Scary Spice Mel B's £38m blow-out


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After tasting global success with the Spice Girls, you might think Mel B was financially set for life.

But the former Scary Spice told a court in Los Angeles last week that she has blown the entire £38 million she made during her career. One company is down to its last £961. She is, it appears, broke.

At a hearing — part of her divorce from Stephen Belafonte — her lawyer, Jacalyn Davis, agreed her money problems were 'sustained through improvident lifestyle choices', adding: 'They never had money at the end of the year to pay their taxes.

Broke: At a hearing as part of Mel B's divorce from Stephen Belafonte (both pictured) she told a court in Los Angeles that she has blown the entire £38 million she made during her career

'All their community income was being spent and then some. In this marriage, that would be Miss Brown's income from the Spice Girls.'

Belafonte is now asking for spousal support and money for his legal fees — a total of £90,000 — as he has no income.

Mel B is said to earn about £190,000 a month by being a judge on America's Got Talent. But the question is, how on earth did Scary Spice go bust?

The answer, at least in part, must lie in the 'spend, spend, spend' lifestyle enjoyed over the past decade by the 42-year-old and Belafonte, her second husband.

Spend spend spend: After tasting global success with the Spice Girls, you might think Mel B was financially set. But ways Scary broke the bank include her taste for jewellery (above)

Their luxury purchases included an armoured car costing £200,000. They have travelled on holiday on private jets, renting villas with a butler.

Her jewellery collection includes huge diamond rings, she owns enough designer handbags to stock a boutique — and let's not forget her lavish birthday gifts for Belafonte, which included a private island and a surprise party she threw for him featuring fire-eaters and elephants.

Here's how Scary broke the bank...

FLASH WHEELS

For most millionaires, a black Bentley Continental GTC costing around £165,000 and a Ferrari California worth only a little less would suffice. Not Mel B.

She has both of these — then in 2013 she ordered a seven-seater Cadillac Escalade ESV, customised with armour plating and capable of delivering an electric shock to anyone who grabs the door handles.

The attack-proof motor, capable of withstanding bullets, bombs and chemical attacks, set her back £200,000.
Fast cars: For most millionaires, a black Bentley Continental GTC costing around £165,000 and a Ferrari California worth only a little less would suffice. Not Mel B. She has both of these

It was delivered to her home by the president of the Texas Armoring Corporation, which did the work.

She was so delighted, she then ordered an armoured Range Rover and Mercedes Benz S-Class as well, both costing a similar amount.

That brings her spend on cars to not far short of £1 million.

BAGS OF BLING

Mel, raised on a Leeds council estate, loves enormous diamonds and great big blinging statement jewellery.

She regularly sports 3.5-carat diamond earrings which cost around £50,000. Her pear-shaped diamond ring, with a surround of pavé diamonds and a platinum setting, is worth about £425,000, and her huge yellow diamond ring is worth about £200,000.

She also has a diamond engagement ring worth about £50,000, which husband Stephen 'upgraded' for her in 2014. 'He's sweet like that,' she said at the time.

She often wears two Cartier yellow gold 'love' bangles with diamonds, costing £8,100 each, and favours a £20,000 Rolex Everose gold Daytona watch.

Doesn't hold back: Mel, raised on a Leeds council estate, loves enormous diamonds and great big blinging statement jewellery

No holding back: She regularly sports 3.5-carat diamond earrings which cost around £50,000. Her pear-shaped diamond ring, with a surround of pavé diamonds and a platinum setting, is worth about £425,000, and her huge yellow diamond ring is worth about £200,000

HANDBAG HEAVEN

Mel has least four Birkins (deep blue, tan, pale tan and grey), each worth around £20,000, more branded Louis Vuitton than she can carry and dozens of other designer bags on which she will comfortably have spent £500,000.

Among the stars of her collection are an Yves Saint Laurent Muse Bag and Downtown tote, Louis Vuitton Artsy Hobo, Eole Rolling Duffel Bag and Chanel Cocoon bag.

The list goes on and on.
Excess baggage: Mel has least four Birkins (deep blue, tan, pale tan and grey), each worth around £20,000, more branded Louis Vuitton than she can carry and dozens of other designer bags on which she will comfortably have spent £500,000
Too much: Among the stars of her collection are an Yves Saint Laurent Muse Bag and Downtown tote, Louis Vuitton Artsy Hobo, Eole Rolling Duffel Bag and Chanel Cocoon bag. Pictured: Mel B were an oversized limited edition Birkin handbag

LAVISH HOLIDAYS

Scary has three daughters — Phoenix, 18, by her first husband, Dutch dancer Jimmy Gulzar; Angel, ten, by comedian Eddie Murphy; and Madison, five, by Stephen Belafonte. The family is known for taking lavish holidays.

Last year they went by private plane from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to watch Jennifer Lopez in concert — meaning they spent £12,000 in one evening.

In an interview, Mel B cited a three-week break in a villa in Hawaii, complete with full staff and a butler, as their best break yet. She said: 'Because I'm always travelling with my kids, I always need something for their entertainment. There also has to be snorkelling and lovely sunsets.'

For a time the couple owned a holiday home in Miami, Florida, costing around £3 million, but this seems to have been sold.
Lavish: Last year they went by private plane (pictured) from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to watch Jennifer Lopez in concert — meaning they spent £12,000 in one evening

Heidi Klum shares playful video with Mel B on the red carpet

A PRIVATE ISLAND

You know you're spending cash like water if you enter Johnny Depp/Nicolas Cage territory and decide to buy your own island.

