Mel B Files Restraining Order Against Estranged Husband Stephen Belafonte, Alleges Physical and Sexual Abuse
By Antoinette Bueno
Mel B was granted a temporary restraining order against her estranged husband, Stephen Belafonte, on Monday, after alleging that Belafonte beat and threatened her throughout their nearly 10-year marriage.
In court papers obtained by ET, the 41-year-old America's Got Talent judge describes the alleged abuse she's suffered, which she claims started almost immediately after the two married in 2007 following a two-month courtship. Mel B, whose real name is Melanie Brown, claims that she tried to leave her husband multiple times before the two separated in December, but that he threatened her with violence and said he would "destroy" her life in "every possible way."
"I desperately wanted to leave the relationship and tried to do so during our first year of marriage and every year thereafter," Brown alleges in the court papers. "When I threatened to leave, [he] informed me he has videos of our sex life and other private moments. [He] would threaten that if I left, he would release the videos to the tabloids. I have lived the past decade in fear that [he] would release intimate videos of me that would embarrass me and damage my reputation and my career."
"[He] often times demanded that I participate in sexual intercourse with him and random women that he brought back to our hotel rooms," she also alleges. "If I objected to participating, he would threaten to release compromising videos of me. He would often times surreptitiously videotape these encounters, and, if I discovered the recordings, would beg him to delete them."
ET has reached out to both Brown and 41-year-old Belafonte for a statement, but has not heard from them at the time of this posting. In a TMZ video on Monday, Belafonte said he "hadn't heard" Brown's allegations and said that he was "shocked" by them.
In the court papers, Brown claims the physical violence in their relationship began in November 2007, when he allegedly choked her after her Dancing With the Stars finale.
"Later, I would come to realize that [his] beatings and abuse would coincide with my career success," she claims. "When something good would happen to me, he would beat me down to let me know that he was in charge."
In July 2012, she claims Belafonte flew into a rage after accusing her of flirting with singer Usher while the two taped a segment for X Factor together. She claims that Belafonte punched her with a closed fist in the face, causing her lip to split and then swell. In another alleged incident, she claims Belafonte punched her in the face in Prague, a day after she reunited with the Spice Girls at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. She alleges that he then forced her to tweet that she was injured from running in seven-inch Christian Louboutin shoes, after media had snapped photos of her injured face.
In the court papers, Brown also claims Belafonte got their younger nanny pregnant -- and that he told her he wanted to have the baby and "all three of us live together" -- before ultimately demanding the nanny get an abortion. She also says Belafonte paid the nanny in excess of $300,000 of her money for "alleged nanny services."
In another allegation, Brown claims Belafonte blocked her from getting help after she took an entire bottle of aspirin in a "moment of emotional and physical exhaustion."
"He threw me in the bedroom (without a phone) and locked the door, telling me to 'Die Bit**,'" she claims.
Brown says she eventually got help a day later -- after he allegedly blocked her multiple attempts to leave -- when her driver took her to the hospital instead of to work.
In her request for a temporary restraining order, the singer says she is in "fear of her safety" and that of her children. Brown and Belafonte have one daughter together, 5-year-old Madison, and Brown has two other children from previous relationships -- daughters Angel and Phoenix.
In addition to granting the restraining order, a judge ordered Belafonte to leave the family home in the Hollywood Hills. ET has learned that Brown listed the home that she lived in with Belafonte two days after filing for divorce from him.
It's been a tough year for Brown, whose father, Martin Brown, died last month after a five-year battle with multiple myeloma cancer.
"Thank you for everyone's kind gestures and words of support, it really does mean a lot," Brown Instagrammed at the time.