It's a blow for Mel B


Mel B’s divorce from estranged husband Stephen Belafonte has become one of the most shocking celeb splits we’ve seen.

With claims of abusive behaviour, a restraining order as well as some strong words from Mel’s former Nanny, it shows no signs of slowing down.

However as the bitter break up continues, it’s Stephen who has won the latest round of the lengthy legal battle.

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The judge has ruled the former Spice Girl‘s ex has the right to apply for custody rights over her 10-year-old daughter Angel – who’s her second youngest child with Hollywood actor and ex-hubby Eddie Murphy.

Despite Stephen not ebing her biological dad – the TV producer claims he’s played an important role in raising her and will fight for visitations rights in the future.

Mel B and her children, Angel and Madison [Instagram]

Approving the request at the latest court hearing in LA, Judge Riff said: ‘Mr Belafonte claims it’s in the child’s best interests for him to have contact, frequent and continuing, with the child he says he raised from an infant.

‘The petitioner (Mel B) says it is clearly not in that child’s interest. Those are the assertions.’

More: Mel B debuts new super short hair, and we can’t get over different she looks!

Mel filed for divorce from Stephen – who she shares daughter Madison – after 10 years of marriage in March and the messy split has been played out in the public for the past five months.

Stephen and Mel pose for a selfie last year [Instagram]

Following the latest news, Mel’s lawyer Susan Wiesner pleaded for Angel’s involvement to be kept private, accusing her ex’s legal team of ‘creating a media circus’ during the hearing.

‘Angel has the right to privacy,’ Ms Wiesner argued.

‘Like it or not, he is not the parent. Mr Belafonte is going to file a paper that’s going to the media. You’re opening a Pandora’s box.’

Before adding: ‘The reality is that this is going to become even more of a circus.’

Mum-of-three Mel alleges that 42-year-old Stephen has tormented her with years of physical and mental abuse.

However the star’s ex – who’s already failed to win temporary rights over Angel – has always dismissed the singer’s claims as false, with his lawyers describing them as ‘nothing more than a smear campaign’.

Another hearing in the case is set for Friday, with a full divorce hearing scheduled to begin on 25th September.