Again in the ’90s, when the Spice Ladies had been scorching, Melanie Brown, aka Mel B, was recognized around the globe as Scary Spice. However Brown’s life grew to become actually scary a few a long time later, when, as a mom of three daughters trapped in an allegedly abusive marriage to second husband Stephen Belafonte, she attempted suicide.
Earlier than the December 2014 finals of “The X Issue” in London, for which she was a decide, she overdosed by taking 200 aspirin. “As every tablet goes into my mouth, I ask myself, ‘Are you positive?’ ” Brown, now 43, remembers. “And I take one other one. Ten, 20, 50. 100. ‘Are you positive?’ ”
It was her second suicide try: The primary got here when she was simply 14. Leaving the hospital in opposition to physician’s orders, she nonetheless went on to look on the “X Issue” finale. Such are the connection, mental-health and substance-abuse struggles that Brown will get actual about in “Brutally Trustworthy,” her new memoir, out Tuesday.
Since marrying Belafonte (no relation to Harry Belafonte) in a quickie Las Vegas ceremony in 2007, Brown had misplaced a lot of the inherent Lady Energy that took her from being a brown biracial child rising up in Leeds, England, to changing into one-fifth of the largest lady group on the planet: the Spice Ladies.
“It was as much as [Stephen] whether or not I used to be a chunk of filth that day or a goddess or a whore,” writes the “America’s Received Expertise” decide, who drank and took cocaine to numb the ache of a troubled marriage that had minimize her off from her dad and mom.
“Brutally Trustworthy” reveals that Brown fell for Belafonte — father of her youngest daughter, Madison, now 7 — on the rebound from her breakup with Eddie Murphy. “I had been spectacularly dumped,” she writes concerning the finish of her relationship with the actor-comedian, whom she describes as “the love of my life.”
She and Murphy met by means of mutual mates at a 2006 banquet at Murphy’s Hollywood Hills mansion — “Eddie’s kingdom,” Brown calls it — that he had organized exactly to pursue her.
“What had began out as a thunderbolt in his kitchen became probably the most stunning, nurturing and loving relationship of my life,” writes Brown, who, oddly sufficient, had as soon as labored at a Leeds denims store known as Buying and selling Locations — the title of Murphy’s 1983 hit movie.
However the couple had issues after she grew to become pregnant with their daughter, Angel, now 11. Whereas selling “Dreamgirls,” Murphy introduced throughout an interview on the Dutch TV present “RTL Boulevard” that they’d cut up, unbeknownst to Brown, and questioned whether or not he was the daddy of her child. “It was like a hammer blow to my coronary heart,” she writes.
Earlier than Murphy, Brown had extra relationship drama with first husband Jimmy Gulzar, her designated “Spice Boy” backup dancer throughout the 1998 Spiceworld Tour. After she paid for her personal engagement ring, the 2 by no means consummated their marriage on their wedding ceremony evening that yr. “Jim acquired into mattress, turned his again on me and fell asleep,” Brown writes concerning the father of her oldest daughter, Phoenix, 19. She divorced Gulzar in 2000.
Likening her personal intercourse drive to “a bloody Method One automotive,” Brown is open about her bisexuality in “Brutally Trustworthy.” Earlier than she started courting Murphy, she writes, “I’d come out of a really stunning, loving, five-year relationship with a lady (one I’ll by no means, ever focus on as a result of she was extraordinarily personal and I’ll all the time respect that).”
Brown additionally particulars having threesomes with Belafonte, a lot of which she would provoke and all the time with different ladies. She allegedly had an affair with their former nanny Lorraine Gilles, though their relationship isn’t mentioned in the e-book, reportedly due to a secret settlement.
After making a deathbed promise to her father, Brown lastly left Belafonte in 2017 — with simply $936 in the one checking account she may entry. Throughout an unsightly authorized battle, she agreed to drop the domestic-violence costs in opposition to Belafonte in order for the 64 intercourse tapes he’d made throughout their marriage to not be proven in open court docket. However Brown watched all of them herself, painfully, at a small lodge in LA’s Koreatown.
“I used to be going to let myself cry,” she writes. “I used to be going to let myself fall, however I used to be not going to let myself try. By no means once more. I needed to imagine that this was all for a objective. That my energy would come again to me, my gentle would shine once more.”
Certainly it is going to: Brown can be reuniting with the Spice Ladies — minus Victoria Beckham, a okay a Posh Spice — for a UK stadium tour kicking off in June 2019. It is going to mark the group’s second reunion trek since breaking apart in 2000.
“Lady Energy has grown up,” Brown writes in the “Brutally Trustworthy” epilogue, “and I need to study from my previous and develop up with it.”