The former Spice Girl, Mel B, 42, could now face a painful £1.56million ($2million) bill if Lorraine Gilles, 26, wins the lawsuit against her, scheduled for July 2018.
The Judge of the case had ruled that Giles is entitled to move ahead with the lawsuit and the trial is scheduled for July next year. But the Judge had urged the parties to try and settle out of court before the trial date.
Mel B filed for divorce from Belafonte in March, accusing him of domestic violence and sexual exploitation, claims he has adamantly denied. She explained that the allegations were simply part of her husband’s history of abusive behavior.
Mel B said she set forth the facts to show how Belafonte used Gilles as part of his campaign of abuse against her. She aimed to show how Gilles reported directly to him and acted as his agent at various times, acting against her interests.
Mel B reportedly will now have to give an on-camera deposition about her and Belafonte’s sex life, including alleged threesomes with Gilles.
“It’s a nightmare for Mel. Lorraine’s lawyers have got total license to grill her,” a source told The Sun on Friday. “That’s going to include going into the depths of her sex life. There’s nothing off limits. It could even bring other celebrity names into the mess.”
It is reported that, todate, Mel B had spent around £195,000 on legal bills. A 3 way fight law suit will definitely escalate her legal costs further.
Although it is the lawyer’s obligation to ensure all relevant facts that may help the client to win the case are presented and filed, it is also important for the lawyer to review the overall litigation strategy for the benefit of their clients.
There is no report on whether Giles’ defamation lawsuit against Mel B is anticipated by Mel B or her lawyers and had been considered by them in the overall litigation plan. Judging from news report of Mel B applying to the Court to seal the case and stated in the filing that she did not want to testify in court about the alleged domestic abuse, we doubt that Giles’ lawsuit or the overall media attention were foreseen by Mel B.
Mel B’s lawyer might have advised Mel B against including allegations against Giles from Mel B’s divorce proceedings and Mel B may have proceeded against her lawyer’s advice. As this is a point which is subject to legal privilege, we doubt that it will be made public.
From the face of it, it appears that Mel B has really got herself into a messy 3 way lawsuit, which will draw her and her lawyer’s focus away from the main suit – the divorce and custody proceedings against Belafonte – and not to mention the additional legal fees that she will have to bear. From the litigation strategy standpoint, it would be highly beneficial for Mel B to settle Giles’ lawsuit out of court the soonest possible.