AceShowbiz - Mel B says she was "completely powerless" by what she has labelled her abusive relationship. Holding back tears as she, the 47-year-old ex-Spice Girl gave an account of her life with ex-husband Stephen Belafonte, also 47, whom she divorced in 2017.
On Sunday, October 2, she appeared before politicians at an event hosted by The Sun and Women's Aid at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham. She called for ministers to fix Britain's court system and increase funding for domestic abuse survivors.
Mum-of-three Mel, who was appointed MBE this year for her work with vulnerable women and became a patron for Women's Aid in 2018, after leaving Stephen, said, "I am not here because I am Mel B, Scary Spice from the Spice Girls. I am here because I am Melanie Brown MBE."
Talking about how she believed domestic abuse can be "everywhere," the singer added, "You can be from a council estate, which I am, or you can be from a country estate - which I am now."
She added when talking about the courts' treatment of abused women, "Every judge I have come across looks in complete horror like, 'Well, you look put together, you look all right, what is wrong with you?' "
Mel said about her alleged abusive relationship, "I couldn't pick up the phone to call my mum, my friends, I didn't have access to anything. And you think, 'well, Spice Girls are all about Girl Power,' but let me tell you, when these abusers get their hooks into you, there is no way out, really, (or) so you think… I was completely isolated from my friends and family. And it didn't happen overnight. It happened bit by bit by bit. They chip away at you."
Stephen has denied Mel's claims.
Home Office minister Mims Davies told the audience on Sunday, "As the minister for safeguarding, I have got a fairly big inbox and this is absolutely one of the crucial ones. Let's say no to tolerance on this. This is criminality in homes. It is time that we really push on and help women to move forward from this, and there is no opportunity for people to find tolerance at long last."