Following news that former Spice Girl Mel B has apparently been granted a restraining order from her estranged husband, Stephen Belafonte, Simon Cowell – her former boss on The X Factor – has spoken up in praise of the star.
Mel filed for divorce from husband last month, but this week courts heard that he beat and sexually exploited her too. There are also allegations that Stephen got the family nanny pregnant and paid for her to have an abortion.
Whilst appearing on The X Factor as a judge in 2014, rumours of domestic abuse were rife after Mel missed several shows and also appeared to have suffered bruising to her face and arms.
Speaking to The Sun at the launch of the new series of Britain’s Got Talent, Simon praised the former judge and said that she was in a ‘good place’.
“She’s under pressure but I think she’s in a good place.
“If you think about what Mel’s done since leaving the Spice Girls and what she’s gone through, how hard she works and how I saw her try to handle this situation, it was astonishing.
“It really made me think about her as a person, what she’s achieved as a working mum and how she’s managed to balance everything. I don’t think she gets the recognition she deserves.
“It’s interesting because she’s quite shy about saying what she’s achieved over the years and her role in the Spice Girls and things like that.”
Last Wednesday another X Factor judge came to Mel’s defence – with Sharon Osbourne defending Mel’s decision to remain with Stephen for so long:
“She’s a good girl and great mother”.
“She works her bum off. It’s so easy to say, you know, I would just run away, that’s what I would do.
“But in a situation she’s been in for 10 years, it’s not just physical, it’s mental abuse, too.”
Stephen Belafonte denies the claims, with his legal team asserting that ‘real victims and survivors of domestic violence will be offended and angry when the Court determines the truth’.