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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 06/25/2007

Eddie Murphy's Golden Child

By Liz Kelly

Eddie Murphy gears up for more daddy day care. (Reuters)

Here's a true Hollywood story Charlie Murphy didn't share on "Chappelle's Show":

Once upon a time Charlie's little brother, Eddie, dated Spice Girl Melanie Brown (aka Scary Spice). The two consummated their relationship and last fall Brown let it be known that she and Murphy were expecting a kid. Then, in December while giving an interview on a Dutch TV station, Murphy said, "I don't know whose child that is until it comes out and has a blood test." Brown, horrified by this sudden public repudiation, could only watch as Murphy surgically removed himself from her life and immediately started dating Tracey Edmonds. While Murphy glad-handed his way through the winter months attending premieres, awards shows and mugging for cameras with Edmonds (recently split from producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds), Brown went through her pregnancy alone and continued to maintain that Murphy was her baby's daddy. Then, one Friday in late June DNA test results proved conclusively that Murphy was indeed the father of little Angel Iris Murphy Brown. Then...

This is where the choose-your-own-adventure part of the story begins because we don't yet know how Murphy will react. Though he did say he would abide by the results of the DNA test, his contemptible behavior over the past seven months doesn't bode well for what that may mean -- as little as a monthly child support check or as much as taking an active role in this kid's life?

No one knows what goes on behind close doors and maybe Scary and Eddie weren't a love match, yadda, yadda -- but this is a man who had already fathered five children with ex-wife Nicole Mitchell when he impregnated Brown. When Kevin Federline indiscriminately knocks up half of Hollywood, we click our tongues and shake our heads at this behavior because, let's be honest here, Federline is a mental midget long overdue for a vasectomy. But Eddie Murphy is was one of the greatest comics of our generation -- a kid who took "Saturday Night Live" by storm at the age of 19, made "Raw" the benchmark for stand-up concert films and scored massive box office hits with "Trading Places" and "48 Hours." The man was a genius.

But wait, Murphy is also the guy who made a lame foray into pop music (with an assist from Rick James, bitch), had the audacity to produce and star in dreck like "Vampire in Brooklyn" and "Golden Child" and has since devolved to the well-worn groove of making kid-friendly fare. (Yes, we all thought he'd roar back into relevance after his Oscar-nominated turn in "Dreamgirls," but instead he took the easy route with the demeaning "Norbit." Now he's busy prepping for "Beverly Hills Cop IV.")

Murphy's attempt to evade the responsibilities of fatherhood will no doubt fade into the obscurity of tabloids past and we'll continue to forgive him by keeping him at the top of the box office heap. After all, it's easy to forget that inside that prosthetic fat suit lurks a potential deadbeat dad.

By Liz Kelly  | June 25, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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So technically this poor child is Miss Murphy Brown? Did Candice Bergen have a hand in naming the baby?

Posted by: Baby names | June 25, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Murphy asked for proof he's got it. Where are the insults "potential dead beat dad" coming from? Totally uncalled for!!! Get a grip,Liz. Murphy and Scary have some things to work out but then so do
a lot of parents.

Posted by: lauretta | June 25, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I think this whole thing is a shame.

It shows more of his true character as a person and not what we see as Dr. Doolittle with the cute, furry animals. I'm going on a personal boycott.

And yeah, I had no urge to see Norbitt.

Posted by: not bluto | June 25, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Liz, for putting this out there. I commented in a previous chat of yours that I had lost respect for Eddie when he denied or questioned being the father. I feel sorry for Spice. I am sure she could have any man of a higher caliber make a baby with her.

Posted by: snoootty | June 25, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I disagree with Lauretta. Liz, you nailed my thoughts exactly... his galavanting around to premieres and egregious show of disrespect for Brown make him a tiny, speck of a man.

Posted by: not bluto | June 25, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

can I just throw in here: why don't these people know what birth control is? I mean, come on! She could have used some, he could have used some. This is not rocket science, and the kid is the one who is going to suffer.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, you know what they call people that don't use birth control?

Mom & Dad.

Posted by: Bored @ work | June 25, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Liz, didn't you run something in this column where Mel B said she and Murphy *planned* this baby?

