X Factor judge Mel B, aka Scary Spice, and her husband Stephen Belafonte are back in the spotlight after news of an incident on Sydney floating bar, The Island, at the weekend.
According to sources, who were on the cabana-laden 350-square metre barge with the pair Saturday night, Belafonte spotted a group of girls out on a hens' night taking what he thought were photographs of him and his wife, and asked them to stop.
‘‘He was aggressive and angry,’’ said one witness to the exchange. At one point the former Spice Girl was believed to have taken off her high heels and brandished them, so heated was the incident.
The source reports the girls were unimpressed, saying they didn’t know who he was and that their happy snaps were their own business - and just for their Facebook page to record the hens' night they had planned at great expense. ‘‘It was definitely a heated exchange.’’
Onlookers say Mel B calmed down later in the night and was happily posing with customers. Also in her entourage at the venue was X Factor host, Luke Jacobz.
Calls to The Island earlier this week were initially met with "there was definitely no altercation" but after news of the exchange was aired on 2UE this morning, with the suggestion the girls’ camera or memory card had been confiscated, The Island management told Fairfax: "We generally do not like to discuss individual patrons aboard The Island, Sydney, however in answer to your question, there were two belligerent women which we believe were part of a hens' party aboard on Saturday – the remainder of the group were otherwise well behaved. I had multiple customers complain about these women and as a result, they were asked to leave.
"This is the first we have heard about lost cameras and memory cards, and no one has contacted us regarding lost property from the day nor have we come across either."
Belafonte - formerly known as Stephen Stansbury - is believed to be considering investing in the Julian Tobias and Adam Abrams owned venue and was in meetings last week to discuss inking a deal as a third investor - although nothing has been finalised at this stage.
The couple have been enjoying life in Sydney with their three children and Fairfax has learned they are looking at various Australian businesses in which to invest.
It isn't all paradise and floating boats, though. Last week the pair took out an application for an AVO against paparazzi Jamie Fawcett – reporting an incident in which he allegedly circled the kayak Mel B that was on, creating waves. The couple have had a long-standing paparazzi deal with another picture agency.
‘‘Nobody was in any danger,’’ Fawcett insisted to The Sun Herald of the incident which is listed in Waverley court tomorrow.
‘‘I've never followed them in a car. I have only photographed them when I’m in my local area shooting other celebrities. In fact, I usually can’t get a word in as Stephen is so busy shooting his mouth off.’’