Mel B's nanny wins right to jury trial in defamation case
Mel B's ex-nanny Lorraine Gilles has won the right to put her defamation case against the former Spice Girl before a jury.
Lorraine has been caught up in Mel's divorce from husband Stephen Belafonte, (42), as the popstar claimed in her legal papers that she had terminated a pregnancy resulting from an affair with Stephen.
The former nanny, who was fired in January 2015, denies she slept with Stephen without Mel's consent, and has sued the singer for defamation.
On Tuesday Los Angeles Superior Court judge Dalila Corral Lyons rejected Mel's lawyer's attempt to have Lorraine's case thrown out on the grounds that her allegations were protected speech as she made them while petitioning the court for a restraining order against her estranged husband.
According to LAWestMedia.com, Judge Lyons ruled that as the ex-nanny is a third-party Mel's allegations are not protected speech under California law.
Lorraine's case can now proceed to a jury trial, scheduled for July next year, although the judge urged the two parties to come to an agreement before that stage.
Editors at British newspaper The Sun claim that if Mel, 42, loses the case, she could face a mammoth $2 million (€1.7million) legal bill. The Say You'll Be There singer has already run up costs of almost $250,000 (€212,000).
In May the America's Got Talent judge was granted a five-year restraining order against Lorraine after presenting evidence alleging she had harassed her.
The star returned to her TV judging role on America's Got Talent on Tuesday night, but stormed off set when fellow judge Simon Cowell made a quip about her marriage. She returned to the panel after patching things up with Simon during a commercial break.