Mel B to be awarded honorary doctorate for domestic abuse campaigning

Mel B will be awarded an honorary doctorate for her charity work supporting survivors of domestic abuse.

The Spice Girl will receive the doctorate from Leeds Beckett University at a ceremony next month.

Brown has become a campaigner for domestic abuse victims, after leaving what she described as an abusive relationship.

In 2018, she was made a patron of Women’s Aid, and in 2022, she received an MBE for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women.

Speaking in a statement, the singer called the doctorate “an incredible honour”.

Brown has also been studying at the university in her native city and said she had completed a course in trauma-informed care.

“Since leaving my marriage I’ve told friends and family I’d love to go to uni, but I don’t think people took it seriously,” she said.

“But this gave me an opportunity to actually do it.

“I am proud to feel part of this university in my home town and proud to have come here as Melanie Brown, proud to have worked alongside other students and received excellent guidance from the teaching staff,” she added.

Leeds Beckett vice chancellor professor Peter Slee said: “I would like to congratulate Melanie Brown MBE on this honorary degree.

“As a child of this city who reached the top of her industry, then used her platform to advocate for those who shared her hardships, Melanie is exactly the type of citizen we are here to champion.”

In March, Brown spoke to the BBC about how she moved into her mum’s bungalow, after she left ex-husband Stephen Belafonte.

“I wasn’t just emotionally and physically abused, there was all the financial abuse, too,” she said.

“I didn’t realise that I didn’t have as much money as I thought I had. So I literally had to eat humble pie, live with my mum.”

Belafonte, a film producer, has repeatedly denied the claims against him made by the singer.

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