Simon Cowell says he finds it `astonishing' how well Spice Girl and X Factor star Mel B has dealt with recent personal difficulties.

Mel was granted a temporary restraining order earlier this week, after claiming that her estranged husband, Stephen Belafonte, had physically abused and sexually exploited her.

Belafonte has vehemently denied all allegations, which he described as "outrageous" and "unfounded" and a "smear campaign".

"She's under pressure but I think she's in a good place,“ Cowell told The Sun at the launch of the new series of Britain's Got Talent.

"If you think about what Mel's done since leaving the Spice Girls and what she's gone through, how hard she works and how I saw her try to handle this situation, it was astonishing.

“It really made me think about her as a person, what she's achieved as a working mum and how she's managed to balance everything. I don't think she gets the recognition she deserves.

"It's interesting because she's quite shy about saying what she's achieved over the years and her role in the Spice Girls and things like that."

Sharon Osbourne has also added her support for Mel B, calling the singer a "good girl and great mother."

Britain's Got Talent returns on Saturday, April 15 on ITV.

Simon Cowell: praising his friend Mel B