MEL B has sensationally undergone a dramatic surgery to have a seven-year-old tattoo, dedicated to ex-husband Stephen Belafonte, cut off her body.
The former Spice Girl, currently in the midst of a divorce from the film producer who she claims abused her, showed off 13 stitches on her rib cage after she had the inking sliced off, rather than lasered away.
The offending tattoo reads “Stephen, till death do us part you own my heart” – but Mel has only had the word Stephen cut away from her flesh.
Instead of going through a lengthy, and equally painful, laser removal process Mel opted to have a local anaesthetic to have the skin taken off.
Explaining the shocking decision to go under the knife, 42-year-old Mel said: “I wanted the tattoo removed to help close the final chapter on a toxic relationship.
“Even though I’ve taken the steps to remove Stephen’s name from my body, the domestic abuse will forever remain with me.”
Other tattoos Mel has include various tribal art inkings, a Chinese character on her stomach, a large dragon on her left shoulder blade, a phoenix on her right arm and her ex-boyfriend Eddie Murphy’s name on her hip.
Leeds native Mel filed for divorce from Hollywood filmmaker Stephen – who she wed in 2007 – in March this year.
During a bitter court battle accusations were made against Stephen that he has been abusive to Mel, splashed cash carelessly and got the family nanny pregnant – while he claimed Mel has had an addiction problem that made her a bad mum.
TMZ claims they have now decided to share custody and to arrange a schedule for physical care between them, though neither is paying child support.
The couple have a six-year-old daughter called Madison, while Stephen was also dad to Mel’s daughters Phoenix, 18, and Angel, 10.
Legal wranglings between the pair are ongoing, and it’s been reported that part of their divorce deal will involve Stephen “throwing out sex tapes” they made.
And the divorce settlement came to £6.5m, with business associates saying Mel will pay the producer around £3m over three years plus £3.5m from the sale of their home.
Mel has also allegedly been in talks with Lorraine Gilles, the nanny who sued her for claiming she’d had an affair with Stephen and fallen pregnant, to ensure the sex tapes will never be seen.
Meanwhile Stephen has threatened to sue Mel’s mum Andrea, 60, for claiming he abused Mel and the family.