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Mel B reveals she was only left with £700 to her name and secretly shopping in Lidl after leaving her ‘abusive’ ex husband Stephen Belafonte


Mel B has revealed she was only left with £700 to her name and secretly shopped in Lidl to make ends meet after leaving her ‘abusive’ ex husband Stephen Belafonte.

The singer, 48, said the millions she made as part of the Spice Girls had dwindled down to just a few hundred after she walked away from her marriage to Stephen in 2018. 

Over the years, Mel B, who was reported to boast a $30million net worth at the height of her fame,  has accused him of physical, emotional, and financial abuse, claims he denies.

In a new interview, Mel said she would bulk buy on visits to Lidl and Costco and moved into her mother’s bungalow in Leeds while facing hefty legal fees amid their divorce battle. 

It was a far cry from her Los Angeles lifestyle, where she says she completely lost control of her huge fortune.

Mel B has revealed she was only left with £700 to her name and secretly shopped in Lidl to make ends meet after leaving her 'abusive' ex husband Stephen Belafonte (pictured last year)

Mel B has revealed she was only left with £700 to her name and secretly shopped in Lidl to make ends meet after leaving her ‘abusive’ ex husband Stephen Belafonte (pictured last year)

When Melanie, 48, walked away from her marriage to Stephen in 2018, she had just £700 in her bank account with her legal bills amid her divorce battle set to mount (pictured in 2016)

When Melanie, 48, walked away from her marriage to Stephen in 2018, she had just £700 in her bank account with her legal bills amid her divorce battle set to mount (pictured in 2016)

‘In LA I hadn’t bought a pint of milk in years. But back home I would buy in bulk from Costco and got really into shopping in Lidl and Aldi,’  Melanie told The Sun. 

‘It was Covid times and I would put on my face mask and no one would recognise me. I stood in a queue for the first time in a long time. No one batted an eyelid.

‘After being in an abusive relationship for years you really have to rebuild yourself inside and out. Nobody can do that apart from you. Having to budget and learn how much a packet of crisps costs again kind of felt like me reclaiming my power.’

The media personality learned to budget for herself once again and spent what money she had more wisely, saying she saw it as taking back her power after being in an abusive relationship.

‘I would say to people, “Do you know there is this service called Amazon that delivers to your door?” And they would be like, “Of course!” But I didn’t have access to a credit card during my relationship and was working 24/7.’

Mel spent five years saving and moved into a converted farmhouse in West Yorkshire this month. 

In addition to her work with the Spice Girls, Mel had built her fortune back up, gaining lucrative jobs on American television shows such as the US version of Strictly Come Dancing – Dancing with the Stars – and a judge on America’s Got Talent while living in Los Angeles.

She also appeared as a judge on The X Factor in the UK prior to moving back home for good.

The singer, 48, said the millions she made as part of the Spice Girls had dwindled down to just a few hundred after she walked away from her marriage to Stephen in 2018

The singer, 48, said the millions she made as part of the Spice Girls had dwindled down to just a few hundred after she walked away from her marriage to Stephen in 2018

In 2021, Melanie appeared on The Masked Singer UK, eventually being unveiled as Seahorse, she is a judge on the Australian version of the programme, and this year she made a return as a judge on America’s Got Talent.

Mel went from having a loft apartment in Los Angeles and a 10-bedroom property in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Earlier this month, Mel revealed she had finally been able to buy a house with her own money for the first time – seven years on from her messy divorce from ‘abusive’ film producer Stephen.

She took to Instagram to show off a set of house keys and share with her 1.5 million followers her long, hard journey to financial independence. 

Mel wrote: ‘I’m soooo overwhelmed right now. Sitting here with my 3 dogs not really able to speak but something has happened to me a few mins ago which is HUGE!!! 

The former Spice Girl, 49, took to Instagram to show off a set of house keys and share with her 1.5 million followers her long, hard journey to financial independence

The former Spice Girl, 49, took to Instagram to show off a set of house keys and share with her 1.5 million followers her long, hard journey to financial independence

Mel B revealed that it took her over five years to get to this point as even after the Spice Girls' 2019 reunion tour she had nothing in her bank account due to divorce lawyers fees

Mel B revealed that it took her over five years to get to this point as even after the Spice Girls’ 2019 reunion tour she had nothing in her bank account due to divorce lawyers fees

‘I want to share it with other survivors like me coz all YOU survivors out there will know how emotional this moment is five mins ago a man arrived at my door with a set of keys.

‘They are the keys to my new home. A house I bought with the money I’ve worked bloody hard to pay for. It’s taken me 5+ yrs to be able to do this.’ 

She continued: ‘In 2019, l had to come back to Leeds with NOTHING in my bank account. The money from the Spice Girls tour went on ENDLESS lawyers fees his [Stephen’s] and mine.

‘Still being drained by my ex’s nonstop demands for more more mor,e I had to move into my mum’s bungalow my kids/ dogs/ low selfesteem/ failures/ divorced.

‘From Wembley Stadium to my mum’s. This is called FINANCIAL ABUSE and it’s ugly, devastating, and vile. 

It’s hard not to crumble. Hard to rebuild yourself on the inside and out. I’ve spent sooo many nights in pieces, nights I’ve had to turn to the beautiful ladies at women’s aid refuge in Leeds just for words of comfort from women who GET IT. 

‘I share this coz it takes a LONG LONG time to deal with the trauma when you’ve been left financially at ground zero and everything you nice had was gone.

‘A man’s mission was to destroy me mentally, spiritually, and financially but I wasn’t gonna let that happen. I had to come back my roots, back to my family in Leeds, and like my dad who went to work every day on his bike never missing a single day I didnt let it happen. 

‘I worked, I believed, I spoke up, I kept going, | fell down ALOT of times but I got up. I found people I could trust – that was hard – I finally let people help me and I found 50O0 much help from @womens_aid.

‘Just now when these pieces of metal were put in my hands I want all survivors to know we CAN rise like the Phoenix. 

She finished: ‘This will be my happy home, I’m thinking about my dad, I’m thinking about my kids, and I’m thinking about all those survivors out there – you CAN reclaim your power. Trust and believe. 

Mel B commented under the post: ‘I just can’t stop crying ohhhh dear ffs I am happy honestly I am but I’m just overwhelmed with emotions that I have no words for ,the pain the realization, the sacrifice, the understanding the nonstop stopping.

Mel B commented under the post: 'I just can¿t stop crying ohhhh dear ffs I am happy honestly I am but I¿m just overwhelmed with emotions that I have no words for'

Mel B commented under the post: ‘I just can’t stop crying ohhhh dear ffs I am happy honestly I am but I’m just overwhelmed with emotions that I have no words for’

‘I’m literally exhausted I’m on my feet not knowing whether to pray forgive, be thankful all of the above I never thought things would hit me so hard like it has done right now.’ 

Mel B and American Stephen were married from 2007 to 2017 and share daughter Madison, 12, together.

Over the years, Mel B has accused him of physical, emotional, and financial abuse, claims he denies.

Mel has also claimed that her Spice Girls bandmates knew about the abuse and that she would not report domestic abuse because she doesn’t know if she can ‘trust the police’ in Britain.



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