Mel B's Divorce Battle Has Left Her Strapped For Cash

By on July 21, 2018 in ArticlesEntertainment

Mel B is not having an easy go of it in her divorce battle with Stephen Belafonte. In fact, court documents show that the former Spice Girl is close to financial ruin. Her travel expenses, spending habits, and attorney and accountant bills have driven her net income for 2017 to a -$3.2 million. It was revealed that Mel B's paychecks are being garnished by the IRS to pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars she owes in back taxes.

The filing also contains details of the huge cost of her divorce and other expenses. The scale of her spending over the past 18 months is staggering. She paid Belafonte $422,500 in spousal support and contributions to his legal fees in 2017. She also paid $58,339 on a private investigator, $63,325 on meals and entertainment, $49,162 on medical bills and $120,805.87 on travel expenses. The upkeep on her Hollywood home cost $42,549 in 2017 and a bit over $21,000 for the first half of 2018. She has paid nearly $1.1 million on lawyer fees so far and still owes almost $800,000 to several attorneys and forensic accountants. She owes her current attorney and accountant a combined $184,000. The 43-year-old also has $100,000 of credit card debt.

She also pays $9,072 a month on school for her kids, $5,000 for her oldest daughter's rent, $5,544 on childcare costs, and gives $3,217 a month to charitable causes. Mel B. spent $12,2447 on cars and $5,918 on flowers. Mel and Belafonte also owe the IRS $838,854 in back taxes for 2016. Her 2017 tax liability is estimated to be $1 million.

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The filing reveals that the California Franchise Tax Board is set to garnish her wages for the 2016 back taxes. The FTB has also filed a lien against her Hollywood home due to nonpayment.

Mel estimates her current earnings are $250,269 a month—this includes investment income and income from her company Purple Owl, Inc. However, 2017 tells a different story where her income is concerned. In her profit and loss statement from 2017, Mel says she made $26,445 from her company and that for the first six months of 2018, she has made $11,181,54. Her biggest source of income for 2017 was the $250,000 she received in child support from Eddie Murphy. She's received $125,000 from him for the first half of 2018.

Mel claims that she finished 2017 in debt. Her total expenses were $3,510,292. She earned $276,445. That leaves her more than $3.2 million in the red.

Mel's current assets include nearly $76,000 in the bank and the $6.5 million Hollywood house she owns with Belafonte. The former couple still owes $3.1 million on the house, so if it sells at asking price, they would get nearly $3.4 million.

Mel divulged her financial woes to the court after Belafonte asked the court to force her to pay him more than $1 million towards his legal fees, accountant fees, and child support.

Mel did not hold back in her declaration. She called out Belafonte for not supporting himself, writing:

"Since Stephen cannot seek additional spousal support as the judgment clearly states that spousal support is non-modifiable, he is now using our child as another means in which to get more money. Stephen has not provided any information as if he is trying to become self-supporting or if his 'company' is making any type of income. Stephen's actual monthly earnings are unclear. He has listed zero income. He does not provide any documents to support his 'self employment'. I am sole provider for our daughter in every way. I have guaranteed that her standard of living would not be disrupted by way of this divorce. I pay the entirety of her education, summer camps, and extracurricular activities, without any contribution from Stephen whatsoever."

Mel pays all of the bills on their Hollywood Hills home. In her declaration, she also wrote:

"I have been unable to pay for my own attorney fees, yet alone contribute another $900,000 as Stephen has requested. If the court orders that I contribute additional funds to Stephen for attorney fees, I am extremely concerned that I will only continue to grow further into debt as I will continue to handle our community debts and Stephen will continue to financially prosper from me."

Belafonte also filed his own income and expense declaration. He claims to make no money at all other than the $15,000 he receives in spousal support. His monthly expenses are $18,000, which includes $2,000 on entertainment, gifts, and vacation, $1,500 on eating out, and $1,500 on clothes. He has spent nearly $225,000 on lawyer fees and still owes $701,000 to his legal team and $70,000 to a forensic accountant.

The former couple's house is on the market. Selling it will alleviate some debt. However, they will owe about $800,000 in capital gains taxes when the house sells. The former couple has no agreement in place on who is going to pay those taxes.

Pre-nups are a good thing, people.

Articles Written by Amy Lamare
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer covering business, technology, entertainment, philanthropy, and pop culture. She spent 8 1/2 years covering the entertainment industry for www.hsx.com. She has written for Los Angeles Magazine, Your Tango, Thinknum Media, and various airline magazines. Follow her on Facebook.
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