He claims he’s the de facto dad to Mel B’s daughter with actor Eddie Murphy, so he made a formal request for stepparent visitation Friday.
Stephen Belafonte filed his paperwork in Los Angeles County Superior Court amid his bitter divorce war with the Spice Girls singer.
In his signed declaration, Belafonte said he started dating Mel B, whose real name is Melanie Brown, when her daughter Angel was only a month old. He has spent the last decade raising the child as his own, he argued.
“By all intents and purposes, I am Angel’s father,” he wrote in the 10-page declaration obtained by the Daily News.
He claimed Murphy has only seen the child “two to three times” throughout the couple’s 10-year marriage, and all of the visits took place with both Brown and Belafonte present, in a public setting.
“I believe my request for stepparent visitation is in Angel’s best interests, as Angel has been accustomed to spending time with me and sees me as the only father figure in her life,” he said.
To argue his point, Belafonte said Angel calls him “daddy” and tells him via text messages that she loves him.
He claimed he’s the one who helps Angel with her math homework, helps her produce “sketch” videos for YouTube, taught her to swim and knows her quirks, including her penchant for shoelaces tied extra tight.
“I have no financial motivation here,” he claimed. “My only motivation is to not harm Angel in this divorce and not have her believe that I have abandoned her and to provide her with the stability and consistency she needs and deserves.”
A judge must now decide if the request belongs with the couple’s messy divorce or whether it should be transferred to the judge handling Murphy’s sealed paternity case.
Brown has barred Belafonte’s access to Angel since April 3, when she won a restraining order with allegations Belafonte was physically abusive.
In late April, the court granted Belafonte monitored visitation with the 5-year-old daughter he has with the “America’s Got Talent” judge, but Angel was not included.
During a heated hearing last month, a lawyer for Brown pleaded with Judge Lawrence Riff to at least seal whatever claims Belafonte planned to make about Angel and her biological parents.
“We’ve got another parent, Eddie Murphy. You’re putting his little girl in the middle of a media firestorm,” lawyer Susan Wiesner said.
Belafonte said in his Friday filing that he had no intention of interfering with Murphy’s custodial rights.
He also included in his filing a series of text messages between himself, Brown and their family therapist.
In one damaging text dated March 19, the therapist revealed Brown had agreed to weekly random drug tests and regular doses of the anti-alcoholism medications Vivitrol and Antabuse.
The therapist said the plan was meant to address any lingering concerns about “child safety.”
In his filing, Belafonte accused Brown of drinking and using cocaine to excess.
Brown vehemently denied being a danger to her kids, according to the texts.
Belafonte said that Angel contacted him after Brown won her restraining order to say she missed him and wondered if he was okay.
“I could not text Angel back and assure her, given the restraining order,” he said Friday.
“My intent and the purpose behind my request for step-parent visitation with Angel is to ensure that Angel is alright and knows that I have not abandoned her,” he reiterated.