Still Scary af­ter all these years

For­mer Spice Girl Melanie Brown has her own re­al­ity TV show

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

THEY don’t shoot much straighter than Melanie Brown. It’s why Brown, worl­drenowned as the Spice Girls’ ‘‘ Scary Spice’’, de­cided to film her own re­al­ity show.

‘‘ So much in­cor­rect in­for­ma­tion and gos­sip is printed about you when you are a celebrity, this is one way to sort of set the record straight,’’ Brown says.

‘‘ I am a straight shooter, and what you see on the show is how we re­ally are at my house. I wanted to be re­ally hon­est with view­ers, oth­er­wise what is the point?’’

Brown’s home life has had more than its share of drama.

She made head­lines when a ro­mance with co­me­dian Ed­die Mur­phy went pear-shaped and he de­nied the pa­ter­nity of their child, An­gel.

This year has seen ru­mours in the UK press about mar­riage turmoil with hus­band, mu­sic pro­ducer Stephen Be­la­fonte, 35, whom she mar­ried just months af­ter An­gel’s birth in 2007.

‘‘ Stephen and I were best friends for eight years be­fore we even en­ter­tained some­thing more, you know?’’ Brown says.

‘‘ One night af­ter din­ner, he moved in for a kiss and I was taken to­tally by sur­prise. We took some time to con­sider the next steps and then ev­ery­thing just sort of hap­pened nat­u­rally.

‘‘ He does my head in some­times, but I love him to bits. ’’

Brown and Be­la­fonte share a $3 mil­lion man­sion in Cal­i­for­nia’s San Fer­nando Val­ley with An­gel, Phoenix (Brown’s daugh­ter by ex-hus­band Jimmy Gulzar) and Giselle (Be­la­fonte’s daugh­ter Ni­cole Con­tr­eras).

Is it hard hav­ing kids from dif­fer­ent exes un­der the one roof?

‘‘ It is not an is­sue here,’’ she says. ‘‘ They all live by the same rules and they all get the same love and sup­port. Phoenix has known Stephen since three years of age, so it was not a huge tran­si­tion when Stephen and I mar­ried.

‘‘ I be­lieve in to­tal free­dom of ex­pres­sion (for the chil­dren). But first you get your ed­u­ca­tion. That means my kids do their school­work first, play sec­ond.’’

Brown was part of Spice Girls, the world’s biggest pop group, for six years.

She fol­lowed up with a run­ner-up role on the US ver­sion of Danc­ing with the Stars, re­leased a fit­ness video, wrote an au­to­bi­og­ra­phy and acted in a UK soap and the­atri­cal pro­duc­tions on Broad­way and in Las Ve­gas.

She di­vides her time be­tween the UK and the US.

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‘‘ I came here (US) six years ago on hol­i­day and loved the place — the en­ergy, the weather,’’ she says.

So apart from her re­al­ity se­ries, Mel B: It’s a Scary World, what’s next for Brown?

‘‘ I have an al­bum com­ing out in 2011.

‘‘ I am work­ing on a cloth­ing line and I’ll get that next book started soon.’’

And she’s also open to an­other Spice Girls tour. ‘‘ Sure, I love the girls,’’ she says. ‘‘ I love to work and I love the money, honey! Se­ri­ously, the Spice Girls are a big part of my life and I am grate­ful for that ex­pe­ri­ence. If peo­ple want more and we are able to pull it to­gether, you can count me in.’’ Mel B: It’s a Scary World, The Style Net­work, Tues­day,

8.30pm

Re­al­ity: Melanie Brown is happy liv­ing in Los An­ge­les.

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