Mel B's daughter has claimed Stephen Belafonte called her "ugly and retarded" and had her dog put to sleep.

Mel B with her daughter Phoenix

Mel B with her daughter Phoenix

Phoenix Brown - the Spice Girls singer's 23-year-old child from her marriage to first husband Jimmy Gulzar - has reflected on how her world "went from technicolour to black and white" when her mother married the producer in 2007 and claimed he forced her to stay in her room as much as possible and deprived her of food.

She told the Daily Mail newspaper's Weekend magazine: "I had to stay in my room with the door shut. I wasn't allowed to go in the fridge but I had 30 minutes to make my packed lunch for school.

"Often in the morning he'd pull it out and eat my sandwiches, laugh at me and tell me to get to school.

"He'd tell me I was ugly and retarded all the time. I had this beautiful Labrador called Lordy who we'd had since I was born. I loved him. He'd laugh at me and tell me I was ugly and retarded

"Stephen picked him up one day and threw him across the garden into the pool – Lordy was old, he was terrified. I couldn't speak. A few weeks later I came back from school and Stephen told me he'd had him put down."

Mel split from Stephen in 2017 and Phoenix recalled feeling "useless" when she was unable to intervene in their rows though she tried to stay occupied by looking after her sisters, 15-year-old Angel - whose dad is actor Eddie Murphy - and 10-year-old Madison.

She said: "My mom was working all the time, earning money for him – for the family. I knew she was having a terrible time, she sort of shrank.

"They'd have these awful rows in their room, I'd stand outside petrified, feeling useless.

"But life went on. I looked after my sisters [she also has a younger sister Madison, Stephen's daughter, now ten].

"I tried to look after my mom too, but I was a kid. It was a big secret. We were meant to be a happy family.

"You carry on and shut down your emotions. That's how you deal with it."

'The Games' contestant is proud of how her mother has turned her life around since leaving the father of her youngest child and returning to the UK.

She said: "I'm so proud of her. She's turned her life around. It hasn't been easy but she's standing up for others in abusive situations."