Mel B banned from being judge on Australia's Got Talent

Mel B
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POPSTAR Mel B has been barred by the courts from ditching her role as an X Factor judge to sit on the panel of the show's biggest ratings rival.

Despite signing up exclusively with Channel Seven until 2014, the former Spice Girl recently revealed she had accepted a spot on the 2013 season of Nine's Australia's Got Talent.

The Sydney Supreme Court heard the Brit celebrity had been a "major drawcard" in previous seasons of the X Factor.

While both talent shows were owned by FreemantleMedia, they were said to "compete hotly for the same television audiences".

Early this year Mel B's husband and father of her three children, Stephen Belafonte, told Seven executives they were having issues with their visas as the fathers of her two other children were refusing to sign documents allowing them to live in Australia.

Excerpts of an alleged phone conversation revealed Belafonte told Seven's Brad Lyons that "we are Seven people through and through" and that Mel B "want(s) to do the X Factor but she has to live in LA".

In March, Mel B entered into a written agreement with Nine to act as a judge on Australia's Got Talent.

Seven successfully applied for an interim order restraining Mel from performing any duties for another network and a two-day hearing took place earlier this month.

Judge J Hammerschlag said on Friday that while it was contemplated that Mel B would have been required to spend as much time in Australia as she would have on the X Factor, she appeared to have no difficulty obtaining the necessary visa.

He said he found "no reason why she should not be ordered to keep her word that she would not work for anyone but Seven in Australia in 2013".

Court costs will be decided at a later date.



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