London's Court Of Appeal rule that the band misled a scooter company over Geri Halliwell's departure date...

The Spice Girls have been ordered to pay an estimated £1 million after losing out in a legal battle with a scooter company THEY had sued for over £200,000.

Three judges at London’s Court Of Appeal today (January 24) ruled that the multi-million selling girl band misled Italian company Aprilla over Geri Halliwell’s departure date when they signed a deal to endorse scooters.

The Spice Girls were appealing against an earlier High Court order to pay Aprilla £400,000 for the collapse of the sponsorship deal.

The vice-chancellor, Sir Andrew Morritt, Lord Justice Chadwick and Lord Justice Rix today dismissed the appeal and awarded Aprilla all its costs of the hearings plus increased damages – an estimated total of around £1 million.

The Spice Girls had themselves sought £212,250 in unpaid fees and guaranteed royalties from the company. They had also asked the three judges to overturn the High Court ruling from last year when Mrs Justice Arden said they should pay £45,000 damages to Aprilia plus £350,000 costs.

The appeal judges found that the Spice Girls did know that Geri was leaving before they signed the contract with Aprilla in May 1998.

The Spice Girls claim they signed the deal with Aprilla in March 1998 and Geri told of her intention to leave the following month.

Ian Mill QC, representing them, had told the appeal court that there were no group discussions about Halliwell’s possible departure before the Aprilla agreement had come into force.