Mel B forced to pay Stephen Belafonte $350,000 in legal fees as court battle closes
Mel B has been ordered to pay her ex-husband Stephen Belafonte $350,000 (£270,000) in legal fees after they reached a mutual settlement in their long-running court battle.
The former Spice Girls star filed for divorce from the producer after almost 10 years of marriage in March 2017 and it was finalised after a bitter court battle in December, but their legal proceedings continued to rumble on over matters including money and custody of their six-year-old daughter Madison and 11-year-old Angel, Mel’s child with Eddie Murphy.
They appeared at Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday (06Aug18), and Judge Mark Juhas ordered the 43-year-old to cover $350,000 of Belafonte’s legal fees, half of which has to be paid within 30 days and the rest when their former marital home is sold, according to Mail Online.
The British singer was also ordered to pay her ex $5,000 (£3,800) a month in child support for Madison, who they share custody of, while they have to set aside $550,000 (£424,000) each when they sell their mansion in order to pay off back taxes from 2016.
Both parties had obtained restraining orders against the other, and these were thrown out by the judge on Monday, with the former couple mutually agreeing to stay at least 200 yards away from each other, with exceptions including Madison’s school events and extra-curricular activities, as part of the settlement. They have also agreed to split vacation and school holiday time with Madison and vowed to not make “disparaging remarks” about the other in front of her.
After the hearing, Belafonte celebrated the news with the publication, saying: “I’m ecstatic – I’m going to Disneyworld. I got everything I wanted and we could have settled this months ago. It’s such a relief that it’s finally over.”
However, he was “disappointed” that he didn’t receive visitation rights for Angel, who he has helped raise since birth. He is now hoping to resolve the issue at a later date.
“We wanted to get all the other issues between us settled so I decided to table that,” he explained. “But it’s very possible I could try again – because I would really like to spend time with Angel.”
He also shot an Instagram video outside the courthouse in which he celebrated the end of the battle and claimed that Mel ended up with a worse deal than she was presented with in the first place. Mel also seemed to celebrate by posting a Boomerang video showing her twirling around and holding her hands in the air in an office.musicnews