AceShowbiz - Mel B (Melanie Brown) is "so thankful and joyful" this Christmas because last year's festive season was a "very dark time" for her.
The Spice Girls star spent most of 2017 locked in a court battle with her ex-husband Stephen Belafonte after she filed for divorce from him that March. After an acrimonious and scandalous legal war, they finalised their divorce in mid-December 2017.
In a new interview with Britain's Hello! magazine, Mel admitted the legal proceedings left her so broke last Christmas that a close friend had to buy presents for her daughters Phoenix, 19, Angel, 11, Madison, seven, and she was in a very bad place.
"I've been through hell and back over the last few years. Part of the reason I'm so thankful and joyful about Christmas this year was that last year it was a very dark time for me," she said.
"I honestly feel the universe is putting my world to rights. This Christmas just feels so special. I don't need a single gift because I feel that so many of my dreams have come true."
The 43-year-old posed with her three daughters in front of a fireplace and Christmas tree at their Los Angeles home, which magazine editors claim is the only photoshoot of the family since the divorce.
Speaking of being a single mum of three, she said, "You deal with everything life throws at you, good and bad, fair and unfair, and you try to be as happy and positive as you can."
When she filed for divorce, Mel claimed Stephen had subjected her to abuse - allegations he has denied. However, the singer, who is going back on tour with the Spice Girls in 2019, insisted their turbulent marriage hadn't put her off finding love again in the future.
"I refuse to shut down and keep people out of my life. I'm single - I'm not looking for a relationship, but I still believe in love," she explained. "I still believe good things happen and the past few months have been proof of that."
Mel was recently hospitalised with two broken ribs and a "severed" hand after falling down some stairs, but on Sunday, December 16 she was back on her feet and enjoying a roast dinner with her sister Danielle Brown and mum Andrea.