Mel B’s manager Stephen Belafonte has told a Sydney court that a deal for Australia’s Got Talent with Nine was “the second-best scenario”, and sticking with Seven for The X Factor “would have been the best option”.
He denied walking away from Seven in order to set-up a deal with Nine.
“There was no other deal on the table … Channel Seven never stepped up and put a deal on the table.”
Belafonte has insisted that he told Seven’s Head of Production Brad Lyons on February 8 that Brown could not come to Australia due to visa issues and the deal was called off.
He said he was confused by subsequent emails describing terms of release that would include Brown working exclusively with Seven if she were to return to Australia.
On March 10 he told Lyons, “As we all agreed in early February to walk away, there is no guarantee at the moment and no arrangement.”
The same day he received a deal memo from Nine.
the Nine deal was the second-best scenario. I would have given Brad seniority if he had come back with a deal.
“After (Mr Lyon’s) weird emails, I began thinking Brad didn’t want Melanie back on X-Factor. He just wanted to stifle her career in Australia