Judge to consider Mel B's domestic violence claims amid divorce case
The ex-Spice Girl was granted a temporary restraining order earlier this month.
A judge will consider domestic violence allegations against Mel B’s estranged husband on Monday as the former couple continue their bitter divorce battle.
The ex-Spice Girl was granted a temporary restraining order earlier this month over claims Stephen Belafonte subjected her to years of physical and emotional abuse.
In court papers, the 41-year-old singer – whose full name is Melanie Brown – said she was the victim of “multiple physical beatings” at the hands of Stephen and he threatened to “destroy” her career by releasing sex tapes of her.
Lawyers for Stephen have branded the allegations “outrageous and unfounded”, and “nothing more than a smear campaign”.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge will consider whether to extend the temporary restraining order at a hearing on Monday.
A court spokeswoman could not confirm whether Mel or Stephen were expected to appear at the hearing.
In her request for a restraining order on April 3, Mel described Stephen as a “large, extremely aggressive, hostile and violent individual” who was “controlling, manipulative and abusive”.
She claimed she was repeatedly attacked by her husband, including while she worked on Australia’s X Factor and after she performed with the Spice Girls at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony.
The alleged abuse led to her swallowing an entire bottle of painkillers in 2014 when she was a judge on The X Factor in the UK, Mel said.
She also claimed she tried to leave Stephen after their first year of marriage but that he threatened to release “videos of our sex life and other private moments” to the tabloids.
“I have lived the past decade in fear that (Stephen) would release intimate videos of me that would embarrass me and damage my reputation and career,” she said.
Stephen’s legal team has said he “vehemently” denies the allegations against him.
In a statement, his lawyers added: “When the degree to which Ms Brown has gone to create a false depiction of her marriage to Mr Belafonte is uncovered, real victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse will be understandably offended, angry and upset.”
Mel has also been granted sole custody of their five-year-old daughter Madison.
The singer, who is now a judge on America’s Got Talent, married film producer Stephen in Las Vegas in June 2007. She filed for divorce on March 20 citing “irreconcilable differences”.
Mel has two other daughters from previous relationships with actor Eddie Murphy and dancer Jimmy Gulzar while Stephen has another daughter from a previous relationship.