Posted by: duh ... what? | June 25, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

In my book it was Bowfinger that brought Murphy back from the dead... but now? it's almost as if he's been "abra-cadabra'd into a Fancy Feasting second-rate sidekick! And he really needs some pants!" Then again - the life of an ex-pop-phenom such as Scary doesnt leave you with a lot of options.

I hope the girls from Girls Aloud are taking notes.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Can't stand him. Can't even stand "Donkey" when all I have to do is listen to his voice. This issue makes him worse.
How many more movies will he wreck? He should just have his own production company to keep him in movie quarantine.

Posted by: POS | June 25, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

What went on between Eddie and Scary is between the two of them, but to publically question the paternity shows a real lack of class. I do hope that he does the right thing, not just handing over a large check each month, but also being in his daughter's life and letting her get to know her brothers and sisters.

Posted by: st.louis | June 25, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I just have to say that "The Golden Child" is not dreck! It's great in a campy kind of way. Who doesn't love to say "I wannntt the kniiiife. Pleeeasse!" ?

I can't defend Vampire in Brooklyn, though.

Posted by: Maria | June 25, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Murphy is obliviously the "bad guy" in this situation and Mel B is just as bad.
She was looking maintained her celebrity lifestyle which is why she moved for England to LA in the first place.

All that is left is for TMZ to publish the child custody agreement.

Posted by: Lisa1 | June 25, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

How about a Hollywood version of China's "one child" rule? Any indiscriminate fathering/bearing of offspring and you lose your ability to procreate. Maybe some of the 'stars' would support it, given that they act like their children are an unwelcome burden (e.g. Britney).

Granted, this may be holding Hollywood to a higher standard than the general public; the decision to have children is not taken seriously by enough people. Maybe just scrap this in favor of a license to have children?

Posted by: save the planet | June 25, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Lauretta, insults are being directed at Eddie b/c he publicly insinuated that Scary was unfaithful and/or promiscuous. However, instead of making her look morally corrupt, his comments have the effect of making him look like a classless loser.

Posted by: still | June 25, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if Scary may have done something to Eddie to prompt his repudiation? Perhaps he *was* using contraception, so assumed that if she got pregnant it wasn't his fault. Maybe they broke up because she was fooling around. Maybe she was just plain nasty or manipulative. Maybe - well, there's all sorts of possibilities that could have been Scary's fault, not Eddie's.

Just because she was a pregnant woman (and an "abandoned" mother now) seems to bring a lot of sympathy (possibly undeserved). It's very easy to play the victim in the circumstances - the majority of Americans (at least) tend to believe that pregnant women are sweet, innocent victims, and many of them no doubt are.

That said, Eddie should have kept his doubts to himself, and taken a paternity test on the QT. The fact that he followed through with taking a paternity test implies that he seriously believed there was a chance that he wasn't the father. Or he may be completely nuts, too.

Posted by: lone ranger | June 25, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure its fair to jump on the Eddie-bashing train, even now. Just because Maury Povitch opened the big manila envelope and told him "you ARE the father" doesn't necessarily negate Murphy's right to initial skepticism.

For all any of us know, Murphy's "we don't know who the father is until we have a blood test" was really just the equivalent of "it was never an exclusive relationship, and we were both hooking up with other people, so we'll just have to wait and see", only, you know, with some semblance of trying to protect both his and her images.

Think about it -- you're famous and you're in a situation where the media is asking you whether you're the father of a child that, although you might be, you truthfully don't know whether or not you are. Quick, what's your response? "well, we'll just have to wait and see" seems to me to be a lot nicer than "well, we were both sleeping around, so it might not be mine". Just sayin'.

Posted by: huh? | June 25, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

while I certainly don't condone his or her behavior- why not use protection if you don't want to get pregnant- I think it is unfair to call him deadbeat at this point. We don't know what was going on behind closed doors between Eddie and Melanie and we seem to have only one side of the story so far- hers. Unless he is denouncing the DNA results or reneging on earlier promises of support, I think it is very judgmental and unfair to call him deadbeat and not good father material.

Posted by: plamar1031 | June 25, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Agreed that we don't know what was going on between the two of them. But I still think that his publicly saying essentially "it's not mine unless I have proof that it's mine" is tacky. Why not just go with a "no comment."

Posted by: still | June 25, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Murphy won`t be a deadbeat dad. That child will be amply supported financially. And you can be sure some of that cash will find its way into that has-been Scary's pockets.

