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Mel B honors her not-so-scary Style Network show costar

Mel-b Quick: A singer/TV star appears at a benefit to present an award to her family therapist, who does double duty as a costar on her reality show. In what city does this take place?

OK, we're waiting -- yes, amazingly, you figured it out! Los Angeles. How do you do it?

Spice Girl Mel B (a.k.a. Scary Spice and Melanie Brown, and by the way, is she a Spice Woman yet?) turned out Sunday for the fifth annual Polo in the Palisades event benefiting Miriam's House to present Dr. Charles Sophy with the Promises Foundation Award for Distinguished Community Service.

Mel B has been working her new Style Network show, "It's a Scary World," which follows her everywhere as she deconstructs the English meaning of the word "cookie" with her movie producer husband, Stephen Belafonte (ask someone for a cookie in London and you'll get a dog biscuit), and goes for family therapy sessions with Sophy, medical director of L.A. County's Department of Children and Family Services and a mother-daughter specialist who helps the star deal with her complicated blended family. (The couple has three daughters, all from different relationships. Mel B has two -- Phoenix, 11, with first ...

... husband Jimmy Gulzar, and 3½-year-old and impossibly cute Angel, whose dad is Eddie Murphy -- and Belafonte has one with an ex-girlfriend, actress Nicole Contreras.)

"He's an amazing guy," she said of Sophy. "He makes sure nothing gets out of control."

Sophy has also helped drug-addicted parents get sober, which was why he was the star of the event hosted by the Promises Foundation, which helps low-income families stay together while the mother undergoes treatment.

The event brought out a couple of sober celebs who showed up to support the people who supported them -- Melanie Griffith, who went through rehab a year ago, and Richard Lewis, who has been straight for 17 years. As the sun climbed toward noon, Lewis -- who plays himself on his old buddy Larry David's show "Curb Your Enthusiasm" -- took a moment out from shvitzing to talk to the Ministry.

"It's almost a sober blur," he said as he looked around at the crowd snacking, mingling and idly watching the polo players at Will Rogers State Park. "I owe it to events like this that help people who are in as dark a place as I was ...

"Although I'm allergic to horses and polo and the sun. Even the grass upsets me. But you gotta do what you gotta do. With all my allergies and phobias, I could be the Gandhi of recovery."

Ba dum bum.

-- Irene Lacher

Photo: Mel B at the LAMB spring 2011 collection during New York fashion week at Lincoln Center on Sept. 16, 2010. Credit: Peter Kramer / Associated Press

 
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