When it comes to being a celebrity dad, Eddie Murphy‘s got more experience than most. The comedian has fathered 10 children ranging in age from 2 to 31. His large brood includes 19-year-old Bella, the youngest of his five children with ex-wife Nicole Murphy, who plays his middle daughter in the just-released Coming 2 America.
In a new interview with British newspaper the Mirror, Murphy sounded off on fatherhood, which he called “the center of everything.”
“I am going to be 60 in April and I have all these babies,” he shared, adding that his family now takes precedence over his career.
“The whole idea of being out there and doing three movies a year, that s*** is over,” the Oscar-nominated star said. “I have got all these babies … Along the way I realized that if you put your children first you never make a bad decision.
“When you hit a crossroads moment or you have got some s***, you think, ‘Well, what is best for my children?’ If you go that route then you never make a bad decision.”
Murphy first became a father in 1989, when he and then-girlfriend Paulette McNeeley welcomed son Eric. A year later, Tamara Hood gave birth to his son Christian. Murphy wed Nicole Mitchell in 1993, and together they shared five kids: Bria, Myles, Shayne, Zola and Bella.
Shortly after his 2006 divorce, the actor made headlines when he dodged former Spice Girl Mel B’s claims that he was the father of her baby, a daughter named Angel born in April 2007. After paternity testing proved that to be the case, Murphy has since welcomed Angel into his family. Finally, he has two children, a daughter born in 2016 and a son born in 2018, with longtime partner Paige Butcher.
Murphy, who is also a grandfather, spoke glowingly in the interview of each child.
“I am so blessed with my kids,” he said. “I don’t have one bad seed. I don’t have any like, ‘Oh you are the one.’
“I don’t have any of that. My kids are so great, normal people — and nobody is like the Hollywood jerk kid.
“My kids are smart and are trying to do stuff. I am blessed with my kids. I really, really got lucky.”