A judge said Wednesday he will wait until domestic violence proceedings between former Spice Girl Melanie Brown and her estranged husband, Stephen Belafonte, are over before he holds a hearing on Belafonte’s request for visitation with his 10-year-old stepdaughter, whose father is Eddie Murphy.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Juhas tentatively set the visitation hearing for Nov. 15, saying the outcome of the proceedings on Brown’s request for a restraining order against Belafonte, scheduled to begin Oct. 30, may have an impact on his decision.
Brown and her lawyers oppose any visitation between Belafonte and her daughter, Angel. The singer and “America’s Got Talent” judge has barred Belafonte’s access to the child since April 3, when she won a restraining order on allegations that Belafonte was physically abusive.
Belafonte maintains that he has raised the girl since she was an infant and has a right to visits with her.
Belafonte was granted monitored visitation in April with the estranged couple’s 6-year-old daughter, Madison. He is seeking shared custody of the younger child.
Brown, 42, filed for divorce from Belafonte on March 20 and accused him of emotional and physical abuse during their 10-year union.
In another action, Juhas scheduled an Oct. 25 hearing on some property disputes between Brown and Belafonte, but expressed hope the parties and their attorneys could resolve the issues before then.
Belafonte’s lawyer, Michael Hanasab, told Juhas that his client is seeking the return of two Audi vehicles by Brown, as well as reimbursement of the impound fee after one of the cars was taken to a tow yard. Hanasab said the car also had a broken rear window and that Brown only recently turned over the keys.
Belafonte, 42, also wants some of his personal belongings that he has not been able to obtain after his “kick-out” from their home, Hanasab said.
But Brown’s lawyer, Susan Wiesner, said efforts have been made since April to return Belafonte’s property to him, but that he has responded by trying to generate negative news coverage about his estranged wife.
“This is a media game,” Wiesner said. “It’s a fake narrative.”
Brown listened to the arguments while seated in a chair behind her attorneys, but Belafonte did not attend the hearing.
–City News Service
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