Melanie Brown is on a “mission to shed light and bring awareness” to the perils of being in what she claims was an abusive relationship.
The Spice Girls star, who also goes by Mel B, spoke to E! News’ Melanie Bromley about reliving traumatic experiences while writing her new autobiography, Brutally Honest, and what she hopes to teach other people.
Surprisingly, the singer said she couldn’t remember a lot of the things she allegedly endured during her marriage to Stephen Belafonte. According to the star, she had to ask friends and family about “a lot of stuff” while writing the book since she blocked it out due to suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. And when she was reminded about certain things she said she “would almost be defensive.”
“I thought I was hiding it so well,” Mel explained.
She said the only time she felt like she wasn’t lying about the alleged abuse was when she was at work. The singer shared, “My work was my savior because he couldn’t come to my work.”
Mel B accused Belafonte of abuse—including physical assault and battery, verbal threats and surveilling—in a declaration she gave the court back in 2017 while requesting a restraining order. Belafonte’s lawyer called the accusations “outrageous and unfounded.”
Now that Mel has split from Belafonte, she is grateful to be able to share her story.
“Very few people make it out without the serious damage of the scars on the inside and outside,” the America’s Got Talent judge said. “I am adamant to talk about it and I am adamant to be on my road to recovery and healing.”
Since putting an end to the alleged cycle of abuse, Mel says she has learned that the past can’t be changed and the only thing to do is begin the recovery process. “You can only go back and try and heal yourself from it and try and piece back the pieces together,” she said.
While she can’t change the past, she hopes to “to shed light and bring awareness to being in what she claims in court filings was an abusive relationship or what an abusive relationship is and what it looks like, and what the signs are to look for so you can catch it early before it’s too late.”
According to Mel, an 82-year-old victim of abuse approached her at a book signing to thank her for speaking out, which has made Mel feel that her struggle was worth it. She said, “My job is done.”
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In light of the recent sit-down interview, Belafonte issued a statement to E! News that reads: “She was good at hiding things because she was an addict and she needed someone to blame. If you look at Melanie’s book, Melanie takes no responsibility. Melanie needed to make these lies up because Melanie is an addict. I challenge Melanie Brown to bring her original accusations and her deposition that she filed in court, and her hospital records that we’ve tried to get her to show, because now she has changed her story to mental abuse because it’s very hard to sue for mental abuse.”
The statement continues, “Melanie has come up with this lie about gas-lighting where the abuser supplies you with alcohol and drugs and then yells at you about doing alcohol and drugs. But once again, contrary to the video and text messages that I have, not only am I telling Melanie to stop doing cocaine around the kids and to stop drinking [in the videos he claims he possesses], Phoenix is on these videos too telling her mother to stop.”
“When the true victims of domestic violence find out that Melanie is lying to sell books—as an example, Melanie talked so much in her deposition about a Domestic Violence organization that she was championing saying it was her favorite organization the world [sic], when asked by lawyers at the deposition she didn’t know the name of [the organization]. She also didn’t know the name of the woman who ran it who she said was her best friend,” it concludes.
Mel filed for divorce from Stephen in March 2017, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
For more information on domestic abuse or to get help for yourself or someone you love, visit the website for The National Domestic Violence Hotline (http://www.thehotline.org/) or call 1-800-799-7233.
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