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4 August 2019, 14:18
The Spice Girl opens up about her troubled relationship as she "builds bridges" with her family and friends
Mel B has admitted she almost lost her life during her rocky marriage to ex-husband Stephen Belafonte.
Scary Spice, 44, has spoken out about the mental and physical abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her former partner following the couple's high-profile divorce in 2017.
She told Event magazine: "In the process of my marriage I lost my family, my friends, my self-respect and I almost lost my life and for so long I felt ashamed."
The singer, who was recently hit with romance rumours after Jess Glynne supported the Spice Girls on tour, wrote about the troubling times in her tell-all book, Brutally Honest, and is now touring the UK to share her experiences.
Stephen, a film producer from Hollywood, was accused of physically assaulting Mel when she appeared on The X Factor covered in bruises and scratches.
The Spice Girl also claimed the father of her daughter Madison forced her into secretly-filmed sexual encounters and used controlling behaviour, which caused her to attempt suicide in 2014.
But things began to turn around when Mel's father passed away and she was reunited with her estranged family, which gave her the strength she needed to end the relationship.
She continued: "To be honest, for a long time I didn’t know who I really was. I’ve always been known as loud, wild, big-mouth Scary Spice and that is part of me, but it’s not all of me. All I know is I’ve never felt more relaxed, more myself and happier since I’ve been here. I feel entirely comfortable in my own skin.
The mother-of-three, who shares daughter Angel with actor Eddie Murphy and daughter Phoenix with dancer Jimmy Gulzar, has now moved back to the Yorkshire Dales to be closer to her family.
She added: "I’ve got my mum and my sister half an hour away and cousins and aunties less than ten minutes away.
"It's life as it should be. I like the peace, I like the animals, I spend hours just watching the bees going in and out of the hives.
"I spent ten years of my life avoiding home, not speaking to my family, not seeing my friends and now I’m back just a few miles from where I grew up.
"I always felt I needed to break away and prove myself to the whole world, but now I realise the most important thing to me is to come home, mend bridges, be a mother, a daughter, an aunt and a sister. To be with my family."