Stephen Belafonte is an American television and film producer who is better recognized as the former husband of producer, singer and actress Mel B, a former 'Spice girl'. He has produced several documentaries during his early career, including two from the 'Straight from the Projects: Rappers That Live the Lyrics' series. He has produced films such as 'Thank You for Smoking', 'Mutant Chronicles', and 'Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans', and TV shows like 'I Pity the Fool', 'Singing Office' and 'Mel B: It's a Scary World'. He appeared as himself on many episodes of 'Dancing with the Stars' and was a guest judge on 'The X Factor'.
Rise to Stardom
After completing his graduation, Stephen Belafonte established his own film production company Remag. In the early 2000s, he directed a couple of documentaries about rappers, one of which he also produced. He went on to produce several documentaries, TV shows and films. However, he gained widespread media attention following his marriage to Mel B in 2007. He again graced news headlines following their ugly divorce in 2017, and after she released her tell-all book 'Brutally Honest' in 2018.
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Family & Personal Life
Stephen Belafonte was born as Stephen Stansbury on May 18, 1975 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California to Thomas and Sheryl Stansbury. When he was only 12, his mother moved to Point Pleasant, New Jersey with him and his six siblings. After turning 18, he moved back to California and changed his surname to Belafonte, which was later revealed by his wife, Mel B, to be an attempt to pose himself as the son of Harry Belafonte, the King of Calypso. He completed his graduation from Loyola Marymount University.
Stephen Belafonte's first marriage was to a woman named Nancy Carmell in Los Angeles in 1997. However, within two months, his wife fled to her hometown in Honolulu and applied for the marriage to be annulled. His next dated a model named Nicole Contreras, who gave birth to their daughter, Giselle Belafonte, in 2004. However, he was charged with assault for beating her up the previous year during an altercation at their home while drunk. While he did not contest the charges, but later pled that he was "confused and stressed" and did not realize that he had inadvertently admitted to battering his partner, but his plea was rejected by the court.
Belafonte met Mel B (a.k.a. Melanie Brown) on the set of the film 'Talk' and they began dating in February 2007. They secretly tied the knot on June 6, 2007 in Las Vegas, and renewed their vows in front of family members in Hurghada, Egypt on November 8, 2008. The couple welcomed daughter Madison Brown Belafonte on September 1st, 2011. They eventually separated in December 2016, which was revealed after Mel B filed for divorce in March 2017 citing "emotional and physical abuse". The divorce was finalized on December 15, 2017.
Controversies & Scandals
Back in 1994, Stephen Belafonte was charged with theft and burglary in New Jersey. He was accused of assaulting two men in 2000, but the charges were later reduced to vandalism in court, following which he had to pay for their damaged car. In 2007, he was fined by the court for killing a mallard with a brick outside his house, but instead of paying the fine, he had fled to Los Angeles. He became involved in a brawl with three men during a night out with Mel B at May Fair Hotel in 2010, causing serious injuries to one of them.
Long before he went through a messy divorce with Brown, during which she even got a restraining order against him, her fans began to notice bruises and scratches on her during her television appearances in 2014. Later in 2018, she reignited the rumors by releasing the book 'Brutally Honest', with details about their toxic relationship and ugly divorce, and claimed that he had forced her to have threesome with their nanny Lorraine Gilles and had filmed the encounters. In an interview with 'The Daily Mail', he branded her as a "narcissistic liar", revealing that the encounters were not only consensual, but she herself filmed some of them. He added that she had issues with drug and alcohol abuse, and had an insatiable sexual appetite, and told lies to protect her public image. Interestingly, Mel B has had a long list of affairs, including a couple of long-term relationships with women, and Gilles also confirmed to be in a relationship with her. Refuting her claims that he planned to release the tapes, he mentioned that unlike her, he cared about the future of their children and was not even considering making their private lives public. He recently claimed to have won back 85% of custody of their daughter.