Call Him Money: Eddie Murphy Opens Up

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In the concert film 'Raw,' you performed a lot of misogynistic stand-up material, especially about marriage and divorce. Did you hear from a lot of angry women afterward?
Women got pissed off, but the truth pisses people off. Don't get me wrong. I love women, and I have nothing against marriage. But I'm afraid of divorce, and divorce is the reality. Why should I take a shot at getting married and risk losing so much? Steven Spielberg has to give up $95 million because he was married for four years, and that's not fair. Clint Eastwood wasn't even married to his woman, and he's gonna lose money on her. Carson supports an army of women. Why should I get married? Why? There's no reason. I can have children without being married. I can have a monogamous relationship without being married. Why risk a divorce and having to give up half your shit?

You'll never be married?
No, never. [Groans] I'll never live with anybody, and I'll never get married. There's no marriage for me. I'll have children. I'll be the best father in the world but a horrible husband. Marriage has to be a give-and take thing, but I'm a my-way-or-the-highway guy – that's Stallone's line I'm stealing. But I'm a realist; I don't kid myself. If I got there on the highway with half of my things.

I think you should take care of your child and get the woman back on her feet, give her a pat on the ass and go about your business. Just because you're rich and you married someone, this person doesn't have to be rich for the rest of her life if the marriage doesn't work. Lots of people scoff: "Oh, money isn't everything." Well, if you were making a lot of money, you'd see it differently. The idea of giving somebody Bubble Hill and $20 million would fucking blow my mind, man. I'd have to kill somebody. Eeeh-eeh-eeh.

You seem more romantic than that. On your new album, you co-wrote this lovely ballad called "With All I Know." That had to come from somewhere.
Isn't that a pretty song? I was sooo depressed when I wrote that song. Because I was singing about how I wanted to feel: hopeful about love. It's not going to happen for me.

You're discounting it?
Don't get me wrong – I could fall in love in a second. But all the shit in movies – the running-in-slow-motion-montage stuff – part doesn't ever happen to me. The only thing that'll get me married is when I feel life moving that slow and we're riding horses and the leaves are brown and I've got a sweater on – when shit like that start happening, that's when I'll get married.

Redd Foxx thinks you'll be married within a year.
Eleven months, he says. He bet me a thousand dollars. He says [in Foxx's voice], "She's ain't even gonna be fine; "she's gonna be a big, fat, ugly bitch with a big, fat, long jaw, and you gonna love her." Richard [Pryor] says the same thing. He says [in Pryor's voice]: Muthafucka, you gonna find somebody eventually. Her pussy's gonna fit and that'll be yo' ass." I say, "Not me." He says, All right, you'll see . . . ."

You seem slightly depressed about this.
I get depressed a lot. I was depressed this morning. It's just natural; it's human. My depressions are even more frustrating because I think, "Why the fuck am I depressed?" But more entertainers are like that. Michael [Jackson] and Stallone tell me they feel the same way.

Wasn't Stallone supposedly jealous over your working relationship with his then wife, Brigitte Nielsen, on 'Beverly Hills Cop II'?
I haven't talked to him since then. He thought I fucked his wife. He heard the rumor and believed it. He came after me and said, "You fucked my wife!" I said, "Down, brother, I didn't fuck your wife!" We talked about it, but I guess somewhere in the back of his head, he'll never really know the truth. Sly and I liked each other, too, but after the weirdness with Brigitte, it was ruined. I didn't fuck her.

Did it ever cross your mind?
Did I ever want to fuck Gitte? No, she's not my type.

What, she's too leggy?
No, she was married. And married to somebody who was my friend. I'm not that kind of guy.

Didn't you once date Robin Givens? Was she your type?
I saw Robin on and off for a couple of years. We were children then. I was nineteen or twenty; she was seventeen. I remember she spoke like a white person, very mannered and aloof. Every sentence was an exercise in linguistic propriety. She was very bossy. A powerful girl. When she and Mike Tyson hooked up, I thought, "Shit, they're exact opposites?" I tried to pull Mike's cards on it, because he and I were close. I told him. "Mike, please, PLEASE!" Mike said, "Hey, man, I don't give a shit 'bout no girl, I just want some pussy?" Next thing I knew, he was married! Eeeh-eeh-eeh. I guess he really wanted that pussy.

[Sighs] Love is no punk, boy. Love will whip your ass. Because Mike was honestly head over heels in love with her and still is, I think. Love is not only blind – love is deaf, love is crippled, love is a quadriplegic. Mike used to come by all the time, but after he got married, I saw him maybe twice. They broke up a year later, and I know he had to pay her something. He could've just been fucking her for a year and once it went sour, he could've just walked away. Instead, she just bought a $2 million house with his money. If this love shit is as potent as they say it is, maybe his good memories outweigh the bad. Maybe it was worth it. But no marriage for me.

How does this translate to your music? Why do I get this feeling you'll never release an album of ballads?
I don't like singing ballads, I'm uncomfortable with it. I don't buy me singing a slow song about love. There is no love.

You sound more confident as a musician on your new album than you did on your first one. You seemed a little embarrassed to be singing on the earlier record.
I wasn't embarrassed. But I wasn't crazy about it, either – there were about two or three good songs on that record. But I was a comedian singing, man. For a comedian singing, that was good stuff. I'm much more comfortable now. I buy me singing now. The last time, I wanted to sing, but I didn't buy it. Still, the acceptance was there, because "Party All the Time" went to Number Two on the pop charts. So now no one's gonna be sitting around going. "Eddie's singing? Really?" Anyway, we'll see what happens with it. I'm petrified.

Your first single on the new album is the funk song "Put Your Mouth on Me" – a great title, by the way, but your never specify in the lyrics just where you want that mouth placed.
When we were writing songs for the album, Narada Michael Walden, who co-produced the record, asked me for a title, and I just spat that one out. If someone's gonna put her mouth on me, though, it's got to be on my mouth. I'm very ticklish and anywhere else but my mouth tickles. [Laughs embarrassedly] Eeeh-eeh-eeh.

How do you see your self positioned as a singer? You once said you wanted to project at pure masculine image.
It's not even a conscious effort. I'm masculine, and that's what I put across. I'm glad that androgynous shit is over. If I had kids, and my kid came downstairs wearing pumps and lipstick and lacy drawers, I'd be mad. You don't want your kid to look like that. Maybe if I had put some lipstick and pumps on for the cover of the first album, I'd have done some more business. Eeeh-eeh-eeh.

But your songs do have a raw sexual edge.
That's because I'm a sexual person. I write sexual stuff. I'm a freak.

You're a freak?
Actually, I'm not a freak at all. I'm very conservative. You'd be surprised at a lot of stuff I've never done: I've never fucked in a car. I've never gotten head in the back of a limo. None of that superstar shit. Never fucked anyone in my office or on my bus. In my house, I've only done it in the bedroom. I don't fuck all over the house. I'm very prudish, really. I'm a clean freak, if anything. In a day. I probably take three or four showers and wash my hands up to fifteen times.

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