Mel B’s Husband Just Made a Classic Mistake in Court, and He Can’t Undo It.

The highly publicized divorce case between celebrity Mel B. and Harry Belafonte was back in court recently, with both parties having to appear in person for the first time.  Only Belafonte wasn’t there when the hearing started, despite a requirement that he and Mel B. be present.  The Judge had to ask where Belafonte was and instruct his attorney to produce him.  Per a TMZ report, “[Belafonte] fidgeted around after arriving super late for the hearing. His attorney had to call Belafonte and say the judge wasn't happy he was a no-show.” Other reports state the Judge was visibly frustrated. Not good.

Belafonte’s actions highlight exactly why, in the divorce courtroom, it’s better to be unremarkable. This is because Judges, and people in general, are more likely to remember negative things more strongly and in more detail. In court, if a person stands out, it’s often for the wrong reasons.  In this case, Belafonte showed up late, wasted the Judge’s time and, worst of all, irked the Judge.  Next time, the Judge is more likely to recall these frustrations rather than anything Belafonte and his attorney did right.

Even in the courtroom, a Belafonte’s actions are evidence.  And it may cause problems in the future. At the next court hearing, the last thing Belafonte wants is the Judge wondering if he’ll bother to show up on time. He’s off to a bad start before he even walks into the courtroom.  Belafonte’s mistake was standing out for the wrong reasons. 

Mel B. on the other hand, at least according to news reports, was unremarkable.  Nothing was reported about her showing up late, standing out (good or bad) or frustrating the judge.  If that wasn’t her goal, it should have been, because she nailed it.  Put another way, she didn’t stand out for the right reasons and made the Judge’s job easier.