Mel B’s daughter Phoenix opens up about her “controlling” stepdad Stephen Belafonte
The Spice Girl’s daughter speaks out against her abusive ex-stepdad he had a fiercely acrimonious split from husband Stephen Belafonte last year, amid allegations of domestic violence, financial exploitation and blackmail. But Mel B’s ten-year marriage be
‘I couldn’t talk to Mum. Someone who looked like her was in her body’
years old and I’d woken up to the fact that life can just suddenly turn into a pile of crap. I’d had it so good for years. I had this amazing, funny, strong mother. I had this great family in Leeds, I had a dad who was my best friend… And then it was like someone just switched the channel to this total shit storm, The Stephen Show. He was like a kid – a bigger, sneakier kid.”
She also revealed, “He would start screaming about things like me leaving food, and go so ballistic, it was as if I’d committed a crime. I couldn’t talk to my mum — someone else who looked like her was in her body. She believed every word he said. She loved him. Maybe I had to suck it up? I didn’t want to ruin it for her.”
Remembering the time she found a gun in their LA mansion – despite Stephen being prohibited from owning a firearm due to a previous domestic violence conviction – Phoenix described how telling her grandma about the discovery led her stepdad to cut Andrea out of their lives. She added, “Every time I saw my dad, there was a drama…i never really got to see my dad again for what seemed like forever.”
As if Phoenix’s revelations weren’t enough, Andrea described events that led to her eight-year estrangement from her daughter and grandkids – the majority of the marriage. She told how Stephen hit the roof when she voiced her concerns over his behaviour.
“His words were unbelievable. ‘You f**king c***, you f**king trash whore… you will never see your grandchildren again,’” she revealed. “I’d never felt that words could be like weapons before. So many of them hitting me like bullets… By the morning, all my emails had bounced back – the email address had been erased. We got a message from Melanie’s mobile, ‘This mobile number is no longer in use.’”
At the same time that her oldest daughter and her mother spoke out in public, Mel, 43, made her own harrowing admissions in excerpts from her upcoming autobiography Brutally Honest, confessing to snorting six lines of cocaine while working as a judge on The X Factor in 2014, as a way to cope with the abuse she faced at home, and having threesomes (some of which were being filmed, unbeknown to her) to appease her controlling ex. She added that the reason she’d turned up to the finale covered in bruises was because, days earlier, she’d tried to take her own life.
In the book, Mel describes the moment she finally left her ex last year, saying, “I walked away with nothing but suitcases full of clothes, books and toys. I didn’t care. I was happy. My kids were happy. After ten years, I was free.”
For his part, Stephen denied Mel’s claims of abuse when they first split in April 2017, with his lawyers calling it “nothing more than a smear campaign”. He hasn’t publicly commented on the most recent allegations. ■
Stephen: accused of being controlling
With Stephen and her daughters Angel, Madison and Phoenix in 2015 Mel and her mum Andrea
She admitted to taking coke during her time working on The X Factor in 2014