Scary Spice: poorer thymes after minting it
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
POUND FOOLISH: Mel B has blown almost all of the R650m she made during her singing career.