As the Spice Girls performed on stage at the 1997 Brit Awards, Victoria Beckham heard gun shots.
She stopped singing and doubled over – convinced she’d been fatally hit with a bullet.
But she hadn’t. And she hadn’t heard gunshots. The loud bangs were actually hundreds of red balloons being popped inside the Earls Court venue to coincide with the end of the performance.
Beckham’s fears didn’t come out of nowhere. As she explained in her 2001 autobiography Learning To Fly, she and husband David Beckham had been threatened by a stalker for months.
At another time, the couple were sent two silver bullets – each with their name engraved, The Mirror reported.
“I didn’t know who I could trust,” she wrote in her book. “I didn’t know if I could trust anybody.”
She said she was paranoid and stressed – so when she heard the loud popping of the balloons, she lost control.
“So we’re singing Goodbye and then on the last chorus I heard the shots ring out – BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG. I just clutched at my stomach. I’d been shot. I just knew I’d been shot,” she wrote in her book.
“I could see policemen starting to run, everyone all wired up, people starting to run towards the stage. But the shots hadn’t stopped.”
It took her a few moments to realise what was really happen.
“Out of the corner of my eye, I realised what had happened. The roof of Earls Court had been covered by a thousand balloons and for the finale they were somehow bursting them. They hadn’t told us this was going to happen. Tears of relief were pouring out of my eyes as I realised I wasn’t dead.
“Then Will Smith came on stage and presented us with the award. The next day there are pictures of me bent over on the stage with tears in my eyes and it was ‘Posh gets emotional’ because they assumed I was overcome with having won this award.”
She said the emotion captured the photos was because she was alive: “I was so convinced I’d been shot that I actually looked for bullet holes”.
Posh and Becks, who will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary next year, have dealt with their fair share of threats and stalkers over the years.
The Telegraph reported in January 2000 a gang tried to kidnap her and son Brooklyn, then eight months old, and hold them at a house in Hampstead, north London – and another kidnapping plot was foiled on 2002.
The Evening Standard reported that just this month, the couple’s home in the Cotswolds was reportedly the target of an attempted break-in for the second time in recent weeks.