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Spice Girls’ Mel B To Receive Honorary Doctorate From Leeds Beckett University For Her Advocacy Work With Domestic Abuse Survivors

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In recognition of her advocacy for domestic abuse survivors, Leeds Beckett University will award an honorary doctorate to Spice Girls’ Mel B later this month. The U.S. Sun reported that Mel, 49, who is the patron of the charity Women’s Aid, hopes to attend the ceremony in a graduation gown and her signature leopard print.

Besides the honorary degree, Mel, who fled her abusive marriage to American producer Stephen Belafonte in 2016, has also been pursuing a qualification in trauma care at the same institution. 

As per the publication, “I completed a couple in Trauma Informed Care at Leeds Beckett earlier this year. When I was told I was being given the doctorate, it was an incredible honor,” the Spice Girls member said.

Mel B to be awarded an honorary doctorate for working with survivors of domestic abuse

In her conversation with the aforementioned publication, Mel B said she always understood abuse on an emotional level, but her decade-long marriage with Belafonte equipped her with theoretical knowledge on the matter too. Hence, she wishes to do more.

The couple in question were married between 2007 and 2017, and the singer has accused her ex-husband of physically, emotionally, and financially abusing her over the years. The duo share daughter Madison, 12, together.

Speaking on Loose Women during their Facing It Together campaign, the pop star revealed that she still suffers from panic attacks and PTSD. Mel revealed during the conversation that, though she was married to Belafonte for 10 years, she tried to end her marriage six or seven times. She said she only stayed in the toxic relationship due to fear of blackmail.

After eventually escaping her husband, Mel B revealed she moved back to Leeds with her kids and stayed with her mum, with whom she hadn’t spoken in years.

With all the bad experiences in the past, the singer now hopes that some of her bandmates will attend the ceremony to cheer her on as she rightfully earns the title of a doctor. She, however, told The U.S. Sun that none of her fellow Spice Girls knew of her university endeavors.

Hence, they were surprised when they learned the news.

ALSO READ: Mel B Opens Up About Walking Out Of Abusive Marriage With Stephen Belafonte; Says She Had To ‘Start From Scratch’

Attending college was a daunting task for the superstar

Per the aforementioned outlet, Mel B attended lectures for three months, with many students having no clue of her popstar status. She noted in her conversation with the publication that she loved the camaraderie in her class and that her identity simply never came up in any of the conversations between her and her batchmates.

Towards the end, though, one of the guys went up to Mel and told her he thought it was her but couldn’t believe it, thinking it was just someone who resembled the icon.

She told The U.S. Sun that walking into the classroom on her first day at the university made her more nervous than playing at Wembley with her band.

Leeds Beckett VC Prof. Peter Slee, per the entertainment publication, said of Mel B receiving the accolade, “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.”

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