In a statement to the press On Thursday, Mel B responds to Stephen Belafonte’s drug and alcohol use accusations. The singer says that her estranged husband is trying to turn her into a victim, a role she refuses to accept.

Like many other divorces under the public eye, this one has gotten bad quickly.

Melanie Brown, who became famous under the name Mel B., as part of the girl band Spice Girls, married filmmaker Stephen Belafonte in secret, on June 6, 2007. Their ceremony was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their marriage turned sour ten years later and the 42-year-old singer split from Belafonte in December 2016. In March of this year, Brown filed for divorce.

From then on, accusations from both sides started blowing. While Melanie Brown accused Stephen Belafonte of being emotionally and physically abusive, the 42-year-old movie maker denied her claims and said she was overspending throughout their marriage and abused alcohol and drugs.

In response to his accusations, Mel B. has told the media, yesterday, that she has “remained silent” since filing for divorce for the sake of her children. “I refuse to be a victim any longer and trust the legal process to show the truth”, she told ET.

Mel B: “I refuse to be a victim any longer and trust the legal process to show the truth”.
Photo: Getty Images / David Livingston

Belafonte has recently filed court papers for visitation with his stepdaughter, Angel, 10. In the court papers, it is stated that Angel has called Belafonte dad since the beginning and that her biological father, actor Eddie Murphy, has seen the child only twice. “Angel has called Respondent ‘dad’ since Angel began to speak”, states in the papers.

Belafonte says that he and Brown initially had agreed upon a visitation schedule that involved both Angel and his biological daughter, Madison, 6. They also had an intermediary, Dr. Charles Sophy, who was also the family therapist. According to him, Brown abruptly cancelled their schedule and Belafonte was not allowed to see the daughters.

In the court papers, filed on September 1, Belafonte mentions that he was worried for the safety of the children, mentioning for the first time his estranged wife’s substance abuse: “The biggest reason for my concern with respect to the safety of the children was due to Petitioner’s habitual and consistent addiction to and abuse of cocaine and alcohol”. He also mentions that concerns were amplified when Brown fired the nanny, who has been in the family since 2010. “Petitioner’s drinking and drug abuse had been a major issue throughout our marriage, and was witnessed by the nanny, the children, and her own therapist, Dr. Sophy”, he added.