The former couple have been locked in a bitter court battle for the best part of this year (Source: Kathy Hutchins – Shutterstock)
Mel B and Stephen Belafonte are officially divorced.
The former couple have been locked in a bitter court battle for the best part of this year, but the 42-year-old film producer has received the “most beautiful present he could wish for” as their troubled 10-year marriage was finally dissolved by Judge Juhas at Los Angeles Superior Court in California on Friday (15.12.17).
Speaking to the DailyMail.com outside the courtroom, Stephen said: “This is the most beautiful present I could wish for. I’m newly single and ready to mingle.”
The former Spice Girls singer wasn’t in court when the ruling was made but she has been forced to cover his legal fees – estimated to be around £180,000 – and has agreed to split the proceeds of the sale of the companies they created together.
The judge has also ruled that the pair – who got married in June 2007 and split on sour terms in March this year – will divide the profit from the sale of their mansion in Los Angeles and will share custody of their six-year-old daughter Madison.
Stephen explained: “I am happy. I got everything I wanted. She put me through the worst hell ever. But now it’s all over – I hope.”
It’s also believed the ‘America’s Got Talent’ judge will pay her estranged husband spousal support for the next three years, but the exact amount is not known.
And, in return, Stephen has agreed to destroy any compromising video footage of his now-ex-wife, who previously claimed he and their former nanny Lorraine Gilles had tried to extort her with sex tapes.
The agreement was reached around the same time Mel withdrew her domestic violence order against the television producer last month.
The 42-year-old beauty filed for divorce from Stephen in March this year amid claims he had been physically and emotionally abusive towards her.
The ‘Wannabe’ singer – who also has daughters Phoenix, 18, and Angel, 10, from past relationships – previously claimed she had been “drugged” by Stephen.
Philip Cohen, one of Stephen’s lawyers, said: “Miss Brown now takes the position she was drugged by Mr. Belafonte throughout the course of the marriage.”
The divorce comes after Mel had the tattoo she had dedicated to her ex-husband sliced off her rib cage because she wanted to close the book on the chapter.
She had the words “Stephen, till death do us part you own my heart” etched across the flesh on her upper body as a tribute to their 10-year marriage but, rather than go through the lengthy process of having the inking lazered off following their split earlier this year, she decided to slice off his name via a painful operation – leaving her with 13 red stitches – but has left the rest of the wording.
She said: “I wanted the tattoo removed to help close the final chapter on a toxic relationship. Even though I’ve taken the steps to remove Stephen’s name from my body, the domestic abuse will forever remain with me.”
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