Nicole Murphy: Why the "Hollywood Ex" Was Open to Loving Again
The new reality TV star is more than her last name
Nicole Murphy is best known for once being married to Eddie Murphy. But lately, the mother, model, entrepreneur and soon-to-be wife of Michael Strahan is finding a new groove and joining the ranks of women who air their lives out on reality TV -- but she's got good reason.
Loop 21 caught up with Nicole to chat about why her new show, "Hollywood Exes" on VH1, isn’t what you’re probably expecting.
Loop 21: It seems like you are the mutual friend on the show. How do you know each of the women?
Murphy: I’ve known Sheree Fletcher for about 19 years. She was married to Will [Smith]. My husband, of course, knows Will, so we all used to go to each other’s kids’ birthday parties and hang out. I met Mayte [Garcia] when she was with Prince, but I didn’t really get to know her until this show and she’s amazing. I’ve known Jessica [Jose Canseco's ex-wife] for a few years because I’d see her in the gym; I’m really close to her. And then there’s Andrea [R. Kelly's ex-wife] who I’ve known for a few years as well. She’s so funny. Her personality is hilarious. She’s quite a character.
[ALSO READ: Watch 'Hollywood Exes' Trailer]
Loop 21: Talk about your career outside of being an ex-wife and mother.
Murphy: I started modeling when I was a teenager. I entered a little teen contest, I was the first runner-up and I ended up going to this modeling school in Sacramento, California. Then I ended up going into this big competition called the IMTA; it was at the Waldorf-Astoria for a week, and it was a competition with women from all over the world. I didn’t really take it seriously, but I won the whole competition and a contract with Ford Modeling agency. I went off to Europe and started doing all the collections, runway and print ads. I would travel from Paris to Milan, London and New York, and I did that for a few years. Then I met my ex-husband and that’s how that all started. We got married and had a couple of babies.
Loop 21: Were you apprehensive when you found out that you daughter Bria wanted to pursue modeling?
Murphy: At first I was because you have to have a strong personality. You have to be able to accept rejection and not let it break you down so, of course, being a mother you want to be protective. When she told me, I was like, 'You don’t wanna do that. I don’t think that’s a good idea,' but she said she really wanted to. I could tell that this was in her heart and she really wanted to go down that path so I support her 100% and just give her advice. Now she's the spokesmodel for Dark & Lovely. She’s also pursuing acting, so she’s going down her mother’s footsteps and down her dads -- she’s doing it all.
Loop 21: Will we get to see any interaction with your children on the show?
Murphy: You'll see Bria. Right now we have this rule — me and Eddie — when they’re 18 they can be on TV, so you’ll see the older ones.
Loop 21: Moving on to new love, have you and Michael Strahan set a wedding date? Are you going to do it big?
Murphy: That’s the one question everyone keeps asking and I can’t spill the tea [laughs]. But I did the big wedding thing, I don’t want to do that again. For the second time around, I’m quick to elope [laughs]. The big wedding thing was fun but it’s like a big fog you’re in. It happens so quick, it’s overwhelming and it’s kinda hard to really enjoy it so, I’m like, if I do get married again I want to either do a small wedding or elope and have a great party. And have a great honeymoon.
