A judge has demanded to know how much money Mel B made from last year’s Spice Girls reunion tour.
LA Superior Court Judge Mark Juhas said Wednesday he wants a definitive figure in order to settle the ongoing dispute between the former America’s Got Talent star and her ex husband Stephen Belafonte, who are still at loggerheads almost three years after their 10-year marriage ended in a bitter divorce.
Mel’s estimated earnings for the Spice Girls tour range from $2million to $10million.
‘I’m not going to believe that Miss Brown went on that tour and did not make any money,’ said Judge Juhas, who ordered both Mel and Belafonte, both 45, to produce a full account of their income and expenses from 2018 to 2020 in time for another hearing he scheduled for August 25.
‘This is all about money at this point. Miss Brown has to sign a declaration saying how much she made from the Spice Girls tour,’ he said.
Mel – who moved back to her native England last year saying she couldn’t find work in the US – wants to take the couple’s eight year-old daughter Madison to the UK to live with her.
Belafonte – who is paid $15,000 a month in court-ordered spousal support by Mel – wants to keep Madison in LA and is asking the court to award him full custody instead of the joint custody he currently has with his ex.
He’s also asking the court to increase the $5,000 a month Mel pays him in child support for Madison.
Belafonte’s lawyer, Grace Jamra – who said he is seeking $60,000 in back support, attorney fees and penalties from Mel – argued that when Mel left LA last year to move back to England, she closed all her bank accounts in the US and now has ‘no assets here.’
‘She is refusing to produce UK bank records. She has been repeatedly late with payments to Mr. Belafonte. She has not been paying her share of the taxes owed (by Mel and Belafonte).’
Jamra scoffed at Mel’s claims that she only earns $2,000 a month, has only $10,000 in the bank and owes $1.2 million in back taxes.
‘This is a woman who some reports say made at least $10 million from the Spice Girls tour,’ she added.
Jamra asked the court to establish a security bank account in which Mel would have to deposit funds to ensure she was not late with payments to Belfonte.
But the singer’s attorney, Taline Boyamian, said that there was no need for such an account because: ‘Miss Brown has not been late in any of her payments. In no way did she violate court orders.
‘Yes, she is living in the UK. But all the time she’s lived there, she has not been late with any payments. There is no evidence that a security fund should be set up. She has not missed a payment.’
Judge Juhas stressed that while Mel may be living in England, her divorce and custody case is ‘definitely in Los Angeles, not in the UK.’
He added: ‘Why should Mr Belafonte have to go across the pond to collect when the case is here? If she says, ‘I’m not going to pay,’ he is stuck.’
Boyamian insisted that Mel had turned over to Belafonte’s attorneys ‘all the financial documents under her control.’
But Jamra countered: ‘Even though Miss Brown says she’s complied, she has given us no record of her income in 2019 or 2020.
Judge Juhas told the court: ‘Miss Brown needs an under-oath statement saying, ‘I’ve given you all the documents I have.
‘I don’t believe that Miss Brown has no idea of what her income was in 2019. I’m not buying that.’
Clearly exasperated by the couple’s long-running he said/she said quarrels over money, Judge Juhas added: ‘The time has come to knock it off and get everybody out of this courtroom.’