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Mel B’s Ex-Husband Sues Her for $5 Million in Defamation Lawsuit

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Mel B’s ex-husband, Stephen Belafonte, is taking the former Spice Girls singer to court, accusing her of defamation and attempting to “cause him severe emotional distress and destroy his reputation.”

According to court documents obtained by ET, which were filed on Wednesday in Florida, Belafonte alleges that the former America’s Got Talent judge — whose real name is Melanie Brown — has “spent the better part of the last decade engaging in a deliberate and wide-ranging campaign” to defame him and ruin his life and career. 

“Ms. Brown has stopped at nothing to falsely charge (Belafonte) with crimes and horrific offenses, including physical beatings, rape, financial abuse, emotional abuse, sex trafficking, and illegal gun possession,” the documents allege.

Mel B married Belafonte in June 2007 and filed for divorce in March 2017. Belafonte has had primary custody of their 12-year-old daughter, Madison, since 2019.

Mel B is also the mom of two other children — 25-year-old daughter Phoenix Brown, whom she shares with ex-husband Jimmy Gulzar, and 17-year-old daughter Angel from her brief relationship with Eddie Murphy.

Belafonte claims that Mel B first defamed him “with a fraudulent claim of domestic violence in 2017,” but that she dismissed the claim before he “had his day in court” to defend himself.

Stephen Belafonte and Mel B at the Maxim Hot 100 Party at Hollywood Palladium on July 30, 2016.Getty Images

Prior to her divorce from Belafonte getting finalized at the end of 2017, Mel B had filed a temporary restraining order against him alleging both physical and sexual abuse, which she claims to have begun soon after they were married in 2007. Belafonte denied the allegations, and Mel B dismissed the request.

Belafonte’s lawsuit further claims that Mel B’s alleged “campaign of abuse” continued with the re-publishing of her 2018 memoir, Brutally Honest.

Belafonte argues that the book — which makes numerous accusations of abuse against Belafonte — is an example of how Mel B has allegedly “leveraged her thirty years of fame to attack Mr. Belafonte in a malicious and vindictive global smear.”

“Ms. Brown has been profiting off of her public lies as she portrays Mr. Belafonte as a ‘monster’ on global television and media appearances and in her ironically named book,” the documents claim. “(Her) relentless attacks have been calculated to ensure maximum coverage of her false narratives and exact maximum damage to Mr. Belafonte’s reputation and emotional state.”

The lawsuit claims that Belafonte did not previously sue Mel B “in order to protect his young daughter from a drawn-out and public litigation.”

Additionally, Belafonte claims that — since he has had custody of Madison, who lives with him in the United States — Mel B “has barely maintained a relationship” with their daughter. He claims Mel B has only visited her once in the past four years, “even though she has flown to the United States, for work-related appearances and tapings, on multiple occasions.”

Belafonte is suing for “no less than $5 million” in compensatory damages, as well as punitive and exemplary damages, and is seeking a trial by jury.

ET has reached out to reps for Mel B for comment.

Back in March, Mel B talked with BBC about the embarrassment she felt after leaving California and traveling thousands of miles to her hometown of Leeds, so that she could move into her mom’s bungalow following her split from Belafonte.

Mel B and Stephen Belafonte attend the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London, England, on Dec. 2.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria’s Secret

Mel B has claimed numerous times that Belafonte abused her physically throughout their marriage. However, going beyond her previous statements, Mel B spoke with the BBC about what she called “financial abuse” as well.

“I wasn’t just emotionally and physically abused, there was all the financial abuse, too. I didn’t realize that I didn’t have as much money as I thought I had. So I literally had to eat humble pie, live with my mum,” she told BBC

Despite being on a sold-out tour with the Spice Girls when she decided to move home, Mel B said that she had to learn to live “frugally” in the years after their divorce — including shopping on a budget and only recently being able to afford a house by herself.

Divorce records show that the singer was ordered to pay Belafonte $350,000 as part of their settlement and $5,000 a month in child support for their daughter.

Belafonte, a film producer, has repeatedly denied her claims since she first spoke out, calling them “outrageous and unfounded.”

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