Mel B's lawyers accuse husband Stephen Belafonte of string of 'illegal activity' as divorce battle continues

Chloe Chaplain, Francesca Gillett
Divorce battle: The pair separated earlier last month: Mike Windle/Getty Images

The lawyers of former Spice Girl Mel B have claimed they have evidence that her estranged husband illegally owned a gun, a court has heard.

The singer’s legal representatives said they are “developing new evidence” of various alleged illegal activity carried out by her former partner as they put together a case for the couple’s on-going divorce battle.

As well as alleging Stephen Belafonte owned a firearm, Mel B's lawyers accused him of being involved in making pornography and said they had evidence to back up their claims.

And they said he posed a danger to his young daughter because of his alleged criminal connections.

Belafonte appeared at Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday after the pop star was granted a temporary restraining order against him over claims of domestic abuse.

The singer - whose full name is Melanie Brown - was not in court for the hearing ahead of a divorce trial which is expected to take place later this year.

Allegations: Picture submitted to the LA Superior Court allegedly showing a facial injury suffered by Mel B (PA)

Addressing the judge, Brown's lawyer Larry Bakman said: "We are developing new evidence against Mr Belafonte each and every day with respect to....the use of assets for various illegal nefarious activities."

Mr Bakman accused Belafonte of having "an extensive criminal history".

"He's a convicted domestic violence offender and we have credible evidence that he had a firearm in his possession which is against federal law," he added.

Mr Bakman opposed giving Belafonte visitation rights to the couple's child, saying: "This man a represents a continuing danger to the child."

Belafonte was "involved in adult pornography" and the "importation of women from other countries" to work in the industry as well as "possible money laundering", Brown's lawyer claimed.

Mr Bakman said Belafonte had brought into his home a convicted killer - known as True Life - who had served eight years for manslaughter.

"He had a convicted felon who was just released from prison residing in the family home and sleeping in Madison's bed," the lawyer said.

Mr Bakman said he expected a divorce trial to take at least 10 to 15 days as 20 witnesses had come forward and "that witness list is growing daily".

Split: Stephen Belafonte and Mel B have separated amid claims of abuse (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Grace Jamra, representing Belafonte, told the court: "We're not going to address evidence that is being developed or fabricated or manufactured."

She said Belafonte had already gone three weeks without contact with his five-year-daughter Madison after Brown was granted sole custody.

Brown was granted a temporary restraining order earlier this month over claims Belafonte subjected her to years of physical and emotional abuse.

In court papers, the 41-year-old said she was the victim of "multiple physical beatings" at the hands of Belafonte and he threatened to "destroy" her career by releasing sex tapes of her.

Lawyers for Belafonte have branded the allegations "outrageous and unfounded", and "nothing more than a smear campaign".

Brown, who is now a judge on America's Got Talent, married film producer Belafonte in Las Vegas in June 2007.

Mr Bakman said he has "devastating" allegations about Belafonte, including that he choked Brown and hit her in the face.

Split: His lawyers have described the allegations as a 'smear' campaign (Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

"That abuse occurred while the kids were present in the residence," he added.

Susan Wiesner, also representing Brown, said Belafonte had tried to kill the singer after she swallowed an entire bottle of painkillers in 2014.

"Mr Belafonte actually tried to kill her," she said. "When she was so distraught she took a bottle of aspirin and Mr Belafonte would not allow her to get help.

"She tried to get help and he shut the door."

Ms Jamra said the allegations are part of "an ongoing smear campaign".

She added: "Mother Teresa does not marry Attila the Hun."

Judge Lawrence Riff indicated he would allow Belafonte to visit his biological child under supervision but does not believe he has jurisdiction to grant access to his step-child.

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