Mel B shares photo with husband Stephen Belafonte amid split rumours

Published Friday, Dec 26 2014, 13:14 GMT  |  By  |  1 comment
Mel B and husband Stephen Belafonte have been pictured together for the first time since their marriage was reported to be in trouble.

The X Factor judge, 39, showed fans that she and Stephen had spent Christmas together despite reports that she had walked out on him.

Melanie Brown pictured with husband Stephen Belafonte for first time since rumours of relationship problems, 26 December 2014

© Instagram / officialmelb

Sharing a festive photo with her 400,000 Instagram followers, Mel wrote: "Have a merry Christmas! #familytime #funday."

In the snap, Stephen and Mel are both smiling as they cuddle up to daughters Phoenix, Angel and Madison.

It is the first time Mel has been on social media since she was forced to pull out of The X Factor final due to a mystery illness.

Mel B poses with last surviving contestant, Andrea Faustini in X Factor live show, 22 November 2014

© Instagram / @officialmelb

While a spokesperson for Mel said she had been ill, other reports suggested more sinister reasons for her absence involving her husband and rumours of domestic abuse.

In fact, Stephen was forced to deny "the disgusting rumours" that he had hit his wife.

Mel B (L) and Stephen Belafonte attend the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards at One Mayfair on December 3, 2014 in London, England.

© David M. Benett/Getty Images

But speculation continued to grow as the pair were not seen together, and Mel refused to deny the reports.

However, Mel's daughter Phoenix - her child with former husband Jimmy Gulzar - defended her step-father on social media on Christmas Day.

Stephen Belafonte and step-daughter Phoenix pictured on Christmas Day, 25 December 2014

© Instagram / stephenthinks11

When Stephen posted a snap of himself with Phoenix on 25 December, fans of the former Spice Girl continued to speculate about Mel's absence and her rumoured marriage troubles.

So 15-year-old Phoenix stepped in, when she said: "Can everyone just chill he didn't hit my mum don't know how that stupid rumour came up."

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