Spice Girl Mel B in rehab for sex addiction
SPICE Girl Mel B revealed she is checking into a clinic after battling issues with booze and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A close pal also told how she is "sex-crazed" - and slept with up to three men in one day in the wake of her bitter divorce from Stephen Belafonte.
Mel, 43, will enter a UK-based therapy centre next month - and last night opened up about her battles with alcohol and sex.
The America's Got Talent star told the Sun on Sunday: "The past six months have been incredibly difficult for me.
"I've been working with a writer on my book, Brutally Honest, and it has been unbelievably traumatic reliving an emotionally abusive relationship and confronting so many massive issues in my life.
"I am being very honest about drinking to numb my pain but that is just a way a lot of people mask what is really going on.
"Sometimes it is too hard to cope with all the emotions I feel. But the problem has never been about sex or alcohol - it is underneath all that.
"I am fully aware I have been at a crisis point. No one knows myself better than I do - but I am dealing with it.
"I have made the decision to go into a proper therapy program in the next few weeks, but it has to be in the UK because I am very, very British and I know that will work best for me.
"I am still struggling but if I can shine a light on the issue of pain, PTSD and the things men and women do to mask it, I will do.
"I am speaking about this because this is a huge issue for so many people."
Leeds-born Mel, who says she has been "financially battered" following her split from US producer Belafonte, 43, is determined to get well for the sake of her children Phoenix, 19, Angel, 11, and Madison, six.
She has also begun a pioneering psychotherapy course called EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing.
She said: "I have recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. I don't want to jinx it, but so far it's really helping me.
"I'm not perfect, and I have never pretended to be.
"But I am working on being a better version of myself for my kids - whom I love more than life itself - and for all the people who have supported me."
Last year, Mel said in divorce court documents that Belafonte was physically and emotionally abusive.
She also claimed he made her have sex with other women and got their German nanny Lorraine Gilles, 26, pregnant.
He denied being abusive and the pair finally divorced in December.
Meanwhile, Mel's best pal - and another former nanny - has told of her out-of-control boozing and wild bedroom romps.
Restaurateur Rusty Updegraff claims Mel slept with three men in one day and has bedded a string of hunks including ex-teen pop star Aaron Carter.
He revealed Mel drinks tequila, beer and wine - plus so much vodka she once blacked out.
Worried Rusty, 59, said from his LA home: "Mel has got crazier over the years and I've had enough. I cannot deal with it any more.
"I know people will say it's none of my business - but she won't listen to anyone. I hope this is a wake-up call for her.
"She needs help, but lives in her own little world.
"She is drinking every day that she isn't working. Her sexual appetite is out of control.
"You can't take any straight guy round to her house.
"I also worry about her spending. She gets paid a lot of money but just wastes it. She thinks she's like the Kardashians!"
Rusty, also a part-time actor, was first introduced to Mel in 2003 during a club night in West Hollywood.
They grew close and he even held her hand when she gave birth in 2007 to Angel, her daughter by film star Eddie Murphy.
But when she began dating Bad Lieutenant producer Belafonte that year, the pair fell out.
"I got into a big fight with him," he recalls. "I tried to warn her he was abusive but she wouldn't listen."
Mel split from Belafonte in March last year - then made up with Rusty over dinner in November at fellow America's Got Talent judge Heidi Klum's house.
In February, Rusty agreed to help with childcare, with Mel offering $1365 a week and her Subaru car to ferry around her kids.
But he says he began to witness erratic behaviour from Mel, who was drinking up to six times a week.
Last September, Belafonte accused Mel of being hooked on cocaine and booze. He claimed she agreed to take a daily dose of prescription drug Antabuse to tackle alcoholism.
Rusty told how the Wannabe singer likes to drink Tito's vodka, Blue Moon beer, $210-a-bottle Don Julio tequila, pinot noir wine and chardonnay.
He said: "Mel keeps it together when she's on America's Got Talent and does not drink.
"She is professional. But she's drinking most days she isn't working.
"She will work out at 9am and be on the booze at 10am. She likes to drink straight vodka.
"She says writing the book has brought back upsetting feelings about her dad and her marriage and I feel she is drinking more because of that.
"She gets drunk quite quickly. When she's drunk, she knows everything. She's like, 'I have it all, I can do it all. I manage myself.' But she can't.
"A few weeks ago she was still drinking vodka - so much so that I had to pour some of it out of the bottle and replace it with water."
Rusty claims Mel blacked out on a vodka-fuelled trip to Palm Springs in the Californian desert.
He also told how, since splitting with Belafonte, Mel has had trysts with a series of men over the past year.
He says they include US actor Danny Lopes, 36, a mystery Frenchman and singer Aaron Carter, 30, whose brother Nick is in the Backstreet Boys.
Rusty said: "I've known her have sex with three men in a day and then they are on rotation.
"She'd be doing this guy and that guy, and then the chauffeur who brings her home.
"She was with the artist Danny Lopes for a few months and some Corsican guy who is a regular.
"Aaron was very nice, but it lasted about a week.
"I got 20 phone calls from her about him - he would come and go from her place - then all of a sudden he was out of the picture."
MEL'S STATEMENT IN FULL
"The past six months have been incredibly difficult for me. I've been working with a writer on my book, Brutally Honest, and it has been unbelievably traumatic reliving an emotionally abusive relationship and confronting so many massive issues in my life from the death of my dad to my relationship with men.
I've also been through more than a year of court battles which have left me financially battered and at the mercy of the legal system which is completely weighted against emotionally abused women because it's very hard to prove how someone took away all your self-respect and self-worth.
I am being very honest in my book about drinking to numb my pain but that is just a way a lot of people mask what is really going on.
Sometimes it is too hard to cope with all the emotions I feel. But the problem has never been about sex or alcohol - it is underneath all that. I have recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and on August 9, after trying many different therapies I started a course of therapy called EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) which in a nutshell works on the memory to deal with some of the very painful and traumatic situations I have been through. I don't want to jinx it, but so far it's really helping me.
I am fully aware I am at a crisis point. No-one knows myself better than I do. But I am dealing with it. I love my three girls more than life itself.
I have also made the decision to go into a proper therapy program in the next few weeks, but it has to be in the UK because I am very, very British and I know that will work best for me. I am still struggling. But if I can shine a light on the issue of pain, PTSD and the things men and women do to mask it, I will do.
I am speaking about this because this is a huge issue for so many people. I'm not perfect, and I have never pretended to be. But I am working on being a better version of myself for my kids, for my family and for all the people who have supported me in my life."