Singer Mel B’s estranged husband has accused her of deliberately ‘alienating’ him from their children as they go through an acrimonious divorce battle.
In his response filed at the family court in Los Angeles on Thursday night, he claims her actions have been ‘extremely detrimental’ to his daughter Madison, five, and stepdaughter Angel, ten.
He claims that the two girls told him: ‘Mommy is really mad at you and that’s why she won’t let us come and see you.’ Belafonte urged the judge to grant him visitation rights to the girls – even if he ‘has to be subjected to the imposition of a monitor or an armed off-duty police officer!’
In addition to the 47-page formal response are photos, Instagram posts and a text message screenshot from Angel – Mel’s daughter with Hollywood actor Eddie Murphy – in which she tells Belafonte she loves him, and asks where he is followed by a crying face emoji.
Belafonte, 41, states he has been prevented from seeing the girls for more than three weeks, or even speaking to or texting them, despite repeated requests. His legal team want the judge to modify the restraining order to allow him access.
He states: ‘I am in fear that Petitioner [Mel B] is involving the children in the dispute and attempting to alienate me from the children and is using the temporary restraining order as a sword rather than a shield.
‘Further, it is clear Angel misses [the] Respondent and desires to see him. On April 9 Respondent received a series of heart-wrenching text messages from Angel stating “Hello Daddy”, “I love you”, “Daddy?”, “Daddy”, “Where are you”. Angel followed the last message with a crying emoji icon.
‘Unfortunately, due to the temporary restraining order … Respondent was unable to respond to Angel and let her know he loved her as well, that he was alright [sic] and missed her and Madison very much and that he could not wait to see them.
‘Shockingly, [Mel] was made aware of this and did nothing.’
Belafonte also the judge: ‘I miss our children and am sure they miss me dearly. I can only speculate that they must be wondering where I am or what has happened to me, as I am unaware what Petitioner has told them, if anything.’
He says visitation rights are ‘in the children’s best interests’, and claims Angel has not seen her real father since birth. Instead, she refers to Belafonte as ‘Daddy’.
Although Belafonte is not Angel’s biological father, he adds: ‘Angel and Madison … were well bonded with Respondent who treated both children with equal love, affection and care. To deny Angel and Respondent any contact and allow contact only between Madison and Respondent would be extremely detrimental to both children.
‘Angel will feel excluded and rightfully confused by her inability to have contact with the only father she has known.’
Belafonte claims that he is the only parent to cook meals for the girls and that he plays games, cuddles with them, reads them stories and is their father figure.
He also states that the singer’s career – when she was working on Dancing With The Stars (the US version of Strictly Come Dancing) and on the Spice Girls world tour – meant that he ‘was also actively involved in caring for our children’.
He added that up until she filed the restraining order, Mel had ‘always praised my parenting skills’ and on June 2016 posted an Instagram post where she called him ‘the best daddy in the world’.
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