Published On: Fri, May 14th, 2021

Mel B hints she has found love again with mystery new man after divorce from ‘abusive’ ex

Mel B has hinted she has found love again, four years after filing for divorce from her ‘abusive’ ex-husband Stephen Belafonte. 

The Spice Girls’ star, 45, kept coy about the identity of her mystery new man but said he is ‘different to anyone I’ve ever been in a relationship with before’. 

Mel said she was unsure if she could be in a relationship again due to her ‘traumatic’ decade-long marriage to Stephen, who has denied accusations of abuse. 

Love life: Mel B has hinted she has found love again, four years after filing for divorce from her ‘abusive’ ex-husband Stephen Belafonte

The singer told The Sun: ‘I honestly thought being in a romantic ­relationship again would be impossible because you get overloaded with past experiences.

‘Because I’m riddled with so many trauma triggers, I couldn’t be hugged or touched for a good year. But there is a way out of it. 

‘It takes somebody who’s very kind, understanding and patient to help you out of that unwanted cycle you fear going back into. You can have a loving, caring relationship. 

Over: Mel said she was unsure if she could be in a relationship again due to her 'traumatic' decade-long marriage to Stephen, who has denied accusations of abuse (pictured in 2016)

Over: Mel said she was unsure if she could be in a relationship again due to her ‘traumatic’ decade-long marriage to Stephen, who has denied accusations of abuse (pictured in 2016)

Mel said it was important to build the foundation of trust that ‘had been shattered’ and for the other person to understand how ‘sensitive the barriers are’.   

It comes as the Spice Girl appeared beaten and covered in fake bruises for a shocking music video to highlight the effects of domestic violence.

Mel could be seen attempting to flee her violent partner in the Women’s Aid video, which was made in collaboration with classical composer Fabio D’Andrea.

The singer also claimed she attempted to leave her marriage to Stephen for a decade but found it to be an ‘impossible’ situation. 

Hard-hitting: t comes as the Spice Girl appeared beaten and covered in fake bruises for a shocking music video to highlight the effects of domestic violence

Hard-hitting: t comes as the Spice Girl appeared beaten and covered in fake bruises for a shocking music video to highlight the effects of domestic violence

In the video, Mel wore make-up to mimic a bloodied face and bruises as she is dragged across the room and beaten by her partner.

While the video shows that the couple’s relationship is the picture of happiness to those around them, behind closed doors she is left terrified by her partner’s violent behaviour.

The clip ends with a bloodied Mel dramatically fleeing her house after her partner leaves, desperate to escape his abusive behaviour.

Shocking: The former Spice Girl can be seen attempting to flee her violent partner in the Women's Aid video, which was made in collaboration with classical composer Fabio D'Andrea

Shocking: The former Spice Girl can be seen attempting to flee her violent partner in the Women’s Aid video, which was made in collaboration with classical composer Fabio D’Andrea

Brutal: In the video, Mel can be seen wearing makeup to mimic a bloodied face and bruises as she is dragged across the room and beaten by her partner

Brutal: In the video, Mel can be seen wearing makeup to mimic a bloodied face and bruises as she is dragged across the room and beaten by her partner

Scared: She is visibly terrified of her male partner as he pushes her against the wall and attempts to strangle her

Scared: She is visibly terrified of her male partner as he pushes her against the wall and attempts to strangle her

Hidden image: The video shows how Mel's relationship can seem picture perfect to those around her, but behind closed doors it's a different story

Hidden image: The video shows how Mel’s relationship can seem picture perfect to those around her, but behind closed doors it’s a different story

Alternative sight: The video shows the couple dancing together, alluding to the image of their 'happy' relationship

Alternative sight: The video shows the couple dancing together, alluding to the image of their ‘happy’ relationship

Terrified: As well as trying to cover her bruises, Mel is watched and secretly filmed by her partner in the video, who attempts to silence her

Terrified: As well as trying to cover her bruises, Mel is watched and secretly filmed by her partner in the video, who attempts to silence her

Speaking to The Sun following the video’s release, Mel, who is now a patron for Women’s Aid, explained: ‘Whether it be the spitting or the strangulation, these are things that actually happen. They are all these women’s stories.

‘I came out of making that video with bruises because I wanted it to be an honest representation of what we have all gone through.

‘There is a bedroom scene where I am attacked, it was really important to make that real.’

Run! As her partner leaves the house, a bruised Mel can be seen trying to flee the house

Important: Since her divorce Mel has been a patron for Women's Aid

Run! As her partner leaves the house, a bruised Mel can be seen trying to flee the house and escape her abusive ordeal

Violent: Speaking about the video, Mel said: 'I came out of making that video with bruises because I wanted it to be an honest representation of what we have all gone through'

Violent: Speaking about the video, Mel said: ‘I came out of making that video with bruises because I wanted it to be an honest representation of what we have all gone through’

Hard-hitting: The video is part of a series by D'Andrea that has also included actor Russell Tovey highlighting issues around fame and mental health

Hard-hitting: The video is part of a series by D’Andrea that has also included actor Russell Tovey highlighting issues around fame and mental health

The singer also welcomed the introduction of The Domestic Abuse Bill into law, with the new Act setting out the definition as being beyond just physical violence, and including coercive control and emotional and sexual abuse.

However Mel also detailed that despite divorcing Stephen, she is still embroiled in a custody arrangement meaning she cannot see her daughter Madison for weeks on end.

Since leaving her ex, Mel has settled into a new life in Leeds with her mum Andrea and has vowed to teach her daughters how to maintain a good relationship, including a ban on yelling in her house. 

Important: Mel looked unrecognisable with a face covered in bloody cuts and bruises for her appearing in the video

Important: Mel looked unrecognisable with a face covered in bloody cuts and bruises for her appearing in the video

Scary: She said: 'It seems strange to say I am proud of showing something so brutal and disturbing but it is my mission to raise awareness of something so many women go through'

Scary: She said: ‘It seems strange to say I am proud of showing something so brutal and disturbing but it is my mission to raise awareness of something so many women go through’

Progress: In a new interview following the video's release, Mel welcomed the introduction of The Domestic Abuse Bill into law

Progress: In a new interview following the video’s release, Mel welcomed the introduction of The Domestic Abuse Bill into law

Speaking further about the short film, Mel said: ‘I’m so incredibly proud to be part of this project which means so much to me because this is a collaboration of three things that are so important in my life. Music, dance and a way to highlight the ever increasing issue of violence towards women.

‘It seems strange to say I am proud of showing something so brutal and disturbing but it is my mission to raise awareness of something so many women go through every day, every week, every month of their lives.

Powerful: Since leaving her ex, Mel has settled into a new life in Leeds with her mum Andrea and has vowed to teach her daughters how to maintain a good relationship

Powerful: Since leaving her ex, Mel has settled into a new life in Leeds with her mum Andrea and has vowed to teach her daughters how to maintain a good relationship

Performance: Mel added: 'I want this to count for all victims of abuse. I want to help raise awareness, raise money and do anything I can to put a stop to this epidemic'

Performance: Mel added: ‘I want this to count for all victims of abuse. I want to help raise awareness, raise money and do anything I can to put a stop to this epidemic’

‘I have had my own experiences of abusive relationships but as patron of Women’s Aid I have spoken to so many other women, listened to what they have gone through and I know how very real the danger is to so many women out there and I’m not going to stop breaking the silence and the shame around this subject because it’s too much and we have to stand up and do something.

‘This performance represents the stories and the experiences of those women I have met, spoken to or heard about.

‘My heart breaks for every single woman and child who suffers from some form of domestic abuse. I want this to count for all victims of abuse. I want to help raise awareness, raise money and do anything I can to put a stop to this epidemic.’

The video is part of a series by D’Andrea that has also included actor Russell Tovey highlighting issues around fame and mental health.

D’Andrea said: ‘So much can be communicated via the arts that cannot be in other ways. We all hope this video can connect with as many people as possible.

‘Domestic violence exists in every section of society but we rarely hear about it. This music and this video aims to change that.

‘This video performance represents the stories and the experiences of many, many women. It is very real, very raw.’

Relationship: It came as Mel also claimed she tried to leave her marriage for 10 years, after accusing ex-husband Stephen of 'emotional and physical abuse,' which he denies

Relationship: It came as Mel also claimed she tried to leave her marriage for 10 years, after accusing ex-husband Stephen of ’emotional and physical abuse,’ which he denies

Teresa Parker, head of communications for Women’s Aid, said: ‘Specialist services, such as those run by Women’s Aid nationally and the local services run by our members all around the country, truly help to save lives.

‘We are asking everyone to share this important video, to help us raise awareness, and if you can consider donating to Women’s Aid or your local domestic abuse service to make sure that women fleeing abuse, like the woman that Melanie is playing in the video, are able to access the help and support that they urgently need.’

It came as Mel also claimed she tried to leave her marriage for 10 years, after accusing ex-husband Stephen of ’emotional and physical abuse.’

In an interview for ITV News, the singer explained she attempted to leave her relationship multiple times, but kept going back to him.

She said: ‘I was married for 10 years and I did find the strength to leave, but then I ended up going back… it was just an impossible situation for me.’

‘When you are in that kind of relationship, it literally feels impossible to get out because you’re isolated.

‘Some women don’t have access to their phones, even their finances. Like in my situation, you are completely cut off from a regular normal world. What becomes your normality is living in an abusive relationship with no way out, but there is help.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Stephen Belafonte for further comment. 

Mel previously claimed that much of her abuse was recorded, as well as herself and Stephen having sex, which he claimed was consensual.

Tough: Speaking to ITV News she said: ‘Some women don’t have access to their phones, even their finances. Like in my situation, you are completely cut off from a regular normal world’

The former couple divorced in 2017, with Mel revealing last year that she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, which can lead to flashbacks.

The singer told how she once woke up from a nightmare convinced that her ex had tried to chop off her finger.

Mel said she didn’t realise how traumatised she was until after the release of her book Brutally Honest when she struggled to speak about the alleged abuse during interviews.

She said: ‘I didn’t even realise for so many years that I was in a ­coercive relationship. It was only through doing my book that I began to fully understand the situation I had been living in for ten years. And I know I’m not the only one like that.’

Mel said she knows domestic abuse is something millions of women around the world experience and she knows she will help others by speaking out. 

She and Stephen divorced the following year and spent months battling it out in a nasty court fight before finally reaching a settlement in August 2018 which involved the abuse charges being dropped.

In 2017, Stephen denied Mel’s allegations of abuse in a statement, telling TMZ: ‘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.

‘When the Court determines the truth, it will become clear that this entire charade was nothing more than a smear campaign intended to cover up Ms. Brown’s own conduct during the marriage in light of her current involvement with a family television show, and in an effort to unfairly gain leverage both financially and with respect to custody of the children.’

‘When the degree to which Ms. Brown has gone to create a false depiction of her marriage to Mr. Belafonte is uncovered, real victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse will be understandably offended, angry and upset.’

‘Mr. Belafonte is confident that the truth will come out when he has his day in court at which time he looks forward to being reunited with his children.’

Mel previously said she’s been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder since her marriage broke down in 2016. 

If you have been affected by this story, contact Women’s Aid at www.womensaid.org.uk.

Issues: The estranged former couple currently share joint custody of Madison following their acrimonious divorce in late 2017 (Pictured in August 2016)

Issues: The estranged former couple currently share joint custody of Madison following their acrimonious divorce in late 2017 (Pictured in August 2016)

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