Mel B’s ‘abusive’ husband Stephen Belafonte granted visitation to their daughter


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Mel B’s estranged husband, Stephen Belafonte, has been granted supervised visits with their daughter, Madison, as their bitter divorce and custody battle continues.

The Spice Girls star, real name Melanie Brown, filed a restraining order against Belafonte earlier this month, accusing him of domestic violence, sexual blackmail and getting their nanny pregnant. 

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Belafonte, 41, had been ordered to stay away from Brown, also 41, and her three children. The pair have one biological daughter together – Madison Brown Belafonte, five. Brown has two other daughters, Angel Murphy Brown, 10, with actor Eddie Murphy and Phoenix Gulzar, 18, with her ex-husband, former backing dancer Jimmy Gulzar.

However, a court ruled on Monday that Belafonte could have eight hours of monitored visitation per week with Madison, which will be split into two four-hour visits, according to E!.

His request for visitation rights with his step-daughter, Angel, was denied.

Brown’s lawyer Larry Bakman accused Belafonte, a film producer, of having links with the porn industry.

Bakman asked the court: “Is [visitation] going to take place in a residence which he is using to film adult pornography?”

Belafonte’s lawyer Grace Jamra said it was a “smear campaign”.

Brown did not attend the LA hearing.

In a court order earlier this month, she alleged that on multiple dates Belafonte attacked her during their 10-year marriage.

In November 2007, on the day of her Dancing with the Stars US finale she says Belafonte tried to choke her and slammed her onto hardwood floors. She said, he would “beat me down to let me know he was in charge”.

In July 2012, while taping The X Factor in Australia, she said that he punched her with a closed fist after he believed she was flirting with Usher, who was helping with her acts as a mentor.

Brown claims that Belafonte would blackmail her with their sex tapes, threatening to release them if she didn’t “participate in sexual intercourse with him and random women”.

Belafonte has also been accused of getting their nanny, Lorraine Gilles, pregnant. Brown said he initially wanted to keep the baby and have the nanny live with them, “all three of us live together”. However, he then changed his mind and demanded that she get an abortion.

Brown says Stephen paid the nanny more than $AU400,000 of her money “for alleged nanny services”.

Belafonte has a domestic violence charge from 2003 after an assault on his ex-partner, Nicole Contreras – the mother of his second biological daughter, Giselle.

Brown filed for divorce from Belafonte last month, citing irreconcilable differences.

In papers obtained by People, she originally asked for joint legal and physical custody of Madison. The couple’s date of separation is listed as December 28.

She requested the court not award spousal support.

The family lived in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs during Brown’s role as a judge on the X Factor and a co-host of the 2012 season of Dancing with the Stars.

They returned to the US in 2013, with Brown travelling to Australia to act as a judge on The Voice Kids in 2014.

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If you need to speak to someone about domestic abuse, call 1800 Respect on 1800 737 732 or the Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463.

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