Stephen Belafonte has accused estranged wife Mel B of alienating his children against him as their divorce gets increasingly bitter.
Upon filing for divorce from the producer last month (Mar17), the former Spice Girls star requested sole custody of their five-year-old daughter Madison and was also granted a restraining order preventing Stephen from contacting her or her children. Stephen responded by asking for joint custody of Madison, and was reportedly planning to ask the judge for the legal right to continue his relationship with 10-year-old stepdaughter Angel, who is the daughter of Mel and comedian Eddie Murphy.
Stephen's legal team have now filed new documents in which they allege that Mel has been deliberately trying to get her children on her side, with the producer alleging that when he last saw Angel and Madison, they told him: "Mommy is really mad at you and that's why she won't let us come and see you," according to TMZ.com.
They continue to allege he has received "a series of heart wrenching text messages from Angel", which he shared in the documents. One reads, "I Love You", while others include, "Daddy Where are you", followed by an emoji of a crying face, both of which Stephen couldn't respond to because of the restraining order.
He also claims in the documents that Angel had no idea Stephen wasn't her biological father, as she hasn't seen actor Eddie since she was born.
Under Californian law, a stepparent is able to get "reasonable visitation" if it is in the best interests of the child. Stephen claims that it is in Madison and Angel's best interests to see him, as he was the only parent who cooks. He also apparently cuddles them, play games with them and tells them stories, and attached several pictures of himself with the girls to support his case.
The initial restraining order was granted after Mel alleged he has taken his jealous temper out on her on numerous occasions, claims which Stephen strenuously denies.