Mel B has been granted a restraining order against her estranged husband, Stephen Belafonte after alleging that he had subjected her to years of physical abuse.
The mother of three shocked her fans last month with the announcement that she was divorcing Belafonte, particularly as the news came just several weeks after the former Spice Girl had posted a gushing tribute to her husband on Instagram.
My baby boo @stephenthinks11 we have been through everything that would normally tear couples apart and we have come out on the other side stronger,you loved me before I even new how to really love myself,you are my world honey and let's not forget you are abit of a dickhead too xxxx #tenyearsmarried #fightfortheineyoulove #theysaiditwouldntlast #bitcheswishtheyhadthis #nowtalkaboutme
However legal papers obtained by TMZ show that the singer and her children have lived in fear of Belafonte for years. According to the papers, the alleged abuse began in 2007. A statement from Mel explained how she was at home preparing for the finale of Dancing With the Stars when "Stephen placed both of his hands around her neck, began choking her and slammed her down onto the hardwood floors"
In the papers, Mel B (real name Melanie Brown) also says that Stephen would "beat me down to let me know who was in charge."
The papers also detail another incident in July 2012 when she taped a segment with singer Usher. Stephen is said to have flown into a jealous rage and punched the Brown with a closed fist which split her lip.
The singer asked her husband how she was expected to work on television after that, to which Belafonte allegedly replied that she should have thought of that before she decided to "flirt with and f**k Usher".
In addition to the abuse, the singer has also alleged that Belafonte got the pair's former nanny pregnant and initially tried to convince Brown that the three of them should live together as a family. Brown claims that in the end Belafonte demanded that the nanny have an abortion and paid her £300,000 of Brown's money for "alleged nanny services."
Finally the papers claim that Mel attempted to leave her husband on several occasions only to be stopped by threats made against her children and her career.
"(he) threatened me with violence and threatened to destroy my life in every possible way ... destroy my career and take my kids from me."