged,” said my friend at the time.

When Beverley was approached about it for comment, she denied all knowledge — and the story went away.

There is no suggestion of any cheating, but it’s clear they had developed a strong bond long before things got serious.

Christian’s parents were reportedly devastated when he left Beverley to be with the chart-topping star — and shunned the couple’s 2015 nuptials at St Mary’s church in Woburn, Bedfordshire.

On Instagram yesterday, one anonymous user posted: “Wondering if Geri feels empathy for Beverley now that [a similar] thing has occurred with her.

Before it was Geri/Christian when Bev was pregnant/bed-ridden/giving birth and abandoned when most vulnerable.

“Now Christian appears to have done the same thing to Geri and their slightly older son. Karma does have a way.”

Ouch. Meanwhile, Geri has cut herself off from her one-time Spice Girl “rocks”.

The band, minus Victoria Beckham, were due to be getting together soon to discuss tour dates for a comeback.

Deeply loyal

A source added: “Geri has gone into lockdown which now puts the wider Spice plans on hold.

“The quartet always intended to mark their 30-year anniversary with some shows in 2024, as well as other commercial activity, but it seems unlikely this will happen now.”

Spiritual Geri is a big fan of self-help books. (During my last interview with her she earnestly recommended one to me, adding: “Rejection is God’s rejection” when I told her I was newly single.

There is no amount of self-help books that can get her out of this pickle.

It is hard not to have some sympathy with the well-meaning mother of two (she also happily co-parents stepdaughter Olivia with Christian).

From personal experience, Geri — a former UN Goodwill Ambassador — is kind, deeply loyal and hugely family-orientated.

I last saw her during lockdown. The previous week she had secretly visited the Whittington Hospital in North London, handing out care packages to frontline nurses.

She didn’t court the publicity because she didn’t need to.

Unwittingly being thrust into the eye of this media s***storm, then, must be all the more galling for a kind, hard-working, incredibly generous woman intent on living a quieter life

And you wouldn’t wish this scenario on your worst enemy.

For a woman of 51, who once said: “I’ve really learned how important it is to empower women”, only time will tell how empowering her next act will be.

Christian and Geri Horner have been a happy family with children (left) Bluebell, (centre) Montague and (right) OliviaGetty Images – Getty

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