Since Eddie Murphy burst onto the comedy scene in the 1980s, he’s been connected to numerous women and cultivated a very large and loving family. Today, the comedy legend is going on 60 years old, and has 10 children from 5 different baby mamas.
If that’s not fodder for a quality standup routine, I don’t know what is. But while haters might assume that with stats like that, Eddie must be a less than stellar father and partner, his actions have consistently shown the opposite to be true.
Who are Eddie Murphy’s children?
Eddie Murphy’s children range in age from 2 to 31. In 2018, he made headlines (and created new standards in fatherhood) when he got all 10 of his children together in one place for their very first public photo together, just weeks after the birth of his youngest son with his fiancée Paige Butcher.
Just to help you keep it all straight, here’s a run-down: In the late 80s, Eddie and his then girlfriend Paulette McNeely welcomed his eldest child, Eric, into the world. Eric, who was born in 1989, is now 31 years old. His second son Christian, 29, was born in 1990, to his then girlfriend Tamara Hood.
Fast forward to 1993, and Eddie married Nicole Mitchell after they had lived together for 2 years and known one another even longer, since 1988. With Nicole, Eddie had five children together: Bria, 31; Myles, 27; Shayne, 25; Zola, 21; and Bella, 18. Alas, their union was not meant to last and they divorced in 2006.
Following his divorce from Mitchell in 2006, Eddie briefly dated former Spice Girl Melanie Brown (Mel B), who gave birth to a baby girl, Angel, in 2007, now a 13-year-old.
In 2016, Eddie had a daughter, Izzy, now 4, with his fiancée, model Paige Butcher, whom he has been dating since 2012. The pair also welcomed a son, Max, now 2 years old, in 2018. And that, my friends, makes 10. In addition to this beautiful blended family, Eddie is also a grandfather, as his son Myles recently became a father himself.
A neglectful father?
Eddie has made headlines in recent years on numerous occasions for his family focused life. Most of his children have stayed away from the limelight and lead a relatively normal existence, and Eddie’s there for that—contrary to popular belief, he’s a pretty private person himself.
His daughter Bria, however, is an actress and the co-founder of an online gallery based in Los Angeles. Eddie attended her art show in 2016, saying, “I’m glad that people get to see how talented she is. We’ve known for years how talented she is. It’s exciting to see her stuff up on the walls… I’m having all of those proud parent feelings.” Although Eddie was initially less involved in Angel’s life (his daughter with Mel B), in 2010 it was reported that he was making a genuine effort to spend more time with her and welcome her into the fold.
While some people take one look at Eddie’s family situation and assume that since his children have multiple different mothers, he must have a complex and harrowing relationship with each one. But the truth is, Eddie Murphy loves each and every one of his children profoundly. He has made clear what his priorities are.
I want to stay the person that I am and spend as much time as I can with my family, and the people that I love [because] my career, or what I am as an artist, that’s not at the centre of my life. At the centre of my life is my family and my kids.Eddie Murphy
Good fathers don’t all look the same
The misconceptions that many people have about Eddie Murphy based on his personal family life is understandable considering the irresponsible, absentee attitude that some fathers are so known for.
But Eddie Murphy takes pride in his role as a father, larger than average though his family may be. When Rolling Stone mentioned Eddie’s reclusive nature in 2011, the relatively discreet actor was open and honest about how he feels—about both his career and his children.“My whole shit revolves around having this peace of mind,” he said.
“It’s peaceful, quiet, that’s my day-to-day. I play my guitar, hang out with my girl. My kids went to their mom’s this week. I’m chilling, no stress. After all these years, I’ve done well and I’m cool. I feel comfortable in my skin, I’ve saved some paper, everybody’s healthy, my kids are beautiful and smart, doing different things, it’s all good. I’m trying to maintain my shit like this, and do a fun project every now and then.”
While on The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2019, Eddie joked about the split reactions he gets when fans find out he has 10 children. “Men kind of look at me like, ‘He’s crazy. How much did that s— cost?’” he laughed. “And women, it’s kind of like, something sexy about it I think. ‘Eddie Murphy must be doing this thing. Eddie Murphy be getting it in.’” Jokes aside, he truly does love having a full house. “I like it, I’m happy with it,” he says.
He’s got positive relationships with his exes too
While some might assume that with a track record like his, Eddie must have endless drama going on with his ex-girlfriends and ex-wives, that is simply not the case. Instead, he maintains that everyone gets along incredibly well—even his baby mamas!
Everybody’s really cool with each other and it’s all love all the way around everybody gets along that’s a good thing. It’s a love fest at the house.Eddie Murphy in Extra
Even though Eddie, his fiancée, and all his exes have hardly opted into your typical, traditional family scenario, they make it work. All the adults in question are mature adults, and together they maintain the integrity of a growing family with nothing but love and good intentions at its core.
While Eddie’s first baby mama Paulette McNeely has remained very private, there is no animosity between the pair, who were an item so long ago now that it seems another lifetime.
As for Nicole Mitchell, they called it quits after their brood of 5, but they still have a good relationship as friends. Perhaps the most notable instance of drama between Eddie and one of his exes occurred with Mel B. While the pair had a passionate love affair spanning 6 months, when she got pregnant, Eddie questioned the child’s paternity and demanded a test (it was positive). The pair ended up in court, and all sorts of ugly things were said. Since then, however, he has made amends with mother and daughter alike, welcoming them into his great big fam jam.
Last year Eddie said that one of the things he liked most about his family was how much comedy material they provided. “The last time I did stand-up, I had no kids, I had never been married and I was 27 years old,” he said.
[Now] I’m 58. I have 10 kids. I’ve been married and divorced. So I have so much stuff to talk about.Eddie Murphy
In 2016, Murphy jokingly told Entertainment Tonight, “My world revolves around [my children] — even the old, gray bald ones.”
Yet, if there is one thing that he is really proud of, it’s how his children turned out. You would think that having 10 of them may have compromised their upbringing, but that is far from being the case.
“I really got lucky with my kids,” he says. “There really isn’t a bad one in the bunch, everyone turned out to be really good people.”
Maybe—just maybe—having a strong father figure helped with that a whole lot.
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