Scary Spice: poorer thymes af­ter mint­ing it

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ALI­SON BOSHOFF

AF­TER tast­ing global success with the Spice Girls, you might think Mel B was fi­nan­cially set for life.

But the for­mer Scary Spice told a court in Los An­ge­les last week that she has blown the en­tire £38 mil­lion (R650m) she made dur­ing her ca­reer. One com­pany is down to its last £961. She is, it ap­pears, broke.

At a hear­ing – part of her di­vorce from Stephen Be­la­fonte – her lawyer, Ja­ca­lyn Davis, agreed her money prob­lems were “sus­tained through im­prov­i­dent life­style choices”, adding: “They never had money at the end of the year to pay their taxes.

“All their com­mu­nity in­come was be­ing spent and then some. In this mar­riage, that would be Miss Brown’s in­come from the Spice Girls.”

Be­la­fonte is ask­ing for spousal sup­port and money for his le­gal fees – a to­tal of £90 000 – as he has no in­come.

Mel B re­port­edly earns about £190 000 a month by be­ing a judge on Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent. But the ques­tion is, how did Scary Spice go bust?

The an­swer, at least in part, must lie in the “spend, spend, spend” life­style en­joyed over the past decade by the 42-year-old and Be­la­fonte, her sec­ond hus­band.

Their lux­ury pur­chases in­cluded an ar­moured car cost­ing £200 000. They have trav­elled on hol­i­day on pri­vate jets, rent­ing villas with a but­ler.

Her jew­ellery col­lec­tion in­cludes huge di­a­mond rings, she owns enough de­signer hand­bags to stock a bou­tique – and let’s not for­get her lav­ish birth­day gifts for Be­la­fonte, which in­cluded a pri­vate is­land and a sur­prise party she threw for him fea­tur­ing fire-eaters and elephants.

Be­la­fonte is keen that Mel sells the mar­i­tal home in Los An­ge­les to fund their split. It is on the mar­ket for £6m.

The first sig­nif­i­cant nib­ble into her earn­ings came when her two-year mar­riage to dancer Jimmy Gulzar col­lapsed in 2000. The di­vorce cost a re­ported £1.6m in al­imony.

Be­la­fonte has asked for £3 263 a month for gro­ceries, £1 520 a month for clothes, £8 350 to cover his rent and £570 to cover his cell­phone bill. Mel B has de­clined.

In­stead, she claims Be­la­fonte owes her £800 000 in money taken with­out her per­mis­sion dur­ing the mar­riage.

As far as her UK com­pa­nies are con­cerned, one firm, Moneyspi­der Pro­duc­tions, which was set up to re­ceive in­come from her (failed) solo record­ing ca­reer, has only £961.

Mel is a direc­tor of Spice Girls Ltd and Oc­to­pus Di­rect. She owns 20% of Spice Girls, which as of Au­gust 31 last year held £109 987. She owns 16% of Oc­to­pus Di­rect, which held £10 549 on Au­gust 31 last year. – Daily Mail

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

POUND FOOL­ISH: Mel B has blown al­most all of the R650m she made dur­ing her singing ca­reer.

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