'Jimmy Gulzar spat in my face'

by JAMES MORRISON, Daily Mail

The former husband of Spice Girl Mel B lifted her sister up by the throat and spat in her face as she collected her niece from his flat, a court was told.

Jimmy Gulzar is accused of calling Danielle Brown a 'cow' before grabbing her as his baby daughter, Phoenix Chi, cried at his feet.

Gulzar, 33, is alleged to have rounded on Miss Brown after she arrived at his home in Hampstead, North London, to pick up his then 18-month-old daughter for his estranged wife Melanie Brown. He denies common assault.

Miss Brown, 19, a former Emmerdale actress, told Highbury magistrates court she was left 'screaming and crying' after the incident on August 6 last year.

She said: 'I pressed the buzzer for Jim's flat. He didn't answer straight away so I pressed the buzzer again. He answered and said "stop ringing the buzzer, I'll be down in a minute you cow".

'I said "can you bring the car seat down" and he said "I haven't got the car seat, you cow". He came down to the door with Phoenix and the bags.

'He put Phoenix and the bags down and as I bent down to pick her up he grabbed me by the throat.

'With a force he lifted me against the wall and my feet were off the ground. I couldn't move apart from moving my head from side to side to get free, but no way.' She added: 'He kept on spitting in my face. He was shouting and then spitting.

'To be honest, I just went weak - I was just screaming, crying.' Miss Brown said a friend who had accompanied her, Sarah Gilasbey, tried to get between the pair, and ordered Gulzar to 'get your hands off my friend'.

But while the Dutch-born dancer released his grip on Miss Brown, she said he continued to shout abuse.

As she climbed into her car with Miss Gilasbey, Gulzar pressed his face against the window, pointing towards the side of his head, Miss Brown added.

She said she was left with a reddened and scratched neck, a bruised bottom and aches after the incident.

Gulzar, who was in the middle of divorce proceedings with his wife at the time, told the court he had been upset when Miss Brown arrived to pick up Phoenix 22 minutes late.

He had looked after the child for the previous five days, and had rushed back from his family home in Amsterdam so she would be available to be collected on time.

Gulzar said Miss Brown claimed she was late because she had been held up in bad traffic on her way over from her sister's £2.5million Buck-inghamshire mansion, his former marital home.

'I was upset because I felt she was lying,' he told the court. 'I called her a liar. She started getting angry and really frustrated and she made movements with her arms to try and grab my child. I twisted away then she started to curse me.

'She hit Phoenix but I know she didn't do that on purpose. I thought I needed to do something or things might go wrong.

'I pulled Phoenix back and seeing in her face that she (Miss Brown) was trying to be very aggressive, my reaction was to keep her away from me and Phoenix. I did this by pushing her away to the wall with my right hand.'

Gulzar denied putting his daughter on the ground during the confrontation, saying he had trouble bending over due to a bad back. He also denied causing any injuries to Miss Brown's neck.

The court also heard that Miss Brown called Gulzar 'gay' during their exchange. Gulzar said the argument eventually broke up after Miss Gilasbey told them to stop shouting in front of the little girl.

He said he put the child into Miss Brown's car and watched as she drove away erratically, narrowly avoiding a collision with a parked vehicle.

He then ran back into his flat and on to the balcony. From there, he claimed he could hear his wife, Melanie Brown, also known as Scary Spice, who had been waiting around the corner. He claimed she shouted at Miss Brown to stop the car. Then he heard it being driven away. The case was adjourned to February 2.

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