Former Spice Girl Melanie “Mel B” Brown is heading into one nasty divorce battle.
It’s been a couple of weeks since Brown filed for divorce from her husband, Stephen Belafonte, and now, she’s filed new court papers requesting a restraining order. In her filing, she claimed that Belafonte physically assaulted her on numerous occasions during their marriage and that he verbally abused her by making disparaging comments about her appearance and her intelligence, particularly just after she had given birth. The restraining order was granted by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, who ordered Belafonte to stay away from Brown and her three kids.
But Belafonte didn’t take the accusations lying down. He fired back with a statement denying all of Brown’s abuse allegations.
“What matters most to Mr. Belafonte is the safety and well-being of his daughters and step-daughters. It’s a shame that Ms. Brown elected not to proceed in a respectful and amicable fashion in this very private matter. In due course, Mr. Belafonte will be filing his response to the outrageous and unfounded allegations made by Ms. Brown, which allegations he vehemently denies,” Belafonte’s lawyer said in a statement. “When the Court determines the truth, it will become clear that this entire charade was nothing more than a smear campaign intended to cover up Ms. Brown’s own conduct during the marriage in light of her current involvement with a family television show, and in an effort to unfairly gain leverage both financially and with respect to custody of the children.”
The statement continues, “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. Mr. Belafonte is confident that the truth will come out when he has his day in court at which time he looks forward to being reunited with his children. In the meantime, Mr. Belafonte requests that he and his children be given the space they deserve during this challenging time.”
Brown definitely has support on her side, though. Her estranged sister, Danielle Brown, posted on Instagram to back up her claims and send a message to reporters covering Brown and Belafonte’s split.
“Dear all media I won’t be selling a story on my sister never have and never will!! Here is my comment below so you can now leave me and my mum alone and let us be united and grieve the loss of my dad,” Danielle wrote. “@stephenthinks11 8 years of abusive calls me and my mum have had stating we would never see Melanie again. I am laughing and celebrating as you were wrong.you are a sorry excuse of a man !!”
She ended her post with a note saying she hopes Belafonte and the nanny he allegedly cheated on Brown with, Lorraine Giles, “rot in hell.”
Brown also has support from her celeb friends, including Sharon Osbourne, who claims she witnessed some of the abuse Brown suffered at the hands of her husband.
“In the situation that she’s been in for 10 years, it’s not just physical, it’s mental abuse too,” Osbourne, who was a judge on X Factor alongside Brown, said during Wednesday’s episode of The Talk. “Three years ago, in the final two days of X Factor, she didn’t make the first day and she was in the hospital. And it was reported in all the papers that said ‘allegedly’ she’s been beaten by her husband. And she came back for the final day and she had a black eye and bruising everywhere, but she made the final.”
Osbourne continued, “This has been brewing and people talking for a very, very long time. You know what, she’s a good girl. She’s a great mother. She works her bum off.”
It’s a good thing Brown has all this support — it sounds like she’s going to need it.