As America's Got Talent judge Melanie "Mel B" Brown enters treatment for alcoholism, PTSD and sex addiction, she alluded to many of her ongoing mental health issues stemming from her marriage to Stephen Belafonte.
The couple was married from 2007 to 2017 before their relationship exploded in court amid allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse on both sides.
And while the divorce was finalized in December, the repercussions of the relationship continue in the form of a PTSD diagnosis, Brown revealed to The Sun Sunday in a statement about her rehab stay.
But how did the two get to where they are today? Keep scrolling to get inside details on the former couple's relationship.
Brown and Belafonte first started dating in February 2007, while she was pregnant with her second child, daughter Angel Iris, whose father is comedian Eddie Murphy.
“He was a really good friend and good support to me during my pregnancy,” she told PEOPLE when the two first got together. “He’s a really sweet guy.”
The couple then wed in secret in June of that same year after a whirlwind romance, Brown's rep said at the time in a statement to PEOPLE: “Regarding the marriage, Mel and Stephen have known each other for many years and were great friends first. Now they are deeply in love. The two are very happy together.”prevnext
For the next 10 years, the couple remained married, but much darker things were happening behind closed doors than they let on.
After separating in December 2016, Brown filed for divorce in March 2017. It was in her divorce filings that many alleged details of their relationship came out, including allegations of emotional, sexual and physical abuse as well as the existence of sexual recordings of Brown that were taken without her consent.prevnext
In Brown's divorce filings, she alleged that Belafonte abused her physically for years, alleging in court documents that on particularly scary instance occurred on the night of her Dancing With the Stars finale appearance.
In the documents, she claimed that Belafonte "beat me down to let me know he was in charge" and that he hit her in the face with a closed fist after she made plans to tape a segment for the X Factor alongside Usher.
After asking Belafonte how she was supposed to cover up her facial injury, she claimed he told her she should have thought about that before she decided to "flirt and f— with Usher."prevnext
Sex Tape Allegations
Brown also claimed that Belafonte had drugged her before recording at least 56 videos of her, at least a third her lawyers claimed were of a "sexual nature" and about "90 percent" were taken without her consent.
In November 2017, Belafonte agreed to destroy the videos as part of the couple's divorce agreement, and claimed none of the videos had been distributed.prevnext
Belafonte has denied all of Brown's abuse allegations vehemently, claiming that his ex simply wants to deny him paternity rights for their daughter.
In June, he told The Blast he had not "talked to her" and does not "want anything to do with" the former Spice Girls star.
“Melanie wants to do a parentectomy with me," Belafonte claimed. "She did it with her first husband and got sole custody, she did it with Eddie Murphy and she’s not going to do it for me because I’m going to fight for my kids."prevnext
During the process of finalizing their divorce, both Belafonte and Brown filed for restraining orders against one another.
Brown was granted a temporary restraining order in June against her ex after police were called to her house in May. Brown claimed Belafonte "immediately became irate and would not back down from the police. His aggression became so hostile and so severe that the police handcuffed him."
The incident made Brown "concerned that Stephen’s anger and aggression is so uncontrollable that he cannot even control himself in front of our daughter."
"I did not resist. I didn't get upset," Belafonte said of the restraining order to The Blast. "I actually just went and got handcuffed. I gave them my information, found out I wasn't under a restraining order and they let me go. I never even saw Melanie and, from what I just read, she's lying."
Belafonte also filed for a restraining order against his ex, claiming he heard Brown was telling people she wanted him killed or in jail, but was not granted the order due to lack of evidence.prevnext
In December, the couple finalized their divorce, agreeing upon joint legal custody of their 6-year-old daughter Madison with scheduled physical custody for each parent.
The America's Got Talent judge is ordered to pay Belafonte $15,000 a month in spousal support until December 2020. Their property allegation had not been figured out at that point.prevnext
On Sunday, Brown revealed to The Sun that she had decided to enter treatment for PTSD, alcoholism and sex addiction in a statement.
"I have recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder," Brown wrote. “The past six months have been incredibly difficult for me. I’ve been working with a writer on my book, Brutally Honest, and it has been unbelievably traumatic reliving an emotionally abusive relationship and confronting so many massive issues in my life. I am being very honest about drinking to numb my pain but that is just a way a lot of people mask what is really going on."
Brown admitted she uses sex and alcohol to deal with deeper issues in her life, saying, "Sometimes it is too hard to cope with all the emotions I feel. But the problem has never been about sex or alcohol — it is underneath all that," she wrote. "I am fully aware I have been at a crisis point. No one knows myself better than I do - but I am dealing with it."
She added, “I’m not perfect, and I have never pretended to be. But I am working on being a better version of myself for my kids - whom I love more than life itself - and for all the people who have supported me.”0comments
Brown will be attending a treatment program in the UK, she said, adding, "I am still struggling but if I can shine a light on the issue of pain, PTSD and the things men and women do to mask it, I will do. I am speaking about this because this is a huge issue for so many people.”
Photo credit: Instagram/Mel Bprev