Geri Horner is facing the biggest decision of her life

Geri Horner “is facing the biggest decision of her life”: The humiliation caused by husband Christian’s text message scandal is “hard to bear” for ex-Spice Girl, say her friends ALISON BOSHOFF and KATIE HIND. Could she end her marriage for good?

Geri Halliwell-Horner was usually at her husband's side during the qualifying and training phases of the Grand Prix. However, there was no sign of her yesterday afternoon.

She arrived in Bahrain late on Thursday night on a private jet. According to sources, the idea was that she would show solidarity with Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who had been cleared of any wrongdoing the previous day in an internal investigation following a complaint from a colleague.

He had promised her that the allegations against him were untrue and that he would “make them go away” – and it seemed he had kept his word.

But while Geri was in the air, a massive data breach occurred at a most unfortunate time.

Sexually suggestive WhatsApp messages between her husband and a colleague – at the center of the scandal – were first leaked via email and then spread around the world on social media. It amounts to a global PR disaster and the aftershocks played out all day yesterday on X, formerly Twitter.

Former Spice Girl Geri Horner at an F1 event last year

Former Spice Girl Geri Horner at an F1 event last year

Geri tied the knot with Christian Horner in 2015 without a marriage contract

Geri tied the knot with Christian Horner in 2015 without a marriage contract

The embarrassment would be enough to scare anyone, not least Geri, who has always been an emotional person. Friends of Geri say she simply couldn't compete in the Formula One world on Friday after suffering a nervous breakdown late on Thursday that was supposed to put an end to all breakdowns.

Husband Horner, whose eyes were protected by dark glasses, was left alone to oversee Red Bull's preparations for the first Grand Prix of the season. At some point he left the paddock to attend an emergency meeting with FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

It is understood Geri will now most likely return to the UK as quietly as possible and take time to consider what to do with her marriage behind closed doors at her country home in the Cotswolds. She knows she is facing the biggest decision of her life, one of her close friends told the Mail.

“She often acts impulsively,” says one. “She's definitely short-tempered, and Christian doesn't know that.

“But the question that her inner circle is now asking is whether Christian will be sent to the doghouse for a few days or whether this is permanent.” She worked hard for all of this, she jumped through hoops for him to get. So will she dump him? Probably not.

“Despite this, Geri wonders how on earth this all happened. “She firmly believes that things happen for a reason, so she can't understand why this was forced on her and what it all means.”

Friends say it would “break her heart” to end her marriage to Christian – the man she sees as the “Prince Charming” she has longed for since childhood.

“She was overjoyed when she married him, all her dreams had come true.”

“Geri can absolutely turn around, one moment you can see her ditching Christian, the next you can imagine her doing a David Mellor.” [the Tory minister who had an affair with a young actress in the 1990s] and hold a press conference with Christian and the children at the gates of their home. Geri always liked it when everyone thought her life was perfect.'

Certainly few doubt that the late-blooming love marriage between her and Horner – both were in their forties at the time of their wedding – appears to be in serious crisis. She may not survive as friends say the union “looks like it’s in trouble” for the first time.

The same friends point out that the couple got married in 2015 without a prenuptial agreement. Horner is marginally the wealthier, with a fortune of £41 million – Geri is worth closer to £30 million, although funds will not be a driving issue if a split occurs.

“The humiliation is very hard for Geri,” says a friend. “I think that's going to be the main problem.” The other Spice Girls are very sympathetic and all feel very divided about Christian now. It will also be clear to all her celebrity friends who enjoyed spending time with him.

“It’s a bad mess.”

Christian Horner (pictured breaking cover today) had to oversee Red Bull's preparations for the first Grand Prix of the season alone in Bahrain

Christian Horner (pictured breaking cover today) had to oversee Red Bull's preparations for the first Grand Prix of the season alone in Bahrain

Friends of Geri say it would

Friends of Geri say it would “break her heart” to end her marriage to Christian – the man she sees as the “Prince Charming” she has longed for since childhood

It can also be revealed that Geri knows the woman who was the victim of Horner's alleged “inappropriate behavior” and even supported her in working with her husband.

A friend said, “They actually have a friend in common and Geri liked her.” In fact, she would speak positively about her.

“She heard she was applying for the job and one of Geri’s old friends from her time in the Spice Girls happened to know this woman, so Geri spoke up. Geri likes to believe that she is a girl in many ways and thought she was.” Did a good thing back then. You can only imagine how much she will regret this now.'

It can also be revealed that Geri has spoken to lawyers about how she is perceived by the public. In fact, as always with celebrity scandals, the only winners seem to be the lawyers themselves.

Horner's £900-an-hour legal team at Harbottle & Lewis has been battling to keep the contents of an email out of public view since 7.27am on Thursday.

This email, headed “Investigative evidence from Christian Horner,” simply states: “Following the recent investigation and statements from Red Bull, you will be interested to see the attached materials.”

