Mel B's Wedding Secret

Melanie Brown and boyfriend Stephen Belafonte swapped vows June 6 in Las Vegas; singer filed paternity suit against Eddie Murphy last week

By Natalie Finn Aug 08, 2007 11:43 PMTags

Whether she's received child support or not, it turns out Melanie Brown has had spousal support for some time now.

The British pop star, who filed a paternity suit against Eddie Murphy last week, tied the knot June 6 with movie producer Stephen Belafonte in Las Vegas, a clerk from the Clark County Marriage Bureau confirmed Wednesday to E! Online.

The couple eloped and swapped vows in a quickie ceremony, according to, which first reported the nuptials.

Brown's publicist tells E! Online that the marriage took place at the Special Memory Wedding Chapel.

"[They] had wanted to keep the ceremony out of the public eye as they planned a more formal wedding for friends and family later in the year," rep Natalie Whorms said. "Melanie and Stephen felt that they were at a good point in their lives and wanted to make a private commitment to each other."

This is the second time Brown has said "I do." She split from actor Jimmy Gulzar in 2001 after about two and a half years of marriage.

Aside from now being Mr. Scary Spice, the 32-year-old Belafonte's biggest credit to date is last year's art-house hit, Thank You for Smoking.

Brown, also 32, has kept her relationship with the producer on the down-low. Whorms refers to Belafonte and Brown as "long-term friends." Per British tabloid reports, their relationship escalated when she turned to him following her breakup with Murphy last fall.

She and Belafonte publicly came out as a couple about two months ago, shortly after the April birth of Brown and Murphy's daughter, Angel.

A DNA test in June proved that Murphy was Angel's daughter. But the Spice Girl claims the actor has yet to pay one cent of child support and launched a high-profile paternity case last week to force his cooperation.

But Murphy has adamantly denied being a deadbeat.

Following Brown's press conference touting her legal action, Murphy's publicist issued a statement saying the star "acknowledges paternity of the child Angel and has paid child support to Ms. Brown, as well as covering the expenses of her pregnancy."

Murphy's statement also countered Brown's repeated assertion that the baby was planned and that she and Murphy had contemplated marriage. "Mr. Murphy and Ms. Brown dated very briefly and never made any plans of ANY sort," publicist Arnold Robinson said.

Although he may not have known he was taking a cue from Brown, the Dreamgirls star is also preparing to walk down the aisle for the second time, having popped the question to his girlfriend of 10 months, producer Tracey Edmonds.

The ex-wife of Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds says in JET magazine's September issue that the legal issues between Brown and her fiancé have not affected their relationship at all.

"Eddie is a wonderful man. He's a wonderful father and so I've been supportive of him throughout this whole journey," she said.

Brown, who's heading out on a reunion tour with her girl-power group in December, had been scheduled to appear on Larry King Live Wednesday night, presumably to delve further into the headlines she's been making, but sources at CNN tell E! News that the singer had to cancel just hours before airtime, due to an illness.