The Spice Girls singer – who divorced Stephen Belafonte in 2017 amidst allegations he was physically and emotionally abusive towards her during their relationship, claims which he has denied – recently revealed she has found love again and though she insisted she wants to keep her personal life “private” now, she’s very happy with her “very, very kind” new lover.
She said: “I’m with someone who’s very kind. Very, very kind. And more than anything we’re really good friends from way back.”
Asked if it’s someone from her native Leeds, where show now lives, she laughed: “I’m not telling you! It’s private! Please, everything else is out in the open. Jesus!” And she bursts out laughing.”
The 45-year-old star admitted it took a long time for her to trust anyone again following the end of her marriage.
She told The Guardian newspaper: “For a good year and a half I couldn’t even bear for somebody to stand near me or be hugged. Apart from hugging my kids and my family, anything else would make me feel traumatised. I was like, well, if I don’t touch anybody and don’t let anybody come near me, I’ll be OK. You can’t live like that.
“But the trust issue is always going to be there.
“It takes someone who is going to understand and be compassionate and take everything super-super-slow.”
Mel – who has 22-year-old Phoenix with first husband Jimmy Gulzar, Angel, 14, with Eddie Murphy, and Madison, nine, with Stephen – is still gripped by regular nightmares and “jumps” when anyone unexpectedly enters a room, even though she knows her former husband is in Los Angeles, where he lives with their daughter.
She said: “My mother said: ‘You’re going to be fine now – you’re back home.’ And I thought, I know I’m not fine. I jump when somebody comes into the room, I wake up in night sweats still thinking I’m back in that bed in LA.
“There are so many things that have an after-effect that will probably go on for my entire life. I just have to learn how to deal with it. You can’t erase those kind of traumas.” Asked if she still has nightmares, she said: “Not so much now. It was nearly every night. Now it’s maybe twice a month.”