Mel B will go bankrupt if she has to pay her ex-husband $500,000.
The Spice Girls singer was ordered in September to pay $400,000 in legal costs and an additional $100,000 in accounting fees to Stephen Belafonte but she has now asked a judge to lower the sums because she cannot afford to make the payments.
In a written declaration obtained by DailyMail.com, Mel explained that if Los Angeles Superior Court don’t “modify” the order, she’d be left “insolvent”.
She wrote: “I will effectively be insolvent and will in all likelihood have to file for bankruptcy.
“I simply do not have the ability to pay such an exorbitant sum.”
The 45-year-old star explained her financial situation is so dire, she’s had to give up her attempts to have nine-year-old daughter Madison move to join her in the UK from Los Angeles because she can’t afford the legal fees to continue battling with Stephen, who has opposed the proposal and wants full custody of their daughter.
Mel – who also has Phoenix, 21, and Angel, 13, from previous relationships – wrote: “Because of my lack of access to liquid funds, I have formally withdrawn my international move away request that was previously pending as to Madison.
“I maintain my belief that it would be in Madison’s best interest to move to the UK and reside with me and her older sisters .
“I am devastated that given all the financial issues and implications, I am not financially able to advocate for Madison’s relocation to the United Kingdom.”
While the ‘Wannabe’ singer earned an estimated $2-$10 million from the 2019 Spice Girls reunion tour, she claims she has been unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic and is struggling with her already-high outgoings, including $15,000 a month in spousal support to Stephen, $7,300 in child support for Madison, as well as her own legal fees, and a $2.5 million tax debt.
She wrote: “While I hope to find employment opportunities for 2021, I anticipate that it will be difficult to find work as an entertainer in these unprecedented times.
“I am informed and believe that there will not be any events or concerts in 2021. Therefore, I have no idea how long it will be before I can work and the businesses can earn any significant further income.
“My expenses for the next 12 months are estimated to be about $700,000; this about includes certain obligations that are mandatory: spousal support, child support, $15,000 per month payment plan with the IRS and anticipated travel costs for Madison when she travels with me to and from the UK.
“However, these expenses do not incorporate my outstanding debts, such as my substantial principal amounts owed to the IRS in the approximate amount of $2.5 million… I am also responsible to provide and care for Madison’s two older sisters, one of whom is still a minor.”
Mel received help from her two companies, Purple Owl and MoneySpider, to pay off some court-ordered debts, including $67,500 towards Stephen’s costs and $100,000 to establish a trust fund for Madison, but her business partner refused to authorise a $600,000 loan to cover the rest of her payments to her ex-husband.
She wrote: “Partner denied my request. At this time, I am precluded by partner from obtaining loans for additional funds that are required from the businesses in order to fully comply with the September 18 court order.’
The ‘Stop’ singer’s new lawyer, Adam Schanz, also submitted a declaration on her behalf and asked for the payment plan to be changed.
He said: “Melanie cannot afford and does not have the ability to make the court-ordered fee awards forthwith and must instead make payments over time.
“Melanie is doing everything she can to comply with the September 18 court order and not bankrupt herself. Melanie will not be able to remain in compliance with the court’s orders without modification.
“To wit, she is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and she has abandoned her relocation request due to her tenuous financial situation… She is facing undue financial stress and cannot financially comply with the current orders to pay forthwith.”
The judge has originally set a hearing date of 25 January 2021, but after hearing the lawyer’s argument that Mel “needs an earlier hearing date to assert her requests for financial relief”, it has now been brought forward to 11 January next year.