Melanie "Mel B" Brown's estranged husband, Stephen Belafonte, is responding to her divorce filing by requesting spousal support and that the 41-year-old singer pay his legal fees.
In papers obtained by ET that were filed on Monday, Belafonte, 41, states that the date of separation was March 1, though Mel B claims in her divorce papers that they separated on Dec. 28, 2016. Belafonte is also seeking joint legal and physical custody of his and Brown's 5-year-old daughter, Madison.
Earlier this week, Brown was granted a restraining order against Belafonte, claiming that he was abusive during their 9-year marriage and that she was in "fear of her safety" and that of her three children -- she also has two daughters, Phoenix, 18, and Angel, 10, from previous relationships.
Belafonte's lawyer released a statement to ET, refuting these claims. "What matters most to Mr. Belafonte is the safety and well-being of his daughters and step-daughters," his lawyer said on Wednesday. "It's a shame that Ms. Brown elected not to proceed in a respectful and amicable fashion in this very private matter. In due course, Mr. Belafonte will be filing his response to the outrageous and unfounded allegations made by Ms. Brown, which allegations he vehemently denies."
ET reached out to Brown for comment following the statement issued by Belafonte's lawyer.
Meanwhile, Brown's family and friends are supporting the former Spice Girl, including her sister, Danielle Brown, who penned a lengthy Instagram message in response to the breakup. "@stephenthinks11, eight years of abusive calls me and my mum have had stating we would never see Melanie again," she wrote. "I am laughing and celebrating as you were wrong. You are a sorry excuse of a man!!"
A source close to the singer also told ET that members of her inner circle are happy about the split, and claimed that Belafonte "controlled Mel's life."