After separating from her husband of more than ten years, former Spice Girl Mel B says she was emotionally and physically abused throughout her marriage.
According to TMZ, the 41-year-old performer got a restraining order Monday against her husband Stephen Belefonte, whom she says would beat her in front of her three children. He was forced to leave their family home that day.
“At the time, I was vulnerable,” she says when explaining why the two married in the first place. “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.”
She went on to say that Belefonte initially helped her in “every way,” but things changed dramatically after they married, with him often telling her that she was “worthless, that he made me ‘who I am,’ that no one knows how really stupid I am.”
According to TMZ, the abuse went even further when he started to film their sexual encounters, claiming that he would release the recordings, ruin her career and send them to Children’s Services in an attempt to have her children taken away. In fear that he would release the tapes, Mel B was also forced to “participate in sexual intercourse with him and random women.”
Later, she tried to leave him after he got their nanny pregnant. When he brought the news to his wife, he allegedly requested that they all just live together. When she refused and tried to leave, he threatened that the nanny would leak damaging stories to the media and Children’s Services. Nervous, she let the nanny continue to work for them and stayed with Belefonte. The nanny got an abortion at Belefonte’s request and was paid $300,000 “for alleged nanny services.”
She finally decided to file for divorce in December when her father was dying. Instead of being sympathetic, Belefonte allegedly told her to “Suck it up,” adding, “If he’s going to die, he’s going to die.”
Belefonte told TMZ he questions the motives behind her accusations.