Posted by: RL | June 25, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The big question, though, is..... how will this baby affect the Spice Girls reunion????

Posted by: Return to Innocence | June 25, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

awwwh!! babydaddy doesn't like the news!just send a nice check, we'll take care of teaching her how to really rope a daddy.

Posted by: lindafranke1952 | June 25, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

This post is just so ridiculous and muddled for me to even know where to begin . . . But, I'll try: first, what is the relevance of the number of children Murphy had during the course of his marriage; as the highest grossing actor ever, I think he can afford them (and, I'm guessing, Mel B thinks so too). Second, questioning paternity does not confer "dead beat" dad status--not paying child support does. Third, attending premieres and other events are his contractual obligation; it's called show "business." Finally, since when did making bad movies become an indicia of moral turpitude?

Posted by: bkprincess | June 25, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I am glad mainstream media commented on this. I cannnot believe EM was such a jerk. If he had ANY doubts he should have shut his mouth and said "no comment" like the time he got caught with a transsexual prostitute. His comments implied that Mel B was a two-timing girlfriend. I do not know the status of their relationship at the time the comment was made, but it was definitely inappropriate. Wouldn't it be nice if EM was as forthcoming with his tryst with the local prostitute he was picking up for a friendly ride. If memory serves me correctly, he was married at the time of his tryst with the local prostitute with a heart of gold. (Aside: Golden Child rocked...Vampire in Brooklyn not so much,

Posted by: cb | June 25, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I think all those babies are just an over-compensation for his real love: The boys of Santa Monica Blvd.

Posted by: Shag | June 25, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I also am very disappointed by Eddie Murphy's public show of disrespect for Mother Brown. Better he just send a big check and stay away, he has proven that he has no 'family values,' and he would be a bad influence on the child.

But don't diss "Golden Child," though the real stars were the little boy and the gorgeous girl who was supposed to be in love with him.

Posted by: NMAIF | June 25, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

When I see Murphy I always see behind that cheesy smile a cruel, egotistical, nasty grin that makes me sick. As a black man with three children who I love more than life itself and support very very well, I find him a disgrace and and a person that has no respect for his own child deserves no respect himself.
His career is declining as I write and soon he will just another has been.
Eddy, get over yourself. We all have!

Posted by: Lamar | June 25, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I also am very disappointed by Eddie Murphy's public show of disrespect for Mother Brown. Better he just send a big check and stay away, he has proven that he has no 'family values,' and he would be a bad influence on the child.

But don't diss "Golden Child," though the real stars were the kidnapped boy (played by a girl, Jasmine Reate) and the gorgeous Kee Nang, played by Charlotte Lewis, who was supposed to be in love with Murphy's character. (That WAS the least believable part of the film.)

AND don't forget the very scary villain, Sardo Numpsa (Charles Dance). His metamorphosis into a sort of dragon was very well done..... gee Murphy was sort of a light weight in this film...

Posted by: NMAIF | June 25, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm with lauretta and bkprincess -- if having a successful career in entertainment makes you somehow a better parent, then explain Bing Crosby and Joan Crawford. Does this mean Britney is a good mom because she's rich? Ditto Kathy Hilton?

Calling Kevin Federline a "mental midget" who needs a "vasectomy" is way out of line. While, usually I'm right with you on these posts, Liz, as Alicia Silverstone said in "Clueless," that was "way harsh, Tai."

Remind me not to call you when I'm having a rough day with my own kids. (Having a bad day, hon? Sheesh.)

Posted by: td | June 26, 2007 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Liz -- Thank you so much for the commentary! I think on some level we feel more comfortable talking about how much a jerk KFed is, and not Murphy, because the latter has had a successful career, the former is always trashy looking, and maybe race has something to do with it, too. But to repeatedly question a baby's paternity (everyone else knows "no comment") was to make Melanie look like a tramp -- he was intentionally trying to make her appear sleazy. Instead, I think most people think he is the sleazeball. And, by most accounts, his Oscar this past winter for Dreamgirls was taken away because of his movie, Norbit -- the Academy wasn't willing to reward him after that dreadful movie had come out. Anyway, my favorite DVD of all time is his SNL greatest moments, but I'm boycotting Murphy from now on.

Posted by: M | June 26, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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