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Wednesday, 18 October, 2000, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
Mel B in court battle
Mel B
Mel B split up from husband Jimmy Gulzar after 16 months
Spice Girl Mel B and her estranged husband Jimmy Gulzar are at the High Court in London, believed to be deciding who has custody of their daughter.

The case is to be a private hearing, expected to last three days.

It comes as Melanie Brown and her estranged husband finalise their divorce proceedings over the next few weeks, after splitting up at the beginning of the year.

Brown has reportedly agreed to pay 1.25m to Gulzar as part of the divorce settlement. It includes 750,000 in cash and a flat in London valued at 500,000.

Jimmy Gulzar
Gulzar is expected to receive a sizeable divorce settlement
However, custody of 20-month-old Phoenix Chi is expected to go to the singer, also known as Scary Spice.

Dutch-born Gulzar and Brown, originally from Leeds, met in 1998 on the group's Spice World tour.

They married at a ceremony at their Buckinghamshire home but split up in January this year after a stormy 16-month union.

Despite their differences, Brown has stressed that Gulzar continues to be a good father to their child.

She recently said of him: "He's the father of my child and he's a very good dad."

The singer is now reported to be in a relationship with actor Max Beesley.

Poor performance

Brown has been in Japan promoting her first solo album Hot.

In the UK, the album - which was released last week - got off to a disappointing start when it entered the charts on Monday at number 28.

Hot came in well behind other new entries from pop veteran Sir Cliff Richard, rock band Placebo and The Beautiful South, which all made it into the top 10.

The album's low entry comes despite an extensive publicity campaign.

See also:

14 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Scary Spice's '1.25m divorce'
18 May 99 | Entertainment
Spice marriage hits Scary patch
03 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Scary Spice splits with husband
08 Oct 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: Melanie B
25 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Spice Girls sing Forever
23 May 00 | Entertainment
Mel B joins stars at Emmas
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