After days of speculation about the state of their marriage, Mel B's husband Stephen Belafonte has spoken out. The film producer talked down suggestions of a split and said: "I love my wife. I care about my wife... I do want to get old with my wife and have grandchildren."
The X Factor judge drew concern from fans as she returned to Sunday night's live final without her wedding ring, after being rushed to hospital with stomach pains.
However Stephen told The Sun: "Listen, people do whatever they do. Maybe her hands were swollen and she couldn't fit the ring on because she's been in the hospital?"
The 39-year-old, who flew to Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, admitted he didn't visit his wife during her four days in an emergency unit but said: "You know what, it's not even about Mel and it's not even about me. There were some motives going on from other people about things."
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Mel B's husband Stephen Belafonte says he loves his wife
Following reports that Mel was three hours late for an interview with Grazia magazine after a fall out with Stephen, he confessed that they have been arguing in recent weeks.
"How long have you been married? How many arguments do you have? I find it really sad nobody would like for Mel, or us, to be happy," he said. "There has to be an attitude to, 'Oh, they got into a fight so now let's go for the jugular.'
"Everyone gets in arguments. And then stuff calms down and you think about your life. You think about where you've been and what you've been through.
"I love my wife. I care about my wife. I’d take a bullet for her. I've got to consistently grow a little bit. But I do want to get old with my wife and have grandchildren.
"And by the way, Mel's never said anything. This is because there's a witch-hunt and a feeding frenzy against me."
Mel B sparked rumours of marital trouble when she appeared on The X Factor without her wedding ring
Stephen and Mel married in 2007 following a whirlwind four-month romance, and the couple have a three-year-old daughter Madison together. Stephen said he won't let the criticism get to him as his family are more important.
"At the end of the day, I have children and I have a wife. I protect my wife and my children with my life. That's just the way it is. It doesn't matter if people think I'm a good guy or a bad guy."