A link takes readers to 79 files uploaded to Google Drive. These are said to show, in shocking and embarrassing detail, hundreds of WhatsApp messages between Horner, who earns £8 million a year, and a female employee.

For legal reasons, reproduction of the content is not possible. But among a variety of practical messages relating to his office and his work, some appear to be sexually suggestive in nature.

The data leak also includes a number of images. These were also shared freely on social media.

Horner's legal team could not deny the authenticity of the messages and images.

Yesterday morning, it's fair to say that everyone in the world Horner would have preferred not to see the news – from his wife Geri to rivals at other racing teams and the F1 governing body – took a look.

The email was sent to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali, all team principals including Toto Wolff at Mercedes and Zak Brown at Ferrari, Jos, Red Bull's star driver Max Verstappen's father, and a number of journalists.

One joker wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “When Drive To Survive comes out next year.” [a Netflix series about F1] “The moment Toto Wolff opened the email with Christian Horner’s texts, it doesn’t show that they might as well cancel the whole series.”

The message boards of F1 websites were quickly filled with comments about the leak, which has spread so quickly and so widely that Horner's legal efforts seem like a smooch.

One poster expressed the opinion: “Christian Horner is toast after this.” He has no one to blame but himself. “Red Bull also has some serious questions to answer about its KC’s report and internal decision, as it looks like a whitewash at the moment.”

Geri was said to be “overjoyed” when she married Horner as “all her dreams had come true.”

Geri was said to be “overjoyed” when she married Horner as “all her dreams had come true.”

To recap, in early February Horner was accused of “controlling behavior” toward a female colleague and was subsequently accused of “misconduct” with an element of alleged sexual harassment.

He denied doing anything wrong. Red Bull investigated with the help of a KC who interviewed Horner.

A 150-page confidential report was prepared that Red Bull said was “fair, rigorous and impartial.”

The company released a statement Tuesday saying he had been exonerated, but never specified the actual “allegations.”

It said: “The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr Horner has been completed and Red Bull can confirm that the complaint has been dismissed. “The complainant is entitled to a legal remedy.”

It added: “The investigation report is confidential and contains private information of the parties and third parties who contributed to the investigation. Therefore, out of respect for everyone involved, we will have no further comment.”

It appears that Horner's wife Geri began preparing to join him in Bahrain at this time. His assurances that there was “nothing” in the allegations were confirmed by his superiors.

Then came the leak. It is not clear when Geri learned of the bad news about her husband, which quickly spread online starting Thursday morning.

Shortly after the revelation, Horner released a statement in which he did not dispute the authenticity of the texts. However, he reiterated his denial of any wrongdoing as outlined in the complaint.

It said: “I will not comment on anonymous speculation, but I would like to reiterate: I have always rejected the allegations.”

“I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and cooperated fully with it at every step.” It was a thorough and fair investigation, carried out by an independent specialist lawyer, which concluded that the complaint lodged was dismissed .

“I’m still fully focused on the start of the season.”

By this point, Geri was already in the air, traveling on a private jet owned by property tycoon Sir Tony Gallagher, a Tory donor worth around £425million.

Sources claimed yesterday she had not read the news before leaving and planned the trip to show she was standing by her exonerated husband. After the data leak, things looked different. Geri is said to have been extremely desperate and wanted to spend time with Horner.

However, sources say that Geri knew for some time that the scandal was likely to break and that he was particularly close to Christian and therefore refused to make any career plans for the second half of this year.

Some friends are also concerned that Geri – ever the chameleon – has come very much under Christian's influence and influence.

He is a charismatic and powerful person, and Geri, eternally doubtful of her own worth, has felt part of his “team,” perhaps to the detriment of her own self-confidence.

Many Spice Girls fan sites claim she could even be “patient zero” of Horner's “controlling” personality.

Friends of the star say they are “deeply concerned” for her. They say she seemed “fragile” when they saw her a few weeks ago; One friend even claimed that Geri appeared to have lost weight after learning that Christian was the focus of an investigation.

“Geri has always been thin, but lately she's been looking even thinner.” She's the type to hold things together in public, so you wouldn't necessarily have noticed there was anything off about the way she looked, but she looked physical different.”

The employee who saw the couple in London last month also said Christian appeared much gaunter than usual.

I'm told there was tension in the marriage, fueled by her unfollowing Horner's star driver Max Verstappen on the social media site Instagram about two weeks ago.

This was apparently in response to suggestions that he or his father Jos may have been involved in some way in the initial reports of an investigation into Horner's conduct. Horner found his wife's actions embarrassing and their timing was really bad.

A friend said: “I assume there will be some sort of separation for Geri and Christian while they see if they can work things out.”

“A lot of people think he also has to give up the job he loves.”

“Everyone feels very sorry for Geri because the news is very embarrassing and she knows people are talking about it.”

In a recent interview, Geri spoke of a kinship she feels with Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's wife, saying: “I felt deeply sorry for that woman.” “She was smart and kind and just let herself into the stories implicate others.”

Which, sexting and beheading aside, sounds a lot like the fate that has now befallen her.