According to new reports, Melanie "Mel B" Brown's divorce from her husband of almost ten years, Stephen Belafonte, has taken a serious turn. TMZ reported on Tuesday that the Spice Girls star has obtained a restraining order against her estranged husband after claiming she was subjected to years of abuse and blackmail. TMZ has detailed Brown's abuse claims at length. Brown filed for divorce in March 2017, having separated from Belafonte in December 2016, according to legal documents obtained by People.
UPDATE: Belafonte's lawyers released a statement to E! News denying Brown's claims. It reads in part: "What matters most to Mr. Belafonte is the safety and well-being of his daughters and step-daughters. It's a shame that Ms. Brown elected not to proceed in a respectful and amicable fashion in this very private matter. In due course, Mr. Belafonte will be filing his response to the outrageous and unfounded allegations made by Ms. Brown, which allegations he vehemently denies." The full statement can be read at E! News.
EARLIER: TMZ reports that in her restraining order filing against Belafonte, Brown alleged that her husband would "beat me down to let me know he was in charge." According to the report, Brown claims that whenever the internationally acclaimed singer would achieve an important accolade in her career, her husband would allegedly lash out against her. TMZ also reports that Brown alleges blackmail and claims that Belafonte has sex tapes featuring his former wife, which he has allegedly threatened to expose. As well as the alleged physical abuse, Brown alleges emotional abuse and sexual coercion as reasons for requiring a restraining order against Belafonte.
According to TMZ, in Brown's petition for a restraining order, which the site obtained, the singer stated that she tried to leave Belafonte many times before, but that he allegedly "threatened [her with violence" and allegedly said he would destroy her career and take her children away from her.
TMZ asked Belafonte about the allegations on camera, and he said that the allegations against him are untrue. As The Huffington Post points out, Belafonte previously denied abusing Brown after fans began raising questions about bruises seen on the singer. In 2014, he tweeted, "I don't usually respond to Twitter msgs but I will respond to comments of hitting my wife which I think are quite disgusting un true!"
Bustle has reached out to Brown's lawyer for any additional comment.