Mel B accuses estranged husband of abuse
In this April 13, 2016 file photo, Stephen Belafonte, left, and his wife Melanie Brown arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of "Mother's Day." (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, April 4, 2017 6:53PM EDT
LOS ANGELES - Singer Mel B has won a temporary restraining order and sole custody of her youngest daughter after she claimed her estranged husband subjected her to years of abuse.
The judge's order was issued Monday after the former Spice Girl filed a sworn declaration stating Stephen Belafonte subjected her to emotional and physical abuse throughout their relationship, and threatened to leak sex tapes of her.
The singer, whose real name is Melanie Brown, wrote that Belafonte's abuse often occurred after high-profile events, including punching her following her appearance on Australia's version of “X Factor” in July 2012 and again days after she performed with the Spice Girls at the London Olympics.
Her filing contends Belafonte's actions have disrupted her career. She wrote that Belafonte was verbally abusive to her last year while she was on a trip to London during filming of “America's Got Talent.” Brown is a judge on the series.
She also claims he filmed them having sex, sometimes secretly, and repeatedly threatened to release them publicly or to disrupt her business plans. Brown is asking a judge to prevent Belafonte from releasing the videos.
She filed to divorce her husband of nearly 10 years on March 20, citing irreconcilable differences
Court records filed in their divorce do not include a lawyer for Belafonte, and attempts to find a representative for him were unsuccessful.
A hearing on the temporary restraining order has been set for April 24.