CRAZY SPICE; She's Met Some Divas in Her Time. but, Says Geri Halliwell's Former Manager in This Car-Crash Memoir, There's No Star Quite as Needy, Eccentric and Endearingly Bonkers as .
Byline: JENNY FRANKFURT
DURING her 20-year career in Hollywood, manager JENNY FRANKFURT worked with some of the greatest divas in showbusiness, from Mariah Carey to Jennifer Lopez. But none was quite so high-maintenance or needy as former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell. Here, Jenny reveals the tears, tantrums and craziness of their eight-year relationship.
THE phone rang just as I was dashing out for an evening drinks party hosted by actor Will Smith. 'My leg hurts,' Geri wailed down the line. It was 2am in London and I was 6,000 miles away in LA.
What I wanted to say was: 'What the hell do you expect me to do about it?' But, of course, I didn't say that. I was Geri's manager and had been for a year by then -- although it felt like ten.
I'd learned quickly that when Geri clicked her fingers, you jumped. 'Let's talk through what this could be,' I sighed. So we did -- for 20 minutes. She had cramp.
I spent eight years, on and off, with Geri as her manager and general dogsbody.
My duties included everything from setting up numerous deals, including her legendary cameo appearance in Sex And The City, to collecting her contraception and assembling her exercise equipment.
Geri could be sweet, kind and generous. But she was also the most needy, self-absorbed and paranoid person I've ever encountered -- and, believe me, they aren't in short supply in my business.
One minute you'd be sitting in a car with her singing along to The Sound Of Music, the next she'd be in tears and saying her life was a mess, her career was all washed up and what was I going to do about it? Just when I'd be on the verge of telling her to get lost, she'd send cute little emails asking for my advice and telling me she didn't know how she'd survive without me.
The first time I encountered Geri was in 2002. She was desperate to make a name for herself in LA and enlisted my help.
We met in a coffee shop next to her gym. She was dwarfed by her huge, purple-feathered coat and hadn't brushed her hair. It was plain to see how thin she was. Geri was addicted to exercise at that time and suffering from severe bulimia.
Throughout the time I knew her, she weighed her food obsessively and threw up if she considered she'd eaten too much.
My first day on the job as Geri's manager was at a cover shoot for UK Cosmopolitan in Malibu. She spent most of the day wandering around topless. She had no inhibitions in that way and was particularly proud of her breasts, which had, after all, played an important part in her Ginger Spice image.
During one meeting for a possible TV show, she went into the room, lay on the floor and started doing yoga while the baffled executives were trying to discuss the project with her.
Afterwards, I gently suggested that, next time, she might want to sit on the sofa, as some people are uncomfortable talking business to a woman standing on her head.
AT THAT, she yelled: 'I am Geri Halliwell and Geri Halliwell knows what she is doing.' She often referred to herself in the third person.
One of the most bizarre projects she wanted to get off the ground was an idea she had for a game show called Risk.
It involved her dressing as a superhero and performing a series of stunts or dares set for her by a contestant. If she successfully completed the tasks, the 'lucky' contestant could win a lunch with her, or a personal concert at Wembley Stadium -- she was always desperate to appear at Wembley again. Her constant regret about leaving the Spice Girls was departing before they played their big show there.
She'd insist I spend all day and night at her house -- sometimes until 3am -- putting presentations together for each stunt while she got massages or did yoga. Then, when I got home and finally climbed into bed, she'd wake me with endless phone calls.
We'd go out at 5am to try out potential stunts for the show. …