Stephen Belafonte and Mel B's rocky divorce just took another turn.
The former Spice Girl filed for divorce in late March, and the producer has already starting seeking joint custody of their 6-year-old daughter, Madison. However, now E! News can confirm he is also seeking visitation rights over Mel's 10-year-old daughter with Eddie Murphy, Angel.
In an ex parte filed last week, which E! News has obtained, Belafonte's attorney Grace Jamra wrote a letter to Mel's attorneys Susan [Weisman] and Larry [Bakman] expressing the producer's desire to spend time with both children.
"Stephen would like to schedule a meeting as soon as possible to discuss the resolution of temporary issues, including his ability to see Madison and Angel, whom we would appreciate continuing to have contact with," the letter read.
According to TMZ, sources close to Belafonte say he's arguing that he's more of a father figure in Angel's life than Murphy as he married Mel when Angel was just 2-months-old.
A source close to the situation confirmed this to E! News and explained, "In family law, hypothetically, if you came to an attorney and said you were a step [parent] to a potential child, and you were going through a divorce, the family code does allow for step-parent visitation, as does it allow for grandparent visitation, depending on what's in the best interest for the minor child."
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However, Mel B was most recently granted a restraining order against Belafonte, claiming a variety of domestic abuse allegations.
"I am in fear of my safety and I am in fear of being irreparably harmed as a result of [his] threats," Mel declared in the court documents we obtained from the restraining order.
Last week, a Los Angeles superior court judge granted the singer the restraining order, barring Belafonte from coming into physical or verbal contact with her or her children and forcing him out of their house. Therefore, he was not granted any visitation rights for his daughter Madison or Angel until the court hearing, which has been scheduled for April 24.
Mel B also made a request in her restraining order filing to prevent Belafonte from disseminating any videos or pictures of her and for all media involving her to be collected from him.
In addition, "[Last] Friday in court, [Mel's attorneys] gave ex parte notice to get a court order that [Stephen] not release the sex tape," our source explained, noting Belafonte had denied possession or knowledge of any sex tapes with Mel. Thus, our insider claims, "There's no threat for any release of a sex tape or that one even exists."
Furthermore, the source says Belafonte has attempted to "reach out to settle the issues in this case" but Mel's attorneys have been "unresponsive."
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Meanwhile, Belafont's lawyers also released a statement on his behalf in response to the allegations, calling the claims "outrageous and unfounded. "
"What matters most to Mr. Belafonte is the safety and well-being of his daughters and step-daughters. It's a shame that Ms. Brown elected not to proceed in a respectful and amicable fashion in this very private matter. In due course, Mr. Belafonte will be filing his response to the outrageous and unfounded allegations made by Ms. Brown, which allegations he vehemently denies," the statement read. "When the Court determines the truth, it will become clear that this entire charade was nothing more than a smear campaign intended to cover up Ms. Brown's own conduct during the marriage in light of her current involvement with a family television show, and in an effort to unfairly gain leverage both financially and with respect to custody of the children."
The statement continued, "When the degree to which Ms. Brown has gone to create a false depiction of her marriage to Mr. Belafonte is uncovered, real victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse will be understandably offended, angry and upset. Mr. Belafonte is confident that the truth will come out when he has his day in court at which time he looks forward to being reunited with his children. In the meantime, Mr. Belafonte requests that he and his children be given the space they deserve during this challenging time."