Now (UK) - - COVER STORY -

De­scribed by her mum as her ‘best friend’ and ‘sis­ter’, Phoenix, 19, is Mel’s first child, with dancer Jimmy Gulzar. In a sec­tion of the book writ­ten by Phoenix her­self , she talks about her re­la­tion­ship with her step­fa­ther – Mel’s sec­ond hus­band Stephen Be­la­fonte – re­fer­ring to him as ‘bully Stephen’ and say­ing he called her ‘re­tarded and ugly’.

And Mel re­veals the teen was ‘dragged in’ by Stephen af­ter Mel’s drug and al­co­hol binges ‘to see her mother in a state’.

How­ever, Mel – who also has daugh­ters An­gel, 11, with ac­tor Ed­die Mur­phy, and Madi­son, seven, with Stephen – writes, ‘I gen­uinely be­lieved my chil­dren were pro­tected from the tox­i­c­ity of [Stephen’s and my] re­la­tion­ship.’

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