Mel B has said not seeing daughter Madison, nine, for ‘months at a time’ during the pandemic is the ‘hardest thing’ she has had to deal with.
Due to travel between the US and UK being ‘really difficult’ during the coronavirus pandemic, Mel said she has had to go ‘months at a time’ without seeing her daughter.
Hard: Mel B has said not seeing daughter Madison, nine, for ‘months at a time’ during the pandemic is the ‘hardest thing’ she has had to deal with (pictured in 2018)
Talking to OK! magazine, Mel said: ‘I’ve been a single parent for a long time, as I’ve always been the one who financially and emotionally supported my family.
‘Unfortunately, due to the justice system, a difficult situation with my ex, and the fact that my youngest is an American citizen, I have shared care of Madison – and because of Covid, flying between America and the UK has been really difficult.
‘Not having my baby with me for months at a time is the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with.’
Mel added she has ‘so much sympathy’ for all parents and teachers who have been home schooling during the pandemic.
Her girl: The Spice Girls star, 46, moved back to Leeds in 2019 after 15 years in Los Angeles, California, and shares custody of Madison with her ex Stephen Belafonte (pictured in 2019)
Sad: Due to travel between the US and UK being ‘really difficult’ during the pandemic, Mel said she has had to go ‘months at a time’ without seeing her daughter (pictured in 2016)
The singer said her other daughter Angel, 14, whose father is Hollywood star Eddie Murphy, is ‘pretty academic’ so she had ‘no problems’ – but with Madison, they had to endure some ‘pretty late lessons’ due to her classes being in LA.
The Spice Girls singer took to Instagram to upload a heart-warming video of herself mid-celebrations with her three children – Madison, Angel, 14, and Phoenix, 22.
In the video, Mel and her three daughters could all be seen holding onto birthday balloons and bouncing up and down.
‘He is looking down on me smiling’: Over the weekend, Mel shared an emotional message to social media remembering her father as she celebrated her birthday with her children
The clip then goes into slow motion as the family turns and runs away from the camera, with their balloons trailing behind them.
Penning a message alongside the video, Mel wrote: ‘Oh yeh it’s ma birthday!!! Anyone who no’s me no’s I don’t really like this day one of the reasons being it’s my dads birthday the day before mine god rest his soul.
‘But I feel he is looking down on me smiling as I have THE best birthday gifts today ever being surrounded by family and my 3 baby girls that are my world.
‘Thank you for all your birthday messages it really does mean ALOT now I’m off to go spend time with my nearest and dearest #greatful #familytime #birthday #bighair #raisingstrongwomen #lifeisgood.’
Birthday fun: In the video, Mel and her three daughters could all be seen holding onto birthday balloons and bouncing up and down
Earlier this month, Mel spoke about her traumatic experience with domestic abuse during an appearance on Good Morning Britain.
The Spice Girls star emotionally admitted being abused ‘does crush your soul’ as she claimed it would take ‘forever to get that back’, and explained how women in situations like hers struggle to get out of it.
Mel has previously accused ex-husband Stephen Belafonte of ’emotional and physical abuse’, which he has vehemently denied, and has claimed she attempted to leave her marriage for a decade but found it to be an ‘impossible’ situation.
Mel told co-hosts Susanna Reid and Adil Ray: ‘As a woman that’s gone through it, it does crush your soul, it does really strip you… I’m going to be taking forever to get that back.
‘It does crush your soul, I’m going to be taking forever to get that back’: Earlier this month, Mel spoke about her traumatic experience with domestic abuse during an appearance on GMB
‘I’ve had to build myself up. One of the good things for me is to speak to other women who have been in a similar situation.’
Mel recently appeared in a Women’s Aid video where she appeared beaten and covered in fake bruises as she attempted to flee a violent partner. The Spice Girls star is a patron of the charity,
She said of the clip: ‘You know that’s why this video is so important, because it’s not just my story, [it’s] bits and pieces of my story, but it’s every woman’s story, it’s everybody’s voice, because we are dealing with an epidemic.’
She added: ‘You put on your armour and you walk out to the world, but behind closed doors it’s very, very different.
Hard-hitting: Mel recently appeared in a Women’s Aid video where she appeared beaten and covered in fake bruises as she attempted to flee a violent partner (pictured). The Spice Girls star is a patron of the charity
‘It’s embarrassing, shameful and you carry so much guilt having to lie and keep that secret. To do this campaign was so important to me.’
Mel went on to speak about how difficult it is for women in abusive relationships to leave them, saying: ‘People in these situations, they don’t feel like there’s a way out.
‘They’ve been isolated from their friends, their family and that’s one of the major signs somebody is in one of those kinds of relationships.
‘The only way out is sporadically run – you don’t know where you’re running, you don’t know where you’re going to get help, you probably don’t have your own phone anymore, your friends probably haven’t heard from you in months.
Ex: Mel has previously claimed she tried to leave her marriage for 10 years, after accusing ex Stephen Belafonte of ’emotional and physical abuse,’ which he vehemently denies (pictured in 2016)
‘We wanted to highlight how it can escalate very quickly to feeling trapped and alone.’
Mel added that she experiences good and bad days as a result of her trauma, adding: ‘It doesn’t just go away. It will always be with me, I just have to learn to live with it.’
The singer has returned to Leeds to live with her mum, sisters, and her other family members, and detailed how ‘important’ it was for her to be with them again.
She gushed: ‘Being away from my family for so long – a good 10 years and not having much communication and during that time, my dad died, it was really important for me to get back to my roots, my northern side. My mum, my sister, my kids, we love it there.’
Mel has also revealed she is currently in a relationship, saying: ‘I’m with somebody who’s very kind, very honest, very loving. I need somebody understanding.’
MailOnline contacted representatives for Stephen Belafonte for further comment at the time.
If you have been affected by this story, contact Women’s Aid at www.womensaid.org.uk.
Family: In addition to Madison, Mel B is a mother to daughters Phoenix, 22, whose father is her first husband Jimmy Gulzar, and Angel, 14, whose father is Hollywood star Eddie Murphy. They are pictured in LA in 2018 along with Belafonte’s adult daughter Giselle