HORRIFYING

Spice Girl Mel B: My Ex-Husband Beat Me and Blackmailed Me Into Threesomes

The pop star and ‘America’s Got Talent’ host alleges a vicious cycle of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her estranged husband, film producer Stephen Belafonte.

Craig Barritt / Getty Images

The first public warning sign came in December 2014, when Mel B was absent from a taping of the reality-competition series X Factor. Viewers at home were told that the pop star had fallen ill, but eyebrows were raised when the former Spice Girls singer appeared on the program the following evening with bruises on her arms and cheek. Mel B’s mother, Andrea, took to Twitter to insinuate that her daughter’s then-husband, Stephen Belafonte, was behind the bruising.

“On average It takes 30 beatings 4 a woman to leave abusive man how sad more should b done 4 these victims!!” she tweeted. Belafonte denied hitting his wife; Mel B remained silent at the time, only to tell the tabloids two months later: “No, my husband didn’t hit me. No, I didn’t get held hostage. Me and my husband are madly in love.”

She won’t be silent anymore.

According to TMZ, Mel B filed a restraining order against Belafonte on Monday, alleging a vicious cycle of physical and emotional abuse. The singer, 41, claims in her declaration that her ex—a middling movie producer, and no relation to Harry—would regularly “beat me down to let me know he was in charge.” In July 2012, Mel B alleges that, on the eve of taping an X Factor segment with the pop superstar Usher, Belafonte became green with jealousy, and punched her in the mouth. Two months later, she says that he not only punched her in the face again following her London Olympics performance, but also dragged her across the carpet, causing rug burns. Mel B shares that she tried to leave her husband time and again since they were married in 2007, but says he “threatened me with violence and threatened to destroy my life in every possible way… destroy my career and take my kids away from me.”

Mel B and Belafonte, 41, have one child together and are in the midst of divorce proceedings.

In addition to physical violence, Mel B alleges that Belafonte got their nanny pregnant and then forced her to get an abortion. She also claims that he’d often blackmail her, threatening to release sex tapes he had of her if she failed to do his bidding. If that weren’t enough, according to the America’s Got Talent host’s written statement, Belafonte would make her “participate in sexual intercourse with him and random women,” and if she voiced any disapproval, informed her that he’d release the sex tapes online if she didn’t.The abuse allegations come on the heels of an incident on Friday in which the Los Angeles Police Department conducted a raid on Belafonte’s Hollywood Hills home after receiving a tip that he was in possession of a handgun—which would have violated the conditions of a 2003 domestic-violence conviction wherein he pleaded guilty to battery for beating his former girlfriend, bikini model Nicole Contreras. In addition to that conviction, Belafonte was convicted of theft in 2001, and his first wife, Nancy Carmell, had their marriage annulled after just two months amid rumblings of emotional abuse. He also copped to beating a mallard to death with a brick.

Mel B has long denied tabloid rumors that Belafonte, who’s best known professionally for producing the film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and serving as an associate producer on Thank You for Smoking and Never Die Alone, lives off her (the woman formerly known as Scary Spice is worth an estimated $45 million). She once even gushed of her then-husband, “He’s the first man I’ve ever trusted, he’s my rock and he’s the beginning and the end of who I am.”

In the wake of the December 2014 X Factor incident, Belafonte’s brother Jeremiah Stansbury gave an interview to The Sun where he claimed that his younger brother was prone to violent outbursts, and that he had the scars to prove it. He also urged Mel B to steer clear of him.

“I know Steve—he’s cold, he’s hard and he’s violent. He loves money,” said Stansbury. “Mel should look after her inner health—and that will never happen around Steve. She should get help. He will destroy her. He will stress her out and pressure her until her stomach lining bursts wide open from an ulcer or she falls down and faints.”