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Mel B details the abusive tactics her "monster" ex husband allegedly used against her.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, support is available. Please call 1800 RESPECT to speak to a trained counsellor.

In the 1990s, Mel B achieved monumental worldwide fame with her girl band alter ego, Scary Spice. To millions around the world, she was – is – the fierce, high-kicking Brit, loud and proud, clad in a uniform of platform boots and leopard print.

And while two decades on that holds true for the star’s public persona, privately, she’s endured ten years tinged with fear. Ten years being the scared one.

After her decade-long marriage to Stephen Belafonte ended in 2017, the singer turned X Factor judge went public with allegations that the film producer/director had subjected her to sustained abuse, including “multiple physical beatings”.

Speaking to British podcast, If I Can Do It, Mel B said with distance she can fully recognise the emotionally abusive behaviours he used to keep her trapped in their relationship. Behaviours, she claims, that included isolation, manipulation, blackmail and even addiction – her public struggles with cocaine and alcohol, she said, were enabled by him.

“I was given the drugs and the booze by my abuser… that’s another form of controlling. They keep you in a dazed and confused mental state, so they can carry on abusing you,” she said.

“In my situation, he took pictures and videos – stuff that I can’t even remember – then he would hold that against me. Like, ‘If you walk out that door, if you leave me, [remember] last night I [took pictures of] you, last night I took a video of you.'”

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Mel B also alleged that “the monster”, as she calls him, cut her off from family and friends. That he’d call and verbally abuse her mother. He’d hide her phone in the fridge, and then make her think she’d put it there, that she was hopeless and lost without him.

“You feel like you’re going absolutely bonkers, and you’re not,” she said. “It’s just them being able to manipulate and do really radical, weird things, and you’re constantly trying to just please them. It’s just so bad, and it gets into a thing where you feel so empty, so lost.”

So much so that she attempted to take her own life in 2014.

Though Belafonte has repeatedly denied Mel B’s abuse claims and has never been convicted in relation to them, he was subjected to a restraining order.

In an interview with The Kyle and Jackie O Show in December, Belafonte accused Mel B of inventing the allegations to cover up her substance abuse.

“I went the court direction, I shut my mouth for two years. Melanie battled me out and won on social media, but I won every time we went to court,” he said. “I have 85 per cent custody of my daughter right now.”

The denials, Mel B claims, are just an extension of his manipulative, gaslighting behaviour. And so she continues to speak out, for herself and other women without her platform. She has released a tell-all book, and has given several interviews detailing what went on behind closed doors and in the months since.

Though the costly divorce has eaten through most of her fortune, she says she is now focused on providing a stable life for her three girls; Phoenix, 19, Angel, 11, and seven-year-old Madison.

“You deal with everything life throws at you, good and bad, fair and unfair, and you try to be as happy and positive as you can,” she told Hello! magazine in December.

The Spice Girls (minus Victoria Beckham) will be embarking on a British reunion tour in June.

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