After Mel B’s scary allegations of spousal abuse against Stephen Belafonte, it seems clear the singer’s been through a lot. But she’s not the only one suffering from divorce — her 3 girls have also undoubtedly been hurt! Talking to an expert, we found out why the kids should have professional help.
Mel B, 41, officially filed for divorce from her husband-of-ten-years Stephen Belafonte, 41, last month. And since then, the former Spice Girl has accused Stephen of physically and psychologically abusing her over the entire course of their marriage! We can’t even imagine what Mel is going through right now, but regardless of what’s true or false, there’s no question her three daughters are also suffering!
Mel is the proud mom of three kids: Madison Brown-Belafonte, 5, whom she shares with Stephen; Angel Iris Murphy Brown, 10, whom she shares with Eddie Murphy; and Phoenix Chi Gulzar, 18, whom she shares with Jimmy Gulzer. And speaking to family therapist Steve Ornstein, HollywoodLife.com learned EXCLUSIVELY just how essential therapy is for these vulnerable girls right now.
“Mel B and her children should all be in therapy, if they are not already. Young children often blame themselves when mommy and daddy get divorced. They don’t understand that it has absolutely nothing to do with them,” Dr. Ornstein told us. “The children will have to understand why they will not be able to see their father on a regular basis anymore. This needs to be handled by a professional therapist.”
But that’s not the only reason Madison, Angel, and Phoenix should talk to somebody. The alleged abuse against their mom is also a major factor! “They most likely witnessed their father allegedly physically and verbally abusing their mother on an ongoing basis, and this of course is terrifying for them and will affect them if they don’t get the proper help,” the doctor explained. “This destructive behavior affects all children not just young kids, but teenagers as well.”
Dr. Ornstein also revealed that what happened in the Belafonte family household was most likely “very traumatic for everybody involved.” He stressed that the kids need to be provided with a safe place where they can go and express their feelings without judgement. We could not agree more! “There needs to be ongoing open communication, and what’s most important right now, the kids need to feel safe and secure and loved,” he said.
It’s also important that the kids keep a consistent routine, which Mel has reportedly been giving them. As HL previously told you, the singer’s trying her very best to be a present mom right now — even packing their lunches and taking them to school like usual. “Mel B is doing everything she can to give her children stability and structure since her split,” an insider revealed to HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “Mel has been packing their lunches, driving the kids to school, and putting on a brave face while being a good mommy despite all the pain she is feeling from her rocky break with Stephen.”
But routine isn’t the only things the kids need. A therapist will “help them and encourage them to express their feelings in a constructive manner, rather than to act out,” Dr. Ornstein explained. Being the oldest, Phoenix most likely feels the most relief from the divorce.
“While there is plenty of disturbing information out there on the internet about her stepfather, I’m sure on some level Mel B‘s oldest daughter already knows very well what was going on in that household and perhaps feels a sense of freedom that the truth is finally out,” our therapy expert told us. “It is imperative that she too get professional counseling. Was she too a victim of abuse? It’s time for the truth, the whole truth to come out so that healing can begin. It will be a process, an ongoing process for all.”
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — do you agree with Dr. Ornstein? Should Mel and Stephen’s kids be in therapy?