Former Spice Girl Mel B is divorcing husband Stephen Belafonte after a tumultuous ten years of marriage, DailyMail.com can reveal. The pair are pictured in July 2016
Former Spice Girl Mel B is divorcing husband Stephen Belafonte after a tumultuous ten years of marriage, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The America’s Got Talent star filed divorce papers on Monday signaling an end to a relationship beset with controversy and claims of violent rows.
The 41-year-old – who wed the producer in Las Vegas in 2007 – cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ in legal papers filed at Los Angeles Superior Court.
Mel listed ‘joint custody’ in the filing, opting to share responsibility of the couple’s five-year-old daughter Madison. Mel has two other children from previous relationships.
The star, who was also a judge on The X Factor UK, is being repped by top family law attorney Susan Wiesner in the divorce.
Wiesner’s previous clients have included included Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora in his divorce from actress Heather Locklear, musician Ben Harper in his divorce from Jurassic Park actress Laura Dern, Lara Embry in her divorce from Glee star Jane Lynch and actor Jon Cryer in his divorce with ex-wife, British actress Sarah Trigger.
Marriage has been less than smooth for Mel and Belafonte.
The couple seemed blissfully happy when they renewed their wedding vows with a lavish ceremony in front of their families in November, 2008 in Hurghada, Egypt.
The America’s Got Talent said the relationship beset with controversy and claims of violent rows. They are pictured in January 2016 in Beverly Hills
Mel listed ‘joint custody’ in the filing, opting to share responsibility of the couple’s five-year-old daughter Madison (far left). Mel has two other children from previous relationships (right)
But in 2014 Belafonte cracks began to emerge when the couple was hit with rumors of violent rows with Belafonte accused of physically abusing Mel after she appeared on The X Factor UK with bruises and scratches on her face and arms.
It was reported at the time that Mel had left Belafonte before she was rushed to hospital with stomach pains, which caused her to miss the first live show, during The X Factor final weekend in 2014.
The X Factor judge returned for the last show on December 14, 2014 with a bruised and scratched appearance, sparking worry among fans.
But Belafonte vehemently denied all suggestions of domestic abuse and the couple appeared to patch things up.
Throughout their marriage Mel has had to defend her husband’s past.
She jumped to his defense when it emerged that he had battered his common-law wife Nicole during a drunken row at their home in 2003
She submitted the legal documents with her legal name. The star, who was also a judge on The X Factor UK, is being repped by top family law attorney Susan Wiesner in the divorce
The 41-year-old – who wed the producer in Las Vegas in 2007 – cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ in legal papers filed at Los Angeles Superior Court
The film producer attacked the mother of his daughter Giselle, now 13, in what was described as a ‘malicious and unlawful’ drunken frenzy.
He did not contest the charge, which the judge said was the same as a guilty plea, and said: ‘This happened crazily, one drunk, retarded night.’
He was also accused of vandalizing Nicole’s phone by spitting into it but this was dropped.
Later he said he did not realize that he had admitted battering his ex-partner, saying that the admission came at a moment when he was ‘confused and stressed’. But this plea was rejected.
While partying with Mel in 2010, Belafonte was involved in a fight with three men at the luxury five star May Fair Hotel.
One man was left needing hospital treatment following the incident.
But Mel stood by her burly husband, claiming he was only acting in her defense.
In 2007 Belafonte admitted killing a mallard with a brick outside his house in the state of New Jersey, but fled to Los Angeles without paying the £300 court fine
Later he told OK magazine: ‘Oh, yes, apparently I killed a duck.’
‘But I haven’t. Sure I got into fights and I did get drunk but I learned from it and I don’t do it now.’
In 2014 Belafonte’s brother Jeremiah Stansbury blasted the producer as ‘violent’ and ‘ruthless’ and urged Mel to leave him.
And he claimed the couple have no prenuptial agreement and are obsessed with porn and sex, alleging that Belafonte showed off their huge range of sex toys.
Belafonte denied his brother’s claims to The Sun newspaper.
It’s been a tough few weeks for Mel who lost her father Martin Brown to cancer earlier in March.
She posted a poignant picture of flowers, cards and a candle on her Instagram account alongside a heartfelt caption.
‘Thank you for everyone’s kind gestures and words of support it really does mean a lot,’ she wrote. ‘If anyone wants to donate to St Gemmas hospice in Leeds, pls feel free to do so. They took such great care of my dad in his last few days on this earth.
‘But I no (sic) he is in a better place now and I’m thankful phoenix and I got to hug him tell him how much we love him #restinpeacedaddy.’
Mel shared the sad news with a black and white picture of her and her sister holding her father’s hands.
She wrote: ‘It is with great sadness after a 5yr battle to multiple myeloma cancer our loving father Martin Brown passed away age 63 peacefully yesterday.’
This is Mel’s second divorce, having split with Dutch dancer Jimmy Gulzar in 2000.
They have a daughter together, Phoenix Chi Gulzar, aged 18.
Mel also has a child, Angel, nine, with movie star Eddie Murphy.
On September 1, 2011, Brown gave birth to her third child, daughter Madison Belafonte.