The 'Wannabe' hitmaker reconciled with her family in 2017 after a 10-year estrangement and Danielle Brown admitted she constantly did whatever she could to reach out to her older sibling during that time, despite claiming Mel's then-husband Stephen Belafonte ''totally cut off'' his wife from her loved ones.
Danielle told new! magazine: ''We never had a fallout. I believe it was all him and that he totally cut her off from her friends, family and work colleagues.
''It was desperate.
''People say, 'Why didn't you just ring her or turn up at her house?' but it wasn't as easy as that.
''You'd get hold of her phone number and it would ring - he'd answer - then you'd ring again 10 minutes later and the number would be changed.
''Email addresses would be changed, the house address changed, any packages I sent were sent back. It was like that for 10 years.''
Asked how Mel found out her dad Martin was dying, Danielle explained: ''I didn't stop contacting people. I tried everyone, even down to the make-up artists on her show.
''I thought that somehow, somewhere, someone would be able to get a message to her.
''She was doing 'Chicago' on stage so I'd email people I knew were working with her.
''Eventually she picked up the phone and called. I just told her to get home as soon as she could. When she came back she saw we were there for her. She could see we were family.''
The former 'Emmerdale' star believes Mel had no idea her family had been desperate to maintain contact with her over the years.
She said: ''From what I know, Stephen would tell her we hadn't even tried to contact her and didn't let her know about the emails, phone calls or parcels we'd sent her. So you can understand it from her point of view - she was told her family wanted nothing to do with her.''
Danielle claims Stephen - the father of Mel's youngest daughter, seven-year-old Madison - called her mother to warn her she'd never see the 'America's Got Talent' judge again ''for no reason'', but the family never gave up hope.
She said: ''She's my only sister so half of me was gone for a decade. It was like I was an only child.
''I nursed my dad on my own, I planned my mum's 60th on my own.
''I had to hold the fort on my own for 10 years.
''I wasn't angry. I felt she couldn't be reached, but never ever gave up hope she'd come back to us.''
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