During a radio interview in 2014, Mel B said she had bought a private island off Virginia as a birthday present for Belafonte, so the family could 'chill out' there. It was said to have cost £1 million. There are reports that the couple have rarely visited and she is happy for Belafonte to keep it.

FABULOUS HOUSES

Belafonte is keen that Mel sells the marital home in Los Angeles to fund their split.

It is on the market for £6 million, has panoramic views of the city and boasts a pool, hot tub, bar, cinema, gym and recording studio. If they achieve that price it would represent a hefty profit, as they paid £3.5 million for it.

However, the couple managed to lose a cool million dollars on their previous LA home.

Home is where the heart is: Belafonte is keen that Mel sells the marital home in Los Angeles to fund their split
It is on the market for £6 million, has panoramic views of the city and boasts a pool, hot tub, bar, cinema, gym and recording studio

They bought it in 2007 and spent £800,000 on renovations which included installing a grey marble bathroom, curving glass staircase, outdoor kitchen, saline pool, three waterfalls and a recording studio.

SCHOOL FEES

Phoenix Chi has just graduated from Beverly Hills High School, a free school whose alumnae include Carrie Fisher, Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie.

The younger children are understood to be at a private school in the city, where fees stand at £24,000 a year.

LOTS OF STAFF

It takes quite a few people to run Scary's life. Mel B has an agent, a publicist, a PA and a nanny. To look after the house there is at least one housekeeper, plus gardeners and pool technicians.

It is estimated that the total staff cost is at least £250,000 a year.
Belafonte (left) is now asking for spousal support and money for his legal fees — a total of £90,000 — as he has no income

Mel B and Stephen Belafonte appeared together at 2015 ESPYs

In Mel B's court documents, she accused Belafonte of paying their German nanny £80,000 a year — and of having an affair with her and getting her pregnant.

BIG WARDROBE

A prize if you spot her in the same outfit twice. Mel B is mad about clothes and once changed seven times in the course of a single Mobo awards ceremony.

Recently she has worked with stylists Jules Sebastian and Jason Bolden, who call in clothes for her to wear on television — she has sported designs by Balenciaga and Maison Valentino, among others.

She has even kept nearly all her old Spice Girls outfits.

PAYING OFF EXES

The first significant nibble into Mel's Spice Girls earnings came when her two-year marriage to dancer Jimmy Gulzar collapsed in 2000. The divorce cost a reported £1.6 million in alimony.

Gulzar has since moved to Los Angeles so he can maintain contact with their daughter, Phoenix, who turned 18 earlier this year.

Belafonte came into the marriage with a child from a previous relationship. He and estate agent Nicole Contreras have a daughter , 12-year-old Giselle. In court papers, Mel B claims he paid £247,000 of her money, without her knowledge or consent, to support the child. However, Miss Contreras later said she had received no child support from Belafonte.
In an interview, Mel B cited a three-week break in a villa in Hawaii, complete with full staff and a butler, as their best break yet. Pictured: Mel B on holiday in Ibiza in July 2016

And now? Well, that payment to Gulzar is starting to look like a bargain. Belafonte — whom she wed in a £15 quickie ceremony in Las Vegas in 2007 — has asked for £3,263 a month for groceries, £1,520 a month for clothes, £8,350 to cover his rent and £570 to cover his mobile phone bill. Mel B has declined.

Instead, she claims Belafonte owes her £800,000 in money taken without her permission during the marriage. Her team wrote in court papers: 'We do not believe your client is entitled to much, if any, of the community, but will owe Mel for the amounts he has taken from her without her knowledge or consent.'

BUST BUSINESSES

She may well have other business interests in America or elsewhere in the world, but as far as her UK companies are concerned, Mel B is not sitting on a fortune.

One firm, Moneyspider Productions, which was set up to receive income from her (failed) solo recording career, has only £961 in its accounts, according to documents filed at Companies House in February this year.

Mel is also a director of Spice Girls Limited and Octopus Direct Limited. She owns 20 per cent of Spice Girls Limited, which as of August 31, 2016, held £109,987 — with the remainder divided equally between the other former Spice Girls.
She may well have other business interests in America or elsewhere in the world, but as far as her UK companies are concerned, Mel B is not sitting on a fortune

She also owns 16 per cent of Octopus Direct, which held £10,549 on August 31, 2016. Other shareholders are the former Spice Girls and Simon Fuller.

HIGH-COST HUBBY

Belafonte is a small-time film producer whose two most recent movies have flopped horribly.

In 2008 he produced Mutant Chronicles, a sci-fi thriller with a £19 million budget which grossed only £1.6 million worldwide.
How on earth did Scary Spice go bust? The answer, at least in part, must lie in the 'spend, spend, spend' lifestyle enjoyed over the past decade by the 42-year-old and Belafonte, her second husband (pictured)

Heartache unfolds in Mel B reality TV series It's a Scary World

The following year he co-produced the Nicolas Cage vehicle Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans, which had a £16 million budget but grossed only £1.2 million in America.

He was an executive producer on the reality TV show in which he and Mel appeared in 2010, but does not seem to have worked in film since then.

Movies aside, he is reportedly an investor in a Sydney nightclub — and he and Mel B also formed a partnership with the owners of the Serafina restaurant chain to open a branch on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles last year.

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