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Mel B thought memoir about domestic abuse would ‘end’ her career

Spice Girl Mel B has said she thought her career would end after she released a memoir about domestic abuse.

Melanie Brown, also known as Scary Spice, filed for divorce from Hollywood movie producer Stephen Belafonte in March 2017, following allegations of abuse he has repeatedly denied.

In 2018 the 48-year-old singer from West Yorkshire published Brutally Honest, which detailed her 10-year marriage with Belafonte.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Spice Girl Melanie Brown after she was made a MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Speaking to Elizabeth Day on the How To Fail podcast, Brown said: “I thought bringing this book out in 2018 was going to end my career because for a start, nobody wanted to publish it because the topic (of coercive control) was too … taboo.”

She added: “(We were thinking that) talking about this (could) help somebody else. …and I was like, if it’s for other people, yes.

“But that book was for me because I didn’t understand what had gone on in those 10 years.

“I knew it wasn’t right. I knew it left me fried as I was living in flight or fight.

“I knew because of the obvious bruises and then, when I left, I was financially abused.

“And the reason why I’ve re-released it (the book) with three new chapters, because in between 2018 and 2024, a lot has happened.

Spice Girls announcement
Spice Girls Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton and Geri Horner (Matt Crossick/PA)

“Everybody thinks when you leave an abusive relationship, ‘well done for getting out for a start because not all of us survive it’.

“You don’t realise then you have to start a new journey, which is putting you as a person and your life and your kids and amending relationships with people that have been isolated from you.

“You have to work on that. And that’s not easy.

“It’s not easy staying in an abusive relationship, clearly, but it’s also not easy coming out of it.

“And I wanted to be able to show survivors like me that you can do it and it is going to be up and down.

“This is the warning signs and hopefully a bit of a guide on how to deal with it because you are left traumatised.”

Brutally Honest will be re-released in March and include additional chapters.

Brown, who campaigns for domestic abuse groups, received an MBE in 2022 for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women which she dedicated to “all the other women” who are dealing with domestic violence.

In 2023 she told Sir Keir Starmer to make tackling domestic violence one of his “national missions” if he becomes prime minister, while sitting alongside the Labour leader at a Women’s Aid panel.

Brown became a patron of the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children in 2018.

According to charity Refuge, the largest domestic abuse organisation in the UK, one in four women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime.

They said, on average, police in the UK receive calls for help every 30 seconds relating to domestic abuse.