Mel B had to ‘start from scratch’ after leaving her husband

Spice Girl Mel B has revealed how she went from living the high life as a pop star to sharing a bed with her children and shopping at Aldi and Lidl following her split from her ex-husband.

Melanie Brown – also known as Scary Spice – filed for divorce from Hollywood movie producer Stephen Belafonte in March 2017, following allegations of abuse he has repeatedly denied.

In an interview with The Sun, she said returning to British soil in 2019 after 15 years in the US was difficult.

Spice Girls Melanie Brown speaks to fans in Leicester Square
Spice Girls Melanie Brown speaks to fans in Leicester Square (PA)

“People will assume, ‘She’s rich, she’s a Spice Girl’, but I went from performing to thousands at Wembley on the Spice Girls’ 13-date Reunion Tour in 2019 to squeezing into my mum’s with my kids sleeping in bed with me,” Brown said.

She said all she had to her name was £700 in the bank when she walked out on her ex, who she alleged had also committed financial abuse against her.

Brown told the paper: “I had always taken care of my own money, but over time I didn’t worry about money because in my eyes he was taking care of it.

“But afterwards I realised, ‘Oh my God, I am going to have to start from scratch. Ground Zero’.

“Luckily, I have always been a hard worker. I thoroughly enjoy my job and have thrown myself into it.”

Spice Girls reunion tour
The Spice Girls in concert at Croke Park in Dublin (Andrew Timms/PA)

She told The Sun she would shop at Aldi and Lidl to meet her budget, which she credits as the first step to taking back control of her own life.

The singer, who campaigns for domestic abuse groups, dedicated her MBE for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women in 2022 to “all the other women” who are dealing with domestic violence.

She told The Sun: “I spend a lot of time speaking to abuse survivors and I want to show abuse, including financial abuse, can happen to anyone, and you can build yourself back up.”

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Melanie Brown was made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by the then-Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace in 2022 (Yui Mok/PA)

Brown revealed that she still struggles with anxiety, adding: “I’m a work in progress. But look how far I’ve come.”

She added that her now-fiance, 36-year-old hairdresser Rory McPhee from Leeds, continues to help in her ongoing healing.

“He is a family friend and I have known him for a long time, so there was a foundation of trust and respect,” she said.

According to Refuge, the largest domestic abuse organisation in the UK, one in four women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime.

They said, on average, police in the UK receive calls for help every 30 seconds relating to domestic abuse.