Mel B married Stephen Belafonte after only 5 months of dating in 2007. After ten years of happiness, rumours of domestic violence and many shows of public affection filed Mel B for divorce. But things turned nasty and Mel B filed for a restraining order. The marriage was dissolved in November 2017.
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Married after 5 months of dating
Mel B, ex-Spice Girl and America’s Got Talent judge, met Stephen Belafonte, movie producer and not related to Harry Belafonte, early in 2007. At the time Mel was pregnant with Eddie Murphy’s child. Each of them already had a daughter then as well.
In April 2007 Mel’s daughter Angel was born and two months later she married Stephen in Las Vegas. Clearly, the two were madly in love to take a step like that. There’s no other explanation, at least not if you consider that they stayed together for over 9 years and also had a daughter together.
But most people would also consider a wedding after only five months of dating a bit of a rush. And since this was a high profile union, the couple has always been under scrutiny.
Trouble in paradise?
Whenever Mel was asked about her marriage to Stephen, she confirmed that they were madly in love. Whatever rumors may have swirled about or any questions whether or not anything was wrong with the marriage, Mel always told everyone how well things were going.
But when she appeared with bruises and scratches on her arms on America’s Got Talent, people were wondering what was going on.
In 2014 Mel was seen cavorting around with a female friend. It’s no secret that Mel has been in a relationship with a woman before, but whilst the two were apparently very hands-on, nobody spoke of cheating at the time.
It was more troublesome when Mel was hospitalized at the end of 2014, which turned out to be an accidental overdose of aspirin. Mel had overmedicated due to emotional and physical exhaustion.
Still, she wouldn’t admit anything was wrong with her marriage when asked whether Stephen had been physically abusive in February 2015. She flat out dismissed that he had hit her and once again confirmed that the couple was madly in love.
Instead, she told anyone who was listening about their great sex-life, her sexual appetite and how compatible the two were.
Filing for divorce
And yet, in March 2017 Mel B filed for divorce. She gave their date of separation as December 2016. In his response, however, Stephen declared it to have been the 1st March 2017.
Initially, Mel simply declared “irreconcilable differences” to be the reason behind the divorce filing. She asked for joint custody of their then five-year-old daughter and that was that.
But shortly thereafter, on the 3rd of April 2017, things took a decidedly nasty turn when Mel requested a temporary restraining order against her estranged husband.
A temporary restraining order
Mel essentially filed documents accusing her husband of nearly ten years to have been physically and verbally abusive pretty much throughout those ten years. It began as early as her final appearance on Dancing with the Stars all the way back in 2007.
The allegations she made against him were numerous. Apart from being abusive, Mel accused Stephen of having forced her into threesomes with random women, impregnating their nanny and then forcing said nanny to have an abortion, using Mel’s money to pay for it, essentially blackmailing Mel with the release of sex tapes in case she didn’t obey and also keeping a gun at their home, even though he was not permitted one after a domestic violence conviction dating back to 2003.
Apparently, Mel tried to leave Stephen several times during the years and was even encouraged to do so by family and friends. And speaking of family, Stephen is also said to have caused a rift between Mel and her sister and mother, which caused the three not to speak to each other for several years.
Mel backed up her claims of abuse with pictures of bruises.
Needless to say that Stephen Belafonte denied all allegations vehemently and forcefully. In a statement released on his behalf, it was announced that he would file a response to the outrageous claims and wait for the court to determine the truth and with that the depth of Mel’s false depictions of their marriage.
His main concern was the well-being of his daughters and so, for the most part, he kept reasonably quiet, not violating the restraining order or any other restraints the court put on him.
A costly divorce settlement
In all this Mel actually managed to reconcile with her family, which was sadly due to the death of her father. Her sister Danielle saw it fit to rant against Stephen on social media on occasion, which is just further proof of how messed up the entire situation was.
Before the divorce could be settled, the court had to sort through the temporary restraining order. Mel filed one against the nanny Stephen allegedly impregnated as well. In turn, the nanny filed for defamation against Mel. Clearly, Scary Spice had nothing better to do than spend her time in court.
In November 2017 Mel and Stephen came to an agreement regarding the restraining order. Mel ended up withdrawing it, which opened up the way for Stephen to finally see their daughter again. Alas, it remains entirely unclear whether Mel’s allegations were in any way founded or not. But one would think that the court would have prevented a violent man to see his daughter if those allegations were indeed true. Still, Mel went to great length to protect herself from him. It would be a very low move to fabricate all those accusations if there was no truth at all to them.
In any case, the estranged couple eventually reached a settlement in their divorce as well. They divvied up their property, Mel agreed to pay spousal support for three years in excess of £3 million, adding another £3.5 million from the sale of their shared home and the two would share legal custody of their daughter. A schedule for shared physical custody was to be agreed upon as well. Though Stephen already announced that he wanted to be able to see his step-daughter Angel as well, having been her father more than anyone else.
Also, any sex tapes or other compromising videos that were in Stephen’s possession were to be destroyed as part of the settlement.
The divorce was signed, sealed and delivered on the 16th December 2017.
In the meantime, both Mel and Stephen have moved on. Last we heard Mel has been dating a police officer from Beverly Hills and Stephen was seen out and about with reality TV star Nikki Mudarris.
Let’s hope Stephen and Mel manage to keep things amicable now that the divorce is through. They do still share children.