Mel B ‘proud’ to be awarded honorary doctorate in recognition of her campaigning

Spice Girl Melanie Brown is to receive an honorary doctorate for her campaigning efforts and said she feels “so so proud”.

The singer, also known as Mel B and Scary Spice, will be given the award from Leeds Beckett University in recognition of her work advocating for domestic abuse victims.

The 49-year-old spoke about the achievement in an Instagram post on Monday and revealed she had also completed a trauma care course which she described as “intense” and “really tough” as it involved her reliving some of her own past traumas.

Brown has been an advocate for domestic abuse victims since she made claims in her 2018 memoir Brutally Honest that she had suffered abuse from her ex-husband Stephen Belafonte, allegations he has repeatedly denied.

In a statement, Brown said: “I didn’t just want to accept an award.

“I wanted to be accepted as a student at Leeds Beckett.

“Not only have I been awarded this degree, but I was also accepted as a student on the Trauma Informed Care course which has been a huge step for me in so many ways.

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

Professor Peter Slee, Leeds Beckett University vice chancellor, said: “On behalf of all our students, colleagues and governors here at Leeds Beckett University, I would like to congratulate Melanie Brown MBE on this Honorary Degree.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Melanie Brown is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) (Yui Mok/PA)

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

“This year, she joins over 2,300 graduates from the School of Health, equipping a generation of professionals to meet the healthcare challenges of the nation both now and into the future.”

Brown accepted an MBE in 2022 for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women and became a patron of Women’s Aid, the national charity fighting to end domestic abuse against women and children, in 2018.

She will receive her honorary doctorate during Leeds Beckett’s graduation week this month.