Mel B’s estranged husband, Stephen
Belafonte, is denying the America’s Got
Talent judge’s allegations that he was both
physically and emotionally abusive towards
her during their nearly 10-year marriage.
Mel B, whose real name is Melanie Brown,
was granted a restraining order against
Belafonte on Monday. In court papers
obtained by ET, she claimed she was in “fear
of her safety” and that of her children — 5-
year-old Madison, whom she shares with
Belafonte, as well as her two daughters from
previous relationships, Phoenix and Angel.
“What matters most to Mr. Belafonte is the
safety and well-being of his daughters and
step-daughters,” Belafonte’s lawyers told ET
in a statement on Wednesday. “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.”
“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.”
Belafonte’s lawyers also said their client is
“confident that the truth will come out,” and
requested privacy for both him and his
children during this “challenging time.”
“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,” the statement
reads.
On Monday, a judge ordered 41-year-old
Belafonte to move out of their family home
in Hollywood Hills, California, immediately,
and to stay 100 yards away from Brown and
her three children until the next hearing on
April 24. Brown was also granted legal and
physical custody of Madison, and Belafonte
was not granted visitation.
Brown filed for divorce from Belafonte in
March. A source close to the former Spice
Girl told ET on Wednesday that members of
her inner circle are happy about the split,
and claimed that Belafonte “controlled Mel’s
life.”
“Thank God she got away,” the source said.
“Mel’s friends are shocked that it took her
this long to finally leave him, but are so
relieved that it happened. Everyone is so
proud that she finally had the courage to
leave him.”
“Mel never told friends just how bad the
abuse was but everyone knew how scared of
him she really was,” the source claimed.
However, another source denied Brown’s
allegations in court papers, including that
Belafonte got their younger nanny, Lorraine
Gilles, pregnant — and that he told her he
wanted to have the baby and “all three of us
live together” — before ultimately demanding
the nanny get an abortion.
“None of it’s true. It’s all lies,” the source
claimed. “I know he didn’t [get her
pregnant.] It’s fake.”
“I’ve always found him to be a very nice
guy,” the source also said of Belafonte.
“Whenever they were together he was a
loving, doting guy, so this is all kind of
crazy.”
ET has reached out to 41-year-old Brown
for comment, though she has not responded
as of press time.
from Entertainment today