‘Is Mel B the right champion for abused women?’

Excuse me. Is that former Spice Girl Mel B posing in front of No 10 as the new champion of abused women?

Apparently, this week she "talked" to the British prime minister’s team about how the government could be doing more to help women who are trapped in abusive relationships and cannot afford to leave.

In reality, it seems, she handed in a petition on behalf of Women’s Aid and made sure to have lots of photographs taken, including one with the ghost writer of her memoir.

One cannot be too churlish. Well done to Melanie Brown for supporting such an important cause – it is certainly one of the better things she has done in her life. Yet it does have the occasional self-serving, even ridiculous, element.

I mean, what does Mel B – and her sordid, extravagant and wasteful existence – have in common with ordinary women who are poor and abused?

She has claimed that ex-husband Stephen Belafonte controlled her money, beat her up and forced her into making sex tapes and having threesomes during their ten-year marriage. Yet several involved witnesses claimed that she was an enthusiastic participant in the sex games. She was no slouch at spending money either – and why not? She had earned it, after all.

Certainly, Belafonte has a history of violence against women and is such a ghastly character he might as well have "BAD LOT" tattooed across his forehead. But can she really blame her marriage collapse entirely on him?

The divorce that ensued lasted more than eight bitter months, as both sides battled over her £40-million fortune.

Mel B said that, at her lowest point, she "had no money to buy Christmas presents, so I had help from my best friend who bought all the Christmas dinner for me and bought all the kids’ presents and stuff".

When you think of those women who are truly trapped in abusive relationships, who really don’t have money or rich friends to pitch in when times are tight, well, it is such humbug. After all, Mel B is about to go on a Spice Girls reunion tour and make millions. She’s not bunking up in a shelter with no money and no home to call her own.

Yet here she is propounding the ideology that women are the weaker sex and portraying herself as the hapless victim du jour. Not only is that hard to swallow, it also plugs in to the currently fashionable narrative that the mere fact of being female confers a kryptonite shield of innocence.

The lure of celebrity and the accompanying coverage that it brings must be overwhelming for organisations such as Women’s Aid, but surely there are better patrons than Mel B?

Yes, she has much to be proud of, but I still see her as a girl-power fraud; a woman who always portrayed herself as independent, smart and tough – until it suited her not to. Is she the kind of role model they really want?

She will be writing messages on bananas next, mark my words.

Daily Mail

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