The Seven Network might still use Mel B in a limited role on The X Factor in 2013, after it won a court case to ban her from appearing on a Nine network show.
On Thursday, NSW Supreme Court Justice David Hammerschlag found Seven had an exclusive agreement with Melanie Brown, preventing her from appearing on any other Australian TV network until January 31, 2014.
Nine had signed Mel B for its reality entertainment series Australia’s Got Talent (AGT), believing she was a free agent because she was not appearing on The X Factor in 2013.
Nine now has to find a replacement for its AGT judging panel, but Seven is still to announce whether Mel B will appear on The X Factor.
During the court case, Seven said it had been prepared to use Mel B in a limited role on The X Factor in 2013.
But it is uncertain whether Seven will now reopen negotiations with the Spice Girl.
‘Seven Network welcomes the decision of the court upholding its contract with Mel B and preventing her working for a competitor in breach of contract in 2013,’ a Seven spokeswoman said.
A Seven insider had said the court case was about principle.
‘It’s about making sure contracts are honoured,’ the Seven insider said.
‘We could have just let her go, but that would mean the contract doesn’t mean anything.
‘So, it’s matter of principle.’
Nine says it will stand by the court’s ruling and start looking for a replacement judge for the AGT panel.
‘We accept the decision and are getting on with business,’ a Nine spokeswoman said.
This year’s AGT judging panel comprises UK comedian Dawn French, Nigerian-born Australian singer-songwriter and dancer Timomatic and Sydney radio identity Kyle Sandilands.