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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 August 2007, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Eddie Murphy confirms paternity
Eddie Murphy
Murphy received an Oscar nomination for his role in Dreamgirls
Film star Eddie Murphy has for the first time publicly acknowledged he fathered a child with Spice Girl Mel B.

The Dreamgirls actor, 46, released a statement through his publicist saying he would "honour his responsibilities as a father".

His announcement came a day after Mel B - real name Melanie Brown - took legal action to establish him as a parent.

A DNA test in June confirmed that Mr Murphy was the father of Angel Iris Murphy Brown, who was born in April.

Mr Murphy and Ms Brown dated very briefly and never made any plans of ANY sort
Eddie Murphy's statement
The couple dated last year and Ms Brown, 32, listed Mr Murphy as the father on the child's birth certificate.

She said she had taken legal action to have Mr Murphy named as the parent so that Angel would "always know that she was planned and wanted by both of us".

'Private matter'

But the actor said in his statement that the couple "never made any plans of ANY sort".

"He acknowledges paternity of the child, Angel, and has paid child support to Ms Brown as well as covering the expenses of her pregnancy."

The star added that he "views this as a private matter and as such, will not be making any further comments about it".

His relationship with Ms Brown lasted for several months in 2006 - a year after he divorced Nicole Mitchell Murphy, with whom he had five children.

Mel B
Angel is the second daughter for Mel B, also known as Scary Spice,
Shortly after they split up, Mr Murphy was asked by a TV interviewer if he was excited that Ms Brown was pregnant.

"I don't know whose child that is until it comes out and has a blood test. You shouldn't jump to conclusions, sir," he said.

According to US reports, Mr Murphy - who is the voice of Donkey in the Shrek films - is currently engaged to music and film producer Tracey Edmonds.

Ms Brown has an eight-year-old daughter, Phoenix Chi, from her marriage to former Spice Girls backing dancer Jimmy Gulzar.

In June the girl group announced they were getting back together for a world tour in December and January.

Last week, they added three new dates to their reunion tour, taking the total number of concerts to 14.

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