Mel B Never Told Her Father About Sex Tapes — Even on His Deathbed: 'I Couldn't Do That to Him'
Melanie “Mel B” Brown is turning her troubled life below the surface of her beauty and success into an open book — literally — starting with her abusive relationship and the impact it had on her relationship with her late father, Martin.
To promote the launch of her new memoir, Brutally Honest, the Spice Girls alum, 43, shared in an interview with British talk show Loose Women Monday that the death of her dad prompted her to get out of her allegedly abusive 10-year marriage to film producer Stephen Belafonte. She discussed the issue to raise awareness about the crippling nature of domestic violence — emotional and physical.
“I’m one of the lucky ones,” the America’s Got Talent judge began. “It took the passing of my father to give me the strength to go, ‘Okay, my dad’s now dead, and now I have to have the strength to carry on in a positive way and stop living in this lie and pretending nothing’s happening and it’s all a facade.’ I wanted for it to just stop. I wanted to have one night where I could just go to sleep peacefully and safely.”
She then explained some of the emotional torment behind her situation: “When you’ve given your power to somebody and they just really badly abuse it — and your trust and your honesty and respect — that takes so long to gain that confidence back.”
Stephen Belafonte, Melanie Brown, Martin Brown
Then after one of the hosts asked her specifically about Belafonte’s threats that he’d release sex tapes of her, Brown admitted that she was worried her dad would find out about them before he died.
“He was already suffering with a really bad illness … my dad was going to die,” the pop star said of her father, who was fighting multiple myeloma. “In the few years left that he had, I could not do that to him — these tapes, the knowledge of what happened in my marriage … in my mind, it was going to speed up his illness, and I couldn’t do that to him.”
Brown then explained that she eventually decided to confide in him about the future of her marriage, and she couldn’t have been happier afterward.
“I whispered in his ear … ‘When you take your last breath, I’m going to go and divorce a monster,’ and then he looked at me and took his last breath,” she recalled. “I knew that I had to land and go straight to work [at America’s Got Talent] from the plane … When I landed, I was so happy.”
Then, her fellow judge Simon Cowell asked her about her elation, and she says she responded, ” ‘My dad’s in a better place with no more pain, and I know what I’m coming home to because I’m going to divorce this guy, and that’s it.’ I set the wheels in motion, I got a restraining order, it’ll be two years in December that I’ve not been with that person.”
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Brown then added at that despite Belafonte’s denials of the abuse allegations, her book is not just a “he-said-she-said.” She explained, “I have testimonies from friends and family that witnessed his behavior.”
According to The Daily Mail, Scary Spice also dove into the incident in Brutally Honest.
“I told him I was leaving Stephen and I felt his hand tighten slightly in mine,” she wrote, according to the outlet. “I leaned over him. ‘Dad. You’ve had your hair cut and a shave. You’ve got a fresh shirt on. We have prayed. We are ready. You are ready. But I can’t start my divorce until you die.’ … His eyes opened for a second, we looked at each other, and there was a moment in which I felt every ounce of pain that had ever passed between us disappear. Then he took one last, very slow breath. ‘He’s gone,’ I announced to the room.”
In the interview with Loose Women, Mel B also went on to discuss her recovery process from the abuse and why she decided to go public with her story.
“I fundamentally do really love myself, and I like myself most importantly now,” she mused. “I had no choice because there were so many salacious headlines about me out there. For two years, I’d kept very, very silent … [But] if I can help one person in a similar situation to what I’ve been in, then job well done.”
Also in her book, Mel B revealed another dark moment in her life — when she attempted to die by suicide. In an excerpt published by U.K. outlet The Sun, she recounted swallowing 200 aspirin pills, which she’d been stockpiling for years, on Dec. 11, 2014, after returning from dinner with her then-husband.
The X Factor judge wrote that although at the time her life looked glamorous, she “felt emotionally battered.”
“I felt ugly and detested by the man who once promised to love and protect me, my husband and manager Stephen,” she explained. “A man who after 10 years of marriage now had a library of sex tapes that could — as we both well knew — ruin my career and destroy my family.”
However, after swallowing the last pill, Brown knew that she had made a mistake, according to The Sun excerpt.
“Suicide was not the answer. I had to make my life count. I had to get to a hospital,” she wrote, according to The Sun, adding that though her memories from this time are hazy, she remembers “throwing” herself at a jammed door, which left her with visible bruises on her face and shoulder. She recalled that those marks were visible during an X Factor show she attended three days later.
After collapsing and going in and out of consciousness, Brown claimed in the excerpt that she was transported to the hospital, where she lost consciousness again. Upon waking up, her eldest daughter Phoenix Chi — now 19, whose father is Brown first ex-husband Jimmy Gulzar — was “furious … Of all the memories from all those hours, it is the one that still floors me,” Brown said, calling it “the saddest moment of my life.”
Brown is also mom to 11-year-old Angel Iris Murphy Brown with ex Eddie Murphy and Madison Brown Belafonte, 7, with Belafonte.