"Yes, she has some issues she’s working on, but it’s emotional issues stemming from everything she’s been through with her divorce," Melanie "Mel B" Brown's friend says of the Spice Girl's decision to seek treatment

By Emily Zauzmer and Janine Rubenstein
August 27, 2018 04:15 PM
Credit: Celebrity Monitor/Splash News Online

Days after news broke that Melanie “Mel B” Brown is heading to rehab for PTSD and other issues, the singer’s best friend tells PEOPLE that reports that she is seeking help for alcohol and sex addiction are “all lies.”

Over the weekend, Brown told The Sun that she is planning to seek treatment, with her friend Rusty Updegraff telling the outlet that she is “sex-crazed” (sleeping with as many as three men in a day) and abusing alcohol. However, her pal Gary Madatyan tells PEOPLE that the former Spice Girl is doing “fine.”

“Yes, she has some issues she’s working on, but it’s emotional issues stemming from everything she’s been through with her divorce. It’s not drugs or sex addiction at all,” Madatyan says, adding that Brown “is not a sex-addicted person.”

In her statement to The Sun, the 43-year-old singer said she is “fully aware I have been at a crisis point. No one knows myself better than I do, but I am dealing with it. I have made the decision to go into a proper therapy program in the next few weeks, but it has to be in the UK because I am very, very British and I know that will work best for me.”

According to Madatyan, “She’s in therapy just like any woman who’s been through the kind of marriage and divorce she has. But she’s fine, and she’s working through things. She’s a great mother and a great friend. She just has PTSD. She’s been in treatment for it for the past 4 to 5 weeks.”

Brown recently settled her ugly divorce with Stephen Belafonte, 43, and all abuse allegations she made against her estranged husband were reportedly dropped. In June, she was granted a temporary restraining order against Belafonte, with whom she shares daughter Madison.

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Speaking to The Sun, Brown claimed that writing her memoir, Brutally Honest, contributed to her problems. “It has been unbelievably traumatic reliving an emotionally abusive relationship and confronting so many massive issues in my life,” she explained.

She added, “I am being very honest about drinking to numb my pain, but that is just a way a lot of people mask what is really going on.”

Madatyan has no doubt that his friend will persevere. “Yes, she has some stress, but she’s getting help and she’s a fighter — she’s Scary Spice.”