Lawyers for Stephen Belafonte have demanded the right to grill witnesses who allegedly corroborate Mel B’s claim that her husband beat her during their ten year marriage.
Attorney Michael Hanasab told Judge Mark A. Juhas on Wednesday that he wanted the chance to question and depose these witnesses over Mel’s claims that Belafonte ‘tried to kill me, threw me to the floor, punched me…..and placed his hands around my throat and tried to choke me.’
During the latest hearing at a downtown LA courtroom in the bitter divorce and domestic abuse battle, Judge Juhas allowed the amendment to the witness list ahead of the upcoming trial.
Belafonte was a no-show for the hearing while his estranged wife turned up alongside her therapist Charles Sophy.
The 42-year-old America’s Got Talent judge – photographed exclusively by DailyMail.com – was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt, tight dark green dress with brass buttons and brown high heels and tried to evade photographers and reporters at the court.
Back in court: Mel B was spotted at the Los Angeles Superior Court alongside her therapist Dr Charles Sophy – but her estranged husband Stephen Belafonte was a no-show
The 42-year-old America’s Got Talent judge – photographed exclusively by DailyMail.com – was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt, tight dark green dress with brass buttons and brown high heels
Wearing sunglasses and carrying a large cream handbag, the pop star was snapped scrolling through her smart phone before cracking a smile as she took a cigarette break with her stylist Gary Madatyan on Wednesday afternoon.
During the hearing, which saw both sides squabble over several minor issues, Judge Juhas refused to grant Belafonte’s request for a step-parent visitation order allowing the producer to go on seeing Angel, 10, Mel’s daughter with comedian Eddie Murphy.
‘Mr Belafonte’s position is that he is effectively the child’s father,’ said Judge Juhas. ‘He has stood in the shoes of a father and wants visitation.’
But because Mel – real name Melanie Brown – is seeking a domestic violence restraining order, as well as a divorce from Belafonte at their October 30 trial, Judge Juhas added: ‘I am not going to make a step parent visitation order until after the trial, until after I find whether there was domestic violence or there was not.’
The judge tabled the step parent visitation issue until November 15, after the trial is over.
The Spice Girl was snapped scrolling through her smart phone before cracking a smile as she took a cigarette break with her stylist Gary Madatyan (right) outside a restaurant later Wednesday afternoon
The latest divorce hearing saw both sides bicker over minor issues – during which the judge refused to grant Belafonte’s request for a step-parent visitation and Mel was accused of not allowing her soon-to-be-ex-husband access to the couple’s former home to pick up clothes and shoes
Mel’s attorney Susan Wiesner also claimed Belafonte was refusing to hand over Spice Girls memorabilia and photos of Mel B’s dead father.
Belafonte’s attorney, Mr Hanasab countered that Mel B wasn’t allowing her soon-to-be-ex-husband access to the couple’s former home to pick up clothes and shoes.
And Hanasab also accused Mel of leaving one of the couple’s cars parked on a street where it was towed and subsequently incurred substantial impound and storage charges which kept running up because she allegedly wouldn’t hand over the key to Belafonte so that he could retrieve the vehicle.
Wiesner argued that the car key had been handed over to Belafonte.
But Judge Juhas put a stop to further legal bickering, asking both sides to ‘get together and resolve the issues among yourselves,’ before the upcoming trial.