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Over the last few years, Mel B has made a name for herself as a TV host in the States on America's Got Talent; however, the former Spice Girl didn't just jump straight into American competition shows without doing a little bit of work across the pond first. For quite a while, Mel B was a host of both the U.K. and Australian editions of The X Factor, and recently footage surfaced of a time she was doing an interview on The Xtra Factor for the U.K. edition of the show and was patted on the butt repeatedly by her fellow co-host Louis Walsh. At one point he even grabbed her butt and jiggled it. You can see the full clip, below.
The video in questions features a conversation between The X Factor judges back in 2014. Mel B, Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and female commenter Sarah-Jane Crawford can be seen in the footage, although Mel B is the only lady in close proximity to Walsh. While they all chat about contestants, Walsh can be seen repeatedly touching Mel B on the butt. At first she doesn't seem to notice, but once she realizes what is going on her face quickly turns to one of annoyance and she says,
Hold on a second! Why are you grabbing my butt?
Unperturbed, Louis Walsh moves his arm up her back and onto the back of the couch and Mel B moves away from him. Walsh seems to think the entire incident is amusing, despite Mel B's discomfort, and even mentions he is "looking out" for the popular singer. In the background, you can hear Simon Cowell mention, "honestly you're safer over there," as Mel B shuffles over on the couch. Walsh laughs uproariously at that tact while Mel B gives the camera a totally grossed-out look. Poor Sarah-Jane Crawford tries to get the interview back on track, but it's clear that things have soured in the room.
The video is making the rounds again on social media, with one person calling out the moment as "sexual harassment on live TV." The moment ties in to other recent reports from women in the entertainment industry who have dealt with harassment in the workplace, and may be why the video is being viewed again right now.
Louis Walsh was a judge on the U.K. edition of The X Factor before and after this groping incident, but announced he was quitting the series last month after 13 years with show. He's still a judge on Ireland's Got Talent, a show he helped to launch. As noted prior, Mel B has also gone her separate ways from The X Factor UK, leaving the show back in 2016. America's Got Talent has a female-heavy lineup this season, with Mel B being joined by longtime judge Heidi Klum and female host Tyra Banks. Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell round out the judges on the NBC series. We'll have to wait and see if Mel B decides to return next season, but if I had to venture a guess, she won't ever be heading to Ireland's Got Talent.