American producer Stephen Belafonte and former spice girl Melanie Brown’s separation saga seems to have taken an ugly turn as both battle for custody of their children. Mel B has one daughter, Madison (5) with Belafonte, and has demanded she be given sole custody after being open to shared custody initially. Belafonte has also been step-dad to two other daughters Mel has from previous relationships.
Breaking his silence on the custody battle, Belafonte has said of his children that “they are the only thing that matter” to him, insisting he will fight for their custody. He has however declined from commenting on the divorce and refused to give his version of the events. He has denied the allegations levelled against him by Mel as he seeks for joint custody of their daughter Madison. He has also asked for spousal support.
Mel B had filed for divorce from her husband of 10 years on March 20 citing “irreconcilable differences,” claiming to be a victim of long-term abuse by him. She has also accused the American producer of impregnating their German nanny Lorraine Gilles in 2014, and then paying her to get an abortion. She claimed that personal items belonging to her like private tapes and memorabilia from her spice girl days, have been taken hostage and kept hidden from her in a secret locker by Belafonte and the nanny.
The decision by Mel to begin with the divorce proceedings last month will undoubtedly save her millions. Had the marriage completed a decade, Mel would’ve been forced to indefinitely support Belafonte as per the law in California. The court hearing in LA has been scheduled on April 24th.
Friends and family of Mel b have been for a long time trying to coerce her into leaving Belafonte because of his alleged abuse. They claim that she has put up with him for years, making excuses for his behaviour.
She credits close friend Simon Cowell with giving her the final push needed to break free from the “toxic” relationship. Sharon Osbourne, Mel’s fellow-judge on the X-Factor has spoken out against the alleged abuse, terming Belafonte a “bully.” Fans have been worried for a while now as pictures of Mel with bruises made the rounds time and again.