There’s more twists in the former Spice Girl’s toxic split

They’ve been locked in a bitter divorce battle for the past eight months. But last week, reports emerged that Mel B and her estranged husband Stephen Belafonte had narrowly avoided a court showdown, by coming to a private settlement behind closed doors.

Mel, 42, was set to face her ex in the courtroom this week as her domestic violence trial against him continued.

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The couple – who share daughter Madison, six – split last December, and when Mel filed for divorce in March, she accused Stephen, 42, of physical and emotional abuse throughout their 10-year marriage. She was also granted a restraining order against him.

Stephen, 42, denied the allegations and the pair were expected to face-off in a two-week trial – with yet more bombshells from their personal life expected to be exposed, including alleged drug-fuelled sex tapes.

But at the very last minute, the former couple came to an agreement, with Stephen’s lawyers telling the judge, ‘All the issues before you, including the domestic violence restraining order and custody of a minor child, have been dissolved.’

Mel’s lawyer’s added, ‘We all came to an agreement in principle late last night. We are pretty much done in principle.’

It’s no surprise that both were keen to strike a deal, as things were set to get even tougher for mum-of-three Mel.

According to reports, Stephen’s legal team had submitted 56 videos as evidence to be played in court – including sex tapes, and one that’s said to show Mel snorting cocaine.

It was thought Mel would claim that she was drugged during much of her marriage and didn’t consent to being filmed or the sex shown in them.

However, it’s now thought that news of the settlement will stop the tapes from being shown.

But Mel’s torment is far from over, as it’s been reported that the estranged couple now have to work through the finer points of agreement with their lawyers and will meet with the judge again next March.

Melanie Brown, Stephen Belafonte and family

On top of this, as Now went to press, the former Spice Girl was still locked in a legal battle against the couple’s former nanny, Lorraine Gilles.

Mel filed for a restraining order against Lorraine, 26, after alleging that Stephen got her pregnant before paying her to have an abortion.

But Stephen and Lorraine denied all accusations.

Lorraine instead claimed she and Mel had a seven-year sexual relationship, which included consensual threesomes with Stephen.

So it looks as if there’s plenty more twists and turns still expected to come.