Mel B’s Case Shows That Domestic Violence Can Happen To Any Woman

by Laura McMahon

Mel B – aka Scary Spice – has released a number of disturbing and shocking claims in legal documents filed against her husband, Stephen Belafonte.

After just 5 months of dating, the couple married in 2007. However, this week, Mel B. revealed the extent of Belafonte’s domestic violence in court filings. She writes, “At the time, I was vulnerable. I was giving birth as a single mother, my self-esteem was very low, and my hormones were out of balance due to the pregnancy.’

The documents say that Belafonte blackmailed her and brutally beat her “to remind her who was in charge,’ and continued to do so on and off throughout their ten-year marriage.

In 2012, he reportedly flew into a jealous and violent rage upon finding that Mel was to record a segment with Usher for the X Factor, leaving the pop star visibly beaten and bruised with a busted lip. When she questioned how she could work with the injuries, he told her she shouldn’t have decided to “flirt and f**k with Usher.”

The documents also say that in August of the same year, the day after performing at the London Olympics, he punched her with a closed fist and pulled her across the carpet. Mel B. writes that her face ‘actually scabbed over the rug burns,’ after which he forced her to tweet that she had fallen in heels. Other photos, both on social media and the red carpet, show Mel B. with other bruises. 

Mel B Twitter

In addition to the physical violence that Mel B reported, she states that Belafonte impregnated the nanny of their children and then forced her to get an abortion.

She says throughout the years, her husband would verbally abuse and intimidate her agents and co-stars, and they complained to her he was ‘abusive and demanding,’ and he was harmfully affecting her business but authorities were never notified.

The Daily Beast notes that Belafonte was previously convicted of domestic violence against a former girlfriend in 2003, and that, before that, there were ‘rumblings of emotional abuse’ against his first wife.

Belafonte has denied the accusations.

These horrifying allegations are a startling reminder that anyone can be exposed to emotional or physical abuse in a relationship, even wealthy, famous women. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. 

You can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Photos via Wikimedia Commons and Twitter

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