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- British singer, actress and television personality
Mel B believes her late father would be "so proud" after she was awarded an MBE.
The Spice Girls singer was recognised in the New Year Honours List for her work with victims of domestic violence as patron of Woman's Aid and she recently paid a visit to Martin Brown's grave to talk to him about the accolade and pay tribute to the fact her dad - who died of cancer in 2017 - gave her the "strength" to leave her marriage to Stephen Belafonte shortly after he passed away.
She wrote on Instagram alongside a black and white picture in front of Martin's grave: "This was the moment I told my dad about my MBE. On his death bed I promised him I would leave my abusive marriage.He gave me that strength.He would be so proud.
"I’m overwhelmed honoured and grateful and as patron of @womens_aid I will NEVER stop this fight to #stopabuse #itsnotyourfault #silencenomore #womensupportwomen #speakup #youarenotalone #reclaimthesestreets #yourlifematters #togetherwearestronger (sic)"
After news broke of Mel's MBE, the 'Wannabe' hitmaker - who has daughters Phoenix, 20, with first husband Jimmy Gulzar, Angel, 14, with Eddie Murphy, and 10-year-old Madison with Stephen - admitted the honour meant more to her than "anyone will ever know" because of why she had received it.
She said: “This has taken so long to sink in because it means so much to me - more than anyone will ever know. It’s such mixed emotions. To go through such dark times and then to start coming into the light and speaking out for myself and other women has been at times incredibly painful but also unbelievably empowering. I feel I’m accepting this award on behalf of all women who have gone through — or going through — abuse in all its shapes and forms. I am so grateful not just to be a survivor but to have a platform to keep speaking out as Patron of Women’s Aid.”
Stephen has repeatedly denied Mel's allegations of abuse.