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03 December 2023

Mel B: My marriage nearly cost my life

Photo: Bang

By Bang

Mel B has claimed her marriage "almost" cost her her life and she lost her friends, her family and her "self-respect" during her 10-year relationship with Stephen Belafonte.

The Spice Girls star divorced Stephen Belafonte in 2017 amidst claims he was physically and emotionally abusive towards her and she believes she lost a lot throughout the ten year marriage including her "self-respect".

She said: "In the process of my marriage I lost my family, my friends, my self-respect and I almost lost my life. And for so long I felt ashamed. I thought I was stupid, that everything that happened was my fault. I had never heard of a coercive relationship. Even after I left him I never realised so many other women have almost exactly the same story to tell. It was only after my book came out that I realised emotional abuse is an epidemic that affects millions. It's the shame that makes you suffer in silence. But I am no longer ashamed."

And the 44-year-old singer has confessed she "avoided" people because she was so ashamed of what her life had become.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday's Event magazine, she added: "My life was a mess. I didn't want anyone to know so I just avoided people and pretended everything was great. I was on the biggest TV show in America, I was living in beautiful big mansions in LA and flying round the world appearing on shows in the UK and Australia. Everyone thought I must be doing brilliantly, but the real story was so different from the image I presented to the world. Since the age of 19, when I first became a Spice Girl, I'd been this super-confident version of myself that everyone knew as Mel B. Geri says it's a Batman suit because I could hide the quieter, more sensitive side of me. I thought I couldn't ever tell the whole story because it would destroy me. But now I just tell everything like it is, good, bad, whatever - it doesn't always go down well with everyone though.