Sharon Osbourne has spoken out in defence of fellow X Factor judge Melanie Brown.
Earlier this month, the former Spice Girl filed for divorce from her husband of ten years, Stephen Belafonte, citing 'irreconcilable differences'. Court documents revealed shocking allegations of a catalogue of psychological and physical abuse that the singer claims she was subjected to throughout her marriage.
Speaking on a US chat show, The Talk, Sharon Osbourne recalled that Mel B was absent from the first day of The X Factor final in 2014, and when she arrived she was covered in bruises.
She said that her allegedly turbulent relationship with Belafonte was known within the industry. "It's not just physical, its mental abuse too," she explained. "It was everywhere, and especially three years ago, the final two days of The X Factor.
"She didn't make the first day because she was in hospital and it was reported in all the papers that said 'allegedly' she'd been beaten by her husband.
"She came back for the final day and she had a black eye and bruising everywhere but she made the final. This has been brewing and people [have been] talking for a very long time," she revealed.
Showing her support for the troubled star she added: "She's a good girl, and a great mother, and she works her bum off."
It was earlier reported that Simon Cowell had attempted to help Brown escape her marriage and arranged for her to speak to a divorce lawyer. However, Mel B returned to LA, fearful for her children and worried that anyone who tried to help her might anger her husband.
Sister speaks out
The singer's sister, Dannielle Brown, has slammed Belafonte on social media, branding him a "sorry excuse of a man."
Sharing an image of herself laughing out loud as she held a giant inflatable bottle of champagne, she revealed her joy that her family was reunited and claimed that Belafonte was behind a nine-year rift between Mel B and her family.
"8 years of abusive calls me and my mum have had stating we would never see Melanie again. I am laughing and celebrating as you were wrong. You are a sorry excuse of a man !!" she said.
She added the hashtags "#wifebeater #physcopath #animalkiller #abuser #eventslocker #moneylaundering #fraud #criminal #adultery #kidnap #attemptedmuder #firearm #controling #violent #evil #devilman #gotmysistersback #united #mydadisdancinginhisgrave #dontmesswiththebrowns.' [sic].
Having secretly tied the knot with Belafonte in Las Vegas in June 2007, just months after meeting him, Mel, 41, broke ties with her family in 2008 after they expressed disapproval of her husband.
However, following the death of her father last month, the mother-of three ended the family feud as she realised that 'life was too short' to allow the rift to continue.
A source close to the family said: "Mel is finally back in touch with her family and everyone is thrilled. It took for Mel to realise that life was too short to keep this going. She's really pleased she took the step of finally reaching out to them.'
The singer has taken out a restraining order against her estranged husband, who has been ordered by a judge to vacate the family home.
Responding to the allegations of abuse against him, his lawyer said it was "a smear campaign."
"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," he said.
"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.
"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," the lawyers continued.
Brown is seeking joint custody of the couple's five-year-old daughter, Madison.