Mel B obtained a restraining order against estranged husband Stephen Belafonte on Monday, claiming that he physically and emotionally abused her throughout their nearly 10-year marriage. See a timeline below of the domestic violence allegations and denials.
The “America’s Got Talent” judge filed for divorce in late March, but she says the alleged abuse began just months after marrying the film producer in 2007. In her recent court filings, Mel B claims she had previously denied that Belafonte abused her because she feared for the safety of herself and her three children if she were to come forward.
Mel B first claims that Belafonte choked her and slammed her to the ground as she was getting ready at home for the “Dancing with the Stars” finale in November 2007. The singer alleges he was jealous of her success and would “beat me down to let me know he was in charge.” Mel B goes on to say in her document that her estranged spouse punched her in the lip before she taped a segment with Usher for “The X Factor Australia” in July 2012 because he was suspicious of her relationship with the R&B star. When the show’s producers asked about her swollen face, she told them it was an allergic reaction to eating shellfish.
The former Spice Girl also claims Belafonte punched her and pushed her down on a carpet the day after her performance at the London Olympics in August 2012. At the time, Mel B said her rug burns were a result of falling while wearing high heels, but she now says her estranged husband forced her to tweet that explanation.
The singer further claims that in 2014, Belafonte impregnated their nanny and initially suggested he keep the baby and “all three of us live together,” but he eventually forced the woman to get an abortion. Mel B also says that in 2014 she took an entire bottle of Aspirin due to “emotional and physical exhaustion,” but when she tried calling an ambulance, Belafonte allegedly prevented her from doing so and yelled, “Die, bitch!”
In December 2014, Mel B was hospitalized in London and forced to miss the first night of the live “X Factor UK” finale. Some reports said she had collapsed due to a stomach ulcer, but when she showed up to the second night of the finale with bruises and scratches on her arms and face, many people suspected domestic abuse. But at the time, Mel B denied the domestic violence speculation, writing on Instagram, “For the record my hubby never would lay a hand on me.” Belafonte also denied he beat up his then-wife.
Mel B also says in her new legal filing that she never contacted the authorities about Belafonte’s alleged abuse because he intimidated her into keeping quiet. She says he forced her to “participate in sexual intercourse with him and random women,” and would often film the encounters, then threaten to release the sex tapes to ruin her career. She further claims that she tried to leave him on many occasions, but he threatened to release the videos to Children’s Services in an attempt take their three kids away from her.
Belafonte has now been ordered by a judge to leave their family’s home in the Hollywood Hills, but he denies all of the domestic violence allegations. Aside from the court filing, Mel B has not publicly commented on the breakup or her allegations.
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