It's been a long week for X Factor judge Mel B, and it seems things are only getting worse after a series of dramatic events with her husband Stephen Belafonte.
The singer was admitted to hospital on Thursday of last week, with a mystery illness that caused her to miss Saturday night's X Factor semi-final. On her return to the show the following evening, viewers expressed concern about what appeared to be visible scratches and bruises on Mel's arms and face, and the fact that she was not wearing her wedding ring.
Stephen quickly took to Twitter yesterday to deny he had anything to do with Mel's illness or apparent injuries – but it seems the seven-year marriage is not as solid as it was once was. Mel did not return to the couple's rented London home after being discharged from hospital over the weekend, and she has reportedly opened up to friends about the rocky relationship.
"The marriage really is at breaking point and hanging by a thread. Mel is incredibly fragile and in a bad place," a friend said. "At the moment it’s not looking good at all… But Mel and Stephen are so unpredictable they could just as easily survive this," added the insider.
Although Mel has remained quiet on social media about her relationship issues, she did address them in a recent magazine interview. The singer appears on the cover of the current issue of Grazia, but she reportedly turned up late to the photo shoot due to a row with Stephen. "I walked in pi**ed off because I had a big row with my husband about stupid stuff. Sometimes he pi**es me off like no other, but he gets me," she told the magazine.
Despite their apparent marriage troubles, in the past Mel has always seemed very positive about her relationship with Stephen, describing him as her "rock" and an "amazing man" in a recent interview with The Guardian.
We hope Mel's doing okay.