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Mel B Says Fiance Rory McPhee Made Her ‘Believe in Love Again’ After 10 Years of ‘Such Bad Abuse’ (Exclusive)

After years of unhappiness, Melanie “Mel B” Brown is letting love lead the way.

In an exclusive interview with Us Weekly, the America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League judge, 48, spoke candidly about the rocky road that led her to fiancé Rory McPhee. “I didn’t believe in love and trust because I’d had 10 years of such bad abuse that when I came out of that, I was like, I don’t want a relationship,” Brown shared. “I was so broken down in my self-esteem, my confidence [and] I really had to build myself up.”

The Spice Girl has been vocal about her troubled marriage to ex Stephen Belafonte, who she accused of emotional and physical abuse. In her memoir Brutally Honest, Brown opened up about attempting to commit suicide around the same time Belafonte — who acted as her manager — threatened to release a library of sex tapes. (The couple, who were married for 10 years before Brown filed for divorce in 2017, share daughter Madison, 12.)

“To think of sharing myself again with anybody else was too scary for me, but Rory is a family friend, so I already have that trust and that foundation laid,” the mom of three — who also shares Phoenix, 24, with ex-husband Jimmy Gulzar and daughter Angel, 16, with Eddie Murphy — continued. “It just felt safe, right and real, even though many times I went, ‘No, I don’t want a relationship, I can’t handle it.’”

Mel B Says Fiance Rory McPhee Made Her Believe in Love Again
Trae Patton/NBC

After three years of dating, McPhee proposed in 2022 during a romantic getaway in Berkshire, U.K. — and Brown told Us she’s finally found her Happily Ever After. “He’s just been the best thing that’s happened to me,” she shares. “He’s made me believe in love again and trust again.”

Related: Hollywood's Ugliest Divorces: From Johnny and Amber to Erika and Tom

Another perk to locking down the hairstylist? “He got my curls flowing again!” she quipped.

Mel B Says Fiance Rory McPhee Made Her Believe in Love Again
Courtesy of Rory McPhee/Instagram

Brown — who earned an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for her work with victims of domestic violence in 2022 — gushed about her upcoming nuptials at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, despite not having a date set in stone just yet. “I’m waiting on that and then I can go full steam ahead,” she explained of wedding planning.

Related: Spice Girls: Where Are They Now?

Whether she ties the knot in 2024 or not, it’s already shaping up to be a big year for Brown. Not only did she tease an upcoming Spice Girls project that will be announced “soon,” she’s also re-releasing Brutally Honest with new chapters in March and is currently enjoying her big return to the America’s Got Talent judging panel for the series’ spinoff, AGT: Fantasy League.

Mel B Says Fiance Rory McPhee Made Her Believe in Love Again
Trae Patton/NBC

“It’s been about five or six years since I was last on the [America’s Got Talent] panel, so when they asked me to join, I was like, ‘Oh, perfect timing for me,’” she adds. “I’ve really missed it, actually — now was the right time.”

America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League airs on NBC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET

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