Mel B’s management denies claims her husband is to blame for her X Factor exit

Former Spice Girl is reportedly the first judge to be axed from the ITV series

Mel B‘s manager has denied claims she has been axed as a judge from The X Factor because of her husband Stephen Belafonte.

Jonathan Shalit has spoken out after her brother-in-law Jeremiah Stansbury reportedly claimed that she had been dropped by the show because of her husband’s “toxic” influence.

“He’s a control freak, it’s a toxic relationship and it is a problem,” Stansbury added.

Insisting the allegations were “absolute nonsense”, Shalit told the MailOnline: “Jeremiah has no knowledge of what did or did not happen – and should not be believed.

“From personal experience I can tell you Stephen is a decent upstanding guy, who is a great husband, father and step father, and in fact, great to work with.”

Reports of trouble in Mel’s marriage emerged last year after she was rushed to hospital after collapsing and later appeared on The X Factor without her wedding ring.

The show’s executive producer Richard Holloway recently said none of the judges except for Simon Cowell were safe from being axed in the forthcoming series.

Following Mel B’s exit from the show, Louis Walsh’s future has also reportedly been left uncertain.

But Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is expected to return later this year. The former Girls Aloud singer recently criticised the music industry for over-sexualising women.

The judging panel for this year’s series of The X Factor is due to be confirmed in May.