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John Jones

ITV The Games star Phoenix Chi Gulzar's life from growing up in the spotlight and claims of abuse against her stepfather to her first major TV appearance

Phoenix Chi Gulzar, 23, is no stranger to the limelight. She has been making headlines since she was a little girl as the daughter of Leeds-born Spice Girl Mel B, but she's all grown up now and is standing in the spotlight on her own.

Phoenix is set to face-off against eleven other celebrities in ITV's reality sports competition show The Games starting tonight (May 9) at 9pm. According to ITV: 'The six male and six female competitors will battle it out in the athletics arena, the swimming pool and gymnasium.

Each will put their sporting prowess to the test in events, from the 100-meter sprint to doubles diving, racking up points on the medals table.

READ MORE: Mel B makes shocking admission that she wasn't even wearing any pants when she got royal award from Prince William

We took a look at the young star's life ahead of her reality show debut to see what it was like growing up 'Spice' - from appearing in her mum's music video to allegations of abuse against her former stepfather, Stephen Belafonte, and making it on her own.

Phoenix Chi's famous parents

Spice Girls star Mel B aka Scary Spice, 46, from Leeds, met Dutch dancer Jimmy Gulzar, 47, when he was dancing for the Spice Girls. They were engaged in May 1998 and the singer was pregnant with Phoenix the following month.

The couple were married from 1998 to 2000.

Phoenix appeared in her mum's music video for Lullaby, in 2001, when she was just a tiny toddler

Mel B went on to a relationship with Hollywood actor Eddie Murphy with whom she had Phoenix's sister Angel.

Her last marriage, to producer Stephen Belafonte, lasted from 2000-2017 and made headlines for multiple claims of abuse and a very contentious divorce. Both Mel and Phoenix have been outspoken about the marriage and its effect on their mother-daughter relationship.

Mel and Stephen had one daughter together, Madison, age 10.

Phoenix Chi's alleged abuse by former stepfather

Phoenix recently claimed that her former stepdad Stephen Belafonte called her "ugly and retarded" and left her feeling "petrified" when he argued with her mum.

The Spice Girls star was married to the film producer from 2007 to 2017 and has previously spoken out about the physical and emotional abuse she allegedly suffered throughout her relationship with him, although his legal team have called the claims "outrageous and unfounded".

In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, Phoenix said: "I had to stay in my room with the door shut. I wasn't allowed to go in the fridge but I had 30 minutes to make my packed lunch for school. Often in the morning he'd pull it out and eat my sandwiches, laugh at me and tell me to get to school."

"He'd tell me I was ugly and retarded all the time," she added. "I had this beautiful Labrador called Lordy who we'd had since I was born. I loved him. He'd laugh at me and tell me I was ugly and retarded.

"Stephen picked him up one day and threw him across the garden into the pool – Lordy was old, he was terrified. I couldn't speak. A few weeks later I came back from school and Stephen told me he'd had him put down."

How Phoenix Chi has made it on her own

Despite having a famous mum, Phoenix has managed to forge her own path in the world, and has been involved in a number of different projects.

In 2021, she was announced as the new face of George at Asda, fronting the G21 collection, which was aimed at customers from Generation Z.

Phoenix had previously appeared on Channel 4 show Born Famous, which aimed to give the children of celebrities the chance to experience what life would have been like if they weren't famous. However, while she was meant to spend the night in her mum's childhood home in Leeds' Hyde Park, she refused to stay with strangers, leaving some viewers frustrated.

She is now part of the line-up for The Games, with hopes that her first major TV appearance could launch a career in television.

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