Mel B found it ''distressing'' being estranged from her family.

The Spice Girls singer re-established contact with her loved ones early last year, shortly before her beloved father Martin died of cancer, and she's admitted her ''isolated, stressful'' relationship with now-ex-husband Stephen Belafonte had stopped her from ''reaching out'' to them for a decade.

She said: ''I was in an isolated, stressful relationship that prevented me from reaching out to my family.

''It was very awkward and distressing for me for the whole 10 years.

''My mum would Facetime with the kids so that was allowed but I wasn't really...''

Although Mel - who has daughters Phoenix,19 and 11-year-old Angel from previous relationships and six-year-old Madison with Stephen - was devastated when her dad passed away, she's grateful his illness brought her back to her family in the UK.

Speaking on UK TV show 'Loose Women', she said: ''It was my mum, my sister, my aunties, they were my world and my life.

''The good thing is - kind of good - when my dad died, it brought my family together, so on his deathbed, when I walked in, I got to see them for the first time in eight or nine years.

''Even though it was a painful thing to see my dad going through that, it was a happy and beautiful thing [to reunite].

''It felt a bit strange, I was nervous, I hadn't seen my dad and he looked so ill, and on top of that I couldn't wait to see my mum and sister and aunties.

''My dad was in a coma, but he heard my voice and sat up and said 'I love you', when I walked in and my mum came over and hugged me... and then I got divorced, they came over and stayed with me in LA.''

And the 43-year-old star admitted she had ''prayed every day'' that she'd eventually get back in contact with her family.

She said: ''It was torturous but I knew - or should I say, I prayed every day - there'd be a point we'd all come back together.''