Fans of the show “America’s Got Talent” across Texas have likely already heard about the messy divorce of former Spice Girl and current talent judge, Mel B (nee Melanie Brown) to Stephen Belafonte. The Los Angeles Times reports that Brown filed for divorce on March 23, 2016 and shortly after requested a restraining order due to allegations of domestic violence. The details of her divorce have been making headlines in the news due to salacious details including blackmail with sex tapes, an alleged explicit affair with the couple’s nanny, and the fact that there has been speculation for some time amongst Brown’s fans of an abusive relationship.
Belafonte has a previous conviction for domestic violence from 2003, and a temporary restraining order has been granted to Brown, which prevents him from threats or any contact. Brown alleges that she suffered multiple physical beatings at the hands of Belafonte, but that she could not leave him because he threatened to ruin her career with sex tapes he made without her consent.
Since Belafonte is the dependant spouse in the relationship, these allegations of abuse can have significant financial implications in the divorce. Often a divorce in a high-earning couple can come with substantial spousal support, in the range of 25 percent of Brown’s income, but domestic violence accusations could have an impact on that number.
The couple have a five year-old daughter together, and the Telegraph reports that although the restraining order has been extended, Belafonte is able to have supervised visits with his daughter twice a week. However, the judge did not grant visitation rights to Belafonte to see his step-daughter who lived with the couple and whose biological father is Eddie Murphy.