Does Eddie Murphy Have Rules About His Kids Working In Hollywood?

Eddie Murphy has lots of kids — 10 to be exact. Murphy first became a father in July 1989, when his then-girlfriend Paulette McNeely gave birth to Eric. Just four months later, Murphy welcomed a daughter, Bria, with Nicole Mitchell. A year later, Murphy became a dad for a third time when his then-girlfriend Tamara Hood welcomed Christian in 1990. In 1992, he and Mitchell had another child, Myles, and the following year, Murphy and Mitchell tied the knot. The couple went on to have three more daughters — Shayne, Zola, and Bella, born in 1994, 1999, and 2002.

But the marriage didn't last. Murphy and Mitchell finalized their divorce in 2006 , the same year Murphy briefly dated the Spice Girls' Melanie "Mel B" Brown. Brown gave birth to a daughter, Angel, in April 2007. Murphy initially questioned the paternity. "I don't know whose child that is until it comes out and has a blood test," he said on a Dutch TV show in December 2006. The DNA test indeed proved he was the father in June 2007, making Angel Murphy's eighth child.

Murphy wasn't done. He had daughter Izzy and son Max with now-fiancée Paige Butcher in 2016 and 2018. As such, Murphy has children ranging from very young to adults with babies of their own. Some of the older Murphys are following in their father's footsteps in the entertainment industry, while the little ones largely stay out of the spotlight. And there's a reason for that.

Eddie Murphy's children had to be of age to act

Eddie Murphy had no intentions of raising child actors. Eddie and his then-wife, Nicole Murphy, believed the entertainment industry was incompatible with a healthy childhood, so they laid down some directives their children had to abide by. "We have a rule in our house. We're not allowed to work in this industry until we're 18," Bella Murphy said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in March 2021. Eddie highlighted it was his priority to ensure they finished school first. 

But Bella hasn't exactly been a happy follower of the rule. "I wanted to do acting since I was in third grade," she said. In fact, she had tried to persuade her father to let her break the rule since she a kid. "I used to always ask, 'Can I be in this one?' He's like, 'Bella you have to be 18.' I was like, 'I know but like... please!?" she recalled in a 2021 interview with MadameNoire. "I would always ask, 'Can I please be an extra?' I just love acting so it's really fun for me. Even being an extra is awesome to me."

Bella was persistent, but Eddie didn't give in. "I didn't even really get to work until [I turned 18]," she told DeGeneres. Bella made her acting debut in the 2021 comedy "Coming 2 America," sharing the screen with her famous father. Bella went on to star in a 2022 episode of Hulu's "Dollface" and in the 2023 coming-of-age film "Fairyland." 

Some of Eddie Murphy's children have been on reality TV

While Eddie Murphy prevented his children from pursuing an entertainment career before finishing school, he seemingly didn't consider reality TV to be an issue. Between 2012 and 2014, Nicole Murphy starred on VH1's "Hollywood Exes" — and brought her daughters along. Bria, Shayne, Zola, and Bella were all featured alongside their mother in several episodes. While Bria and Shayne were already of age, Zola and Bella were still kids. But it's unclear how Eddie felt about his family starring on the show.

That's true even for his own daughters. "I don't know how he feels about the show, I've never really asked him," Bria said in a 2012 interview on North Carolina's WFXC. He was, however, truly OK with Shayne being part of the second season of "Claim to Fame" on ABC. "He was, I'm sure, surprised but he was just very supportive of me and everything that I decide to do," she told People in July. "He's very trusting of my judgment."

Eddie even played a role in helping Shayne decide whether to participate or not. "I'm a very indecisive person. I'm a Libra ... That's when I told my dad about it," she said. Eddie does seem supportive of his children's career choices. In 2020, he gushed about Bria's talents during one of her art shows in Los Angeles. "It's exciting to see her stuff up on the walls ... I'm having all of those proud parent feelings," he said