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Mel B files for divorce from husband Stephen Belafonte

by Ainhoa Barcelona

Mel B and her husband Stephen Belafonte are calling time on their ten-year marriage. The former Spice Girl filed divorce papers on Monday in Los Angeles, California, citing "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the split. The court documents filed at Los Angeles Superior Court reveal that Mel, 41, is seeking joint custody of the couple's five-year-old daughter Madison.

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Mel is also asking the court to terminate spousal support to Stephen. The documents further show that she filed for separation on 28 December 2016. The America's Got Talent star is being represented by top family law attorney Susan Wiesner, whose previous clients include Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, musician Ben Harper and actor Jon Cryer.

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Mel B filed for divorce in Los Angeles

EXCLUSIVE: Mel talks marriage and family

The news may come as a surprise to Mel's fans. Just six weeks ago, the singer shared a photo on Instagram of her kissing her husband's cheek. Mel wrote: "My baby boo @stephenthinks11 we have been through everything that would normally tear couples apart and we have come out on the other side stronger, you loved me before I even knew how to really love myself, you are my world honey."

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The split comes six weeks after she praised Stephen on Instagram

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Mel and film producer Stephen married in secret in June 2007 in Las Vegas. They went on to renew their vows in November 2008, in a lavish ceremony in Hurghada, Egypt in front of their families. Mel has two other children – 18-year-old Phoenix from her relationship with dancer Jimmy Gulzar and nine-year-old Angel, whose father is Eddie Murphy. Stephen, meanwhile, has a 12-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

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Mel has three children, including one daughter with Stephen

Throughout their ten-year marriage, Mel has defended her husband following reports of alleged abuse. In 2015 the couple were rocked by split rumours, with The Sun reporting that Stephen was being questioned by police for allegedly holding Mel "hostage". However the mother-of-three remained adamant that Stephen had not acted improperly towards her. She wrote on Instagram, "For the record my hubby never would lay a hand on me." She also denied the claims on Twitter, writing: "Please don't believe what you read. It's all lies lies lies as usual."