Mel B and her eldest child Phoenix have spoken about the damage they suffered from the Spice Girl’s marriage to Stephen Belafonte, with Phoenix saying she “can’t be a wimp” as Scary Spice’s daughter.
Their 10-year marriage lasted from 2007 to 2017, but since they split Mel has written a book about the abuse she says she suffered from Belafonte and her overdose during the relationship, while he denies the allegations against him.
Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine, Mel spoke about the PTSD and anxiety that she is still in therapy for while Phoenix shared her own experiences of living with the relationship for 10 years.
Phoenix said: “It was pretty hard watching my mom go through that...we grew up pretty fast.
“Every kid going through a traumatic experience will blame themselves, just because they feel somewhat responsible - that’s your mom, that’s your family, you only get one, you’ll do anything to try to help them if you can.
“You’re like, damn, this is partly my fault. But it’s never the kid’s fault.”
She continued: “It wasn’t easy, but I have my family, and I’ve stayed pretty strong. Having my mom as Scary Spice Mel B, you can’t be a wimp.
“My mom is such an independent woman, it shocks me. She can be amazing on TV but be so nervous, and you wouldn’t even think she would be nervous, she’s a natural.
“She’s a good mom and a good friend. I love you and you’re doing great.”
Read more: Geri responds to Mel B fling claims
Mel, who watched her daughter’s pre-recorded interview from the studio, was clearly emotional at what she heard.
She said: “We have a really good relationship and a good understanding of each other because I was married for 10 years, so Phoenix did see a lot.
“When you’re in that kind of relationship it affects everyone around you, especially your kids, and your friends who are isolated from you because that’s part of the cycle of abuse.
“It is an epidemic, it really, really is and it’s not getting any better...it is in baby steps.”
Mel is now a patron of Women’s Aid, but still has regular therapy for the after effects of PTSD and anxiety that she is dealing with.
She said: “I still woke up this morning with a lot of anxiety and the shock of ‘no, I’m not with that person any more, I’m fine’. I’m building myself and healing myself.”