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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Dominique Hines

‘One of the best moments!’ Mel B’s daughter Phoenix thrilled Spice Girl left Stephen Belafonte marriage

Mel B’s daughter Phoenix said they both were relieved when the Spice Girl ended her marriage to Stephen Belafonte

(Picture: Getty Images)

Mel B’s daughter Phoenix has said that the Spice Girl leaving her marriage to Stephen Belafonte was a relief and one of the "best moments" of her life.

Phoenix, 22, appeared on Kate Ferdinand’s podcast Blended, and also revealed that she will never forget the look of relief on her mother’s face when she stepped away from the troubled union.

"It was a lot of weight lifted off our shoulders," she said. "It didn’t happen quickly but it happened eventually and it was one of the best moments just because of the face on my mum and the relief that I felt."

She continued: "Seeing [Mel B’s] face was something I am never going to forget."

Phoenix, whose father is the singer’s ex-husband Jimmy Gulzar, claimed to have spent her teenage years living in a household that was “not normal” during her 47-year-old mother’s marriage to film producer Belafonte, also 47.

Mel B ended the 10-year marriage in 2017 citing emotional and physical abuse – something that Belafonte has always vehemently denied.

The Spice Girl, pictured with her former husband Stephen Belafonte, has claimed their 10-year marriage was abusive, which he vehemently denies (PA Archive)

Phoenix, who now works with Women’s Aid, added: “I wouldn’t say I recognised specifically this is abuse or that I had a violent household, but I would say it was something that I was used to, especially growing up with two different parents and going to two different households.

“It was a very controlled environment, there were a lot of rules and that is something I wasn’t used to…”

Phoenix, who admitted she has had therapy to deal with the trauma she allegedly experienced during the marriage, added that it all started out as “fun and games” when the pair first got married, but allegedly took a turn when her mother increased her workload a few years later.

“I think that’s when things got kind of serious because she was living her own life and I don’t think he appreciated that in a way then he wanted to take charge,” she explained.

(L to R) Mel B poses with her and Belafonte’s daughter Madison and daughter Phoenix, whose father is dancer Jimmy Gulzar, at the Women's Aid Love Should Not Hurt NFT Art Launch in July 2022 (Dave Benett)

“That’s when things got really serious and that’s when I noticed and my mum noticed, that was a few years in.”

In January, Mel B was awarded an MBE for her work with domestic violence charity Women’s Aid, which helps those who have suffered in abusive relationships. The star also has daughter Angel, 15, who she co-parents with US film star Eddie Murphy and daughter Madison, 11, with Belafonte.

Belafonte has been approached for comment.

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