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Melanie "Mel B" Brown's estranged husband Stephen Belafonte files response in pending divorce

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/07/2017 

Melanie "Mel B" Brown's estranged husband Stephen Belafonte has filed his response to her March 20 divorce filing.

Belafonte filed his response in his pending divorce from Brown, requesting spousal support as well as joint physical and legal custody of Madison, the five-year-old daughter he shares with the America's Got Talent judge, People reported

In his April 3 filing, Belafonte is also reportedly seeking to have Brown pay his lawyers fees and terminate the court's ability to award the former Spice Girl spousal support.

When Brown filed for divorce from the 41-year-old film producer, her husband of nearly 10 years, she similarly requested the court not award Belafonte spousal support. TMZ previously reported she additionally requested sole legal and physical custody of Madison.

Although Brown listed their separation as December 28, 2016 in her court documents, Belafonte disputed that fact in his response, saying they actually split on March 1. 

Brown obtained a restraining order against Belafonte on Monday after accusing him of brutal beatings and sexual exploitation. Belafonte was ordered to stay away from the family's Hollywood Hills home, Madison, and Brown's two daughters from her previous relationships, Phoenix, 18, and Angel, 10.

Brown -- who wed Belafonte in 2007 -- detailed Belafonte's alleged extreme abuse in her court documents, claiming he beat and choked her, forced her to have three-way sex with other women, extorted her by threatening to release sex tapes and sabotage her career, and cheated on her with their children's nanny whom he once got pregnant.

On Wednesday's episode of The Talk, Sharon Osbourne recalled an unfortunate incident in which Brown had been hospitalized when she was supposed to appear on The X Factor U.K., according to People. 

"Three years ago, in the final two days of X Factor, she didn't make the first day and she was in the hospital," Osbourne revealed of Brown, who also previously competed on Dancing with the Stars. "And it was reported in all the papers that said 'allegedly' she's been beaten by her husband. And she came back for the final day and she had a black eye and bruising everywhere, but she made the [finale]."

A source recently told People that Brown "kept coming up with excuses" for noticeable marks on her body.

Brown made similar "excuses" publicly to her fans, insisting on social media on multiple occasions that her apparent bruises and scratches -- and even a brief hospital stay in 2014 -- were the result of falling in high heels, an allergic reaction, or a mysterious illness.

"I have lived the past decade in fear that [Belafonte] would release intimate videos of me that would embarrass me and damage my reputation and my career," Brown reportedly claimed in her divorce filing. "Once [he] made the threat of releasing videos, it became impossible to say no to him, giving him complete control."

Belafonte's lawyers told TMZ on Wednesday that Brown's allegations are "outrageous and unfounded."

He also personally told the website on camera earlier this week that he is "shocked" by all the reputation-shattering accusations and "really distraught" the mother of his child would break up the family in this way. He said someone is trying to set him up "to look like a bad guy."

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