Mel B's estranged husband granted visitation rights with daughter

Los Angeles, April 25 (IANS) Singer Mel B's estranged husband Stephen Belafonte has been granted monitored visitation with his daughter Madison.


Earlier this month, the producer filed for joint custody of the former couple's five-year-old daughter, Madison, as well as visitation rights with his step daughter, 10-year-old Angel, who is Mel B's child with actor Eddie Murphy. 


According to eonline.com, in court on Monday, the judge made a tentative ruling granting Belafonte visitation rights with respect to Madison. He was given eight hours of monitored visitation per week, which will be split into two four-hour visits. 


Both parties will have to choose and agree upon the dates and times of the monitored visits. 


"We are very grateful. We are happy," Belafonte's attorney Grace Jamra told eonline.com after the court ruling. 


"We hope this is the first in a long line of getting back more visitation." 


Mel B's attorney added: "If visitation were to be granted today, and it was granted, as long as it was in such a fashion that it ensured the safety of the minor child. That's the most important thing to Mel." 


As far as visitation with Angel, though the judge said he will consider a request for visitation in the future, eonline.com says that right now the request has been denied without prejudice.


The judge argued that the courtroom does not "have  the jurisdiction to grant visitation with the punitive step child". This ruling means the judge will not allow any amendments to the No Contact Clause, and therefore, Belafonte is still unable to communicate with Angel via phone, Skype, text and so on.


Mel B's attorneys Susan Wiesner and Larry Bakman tried arguing Belafonte should not have any visitation with either child based upon a new argument.


For the first time in the hearing, they alleged he was involved in the filming of pornography in the family house as well as other locations around Los Angeles. They also claimed there is evidence of pornography found on multiple computers the producer owns to which the children have access. Thus, they argued that Madison should not even be allowed to have monitored visits.


However, the judge said he did not believe the argument, without evidence, warranted total denial of visitation and continued in granting Belafonte monitored visitation with Madison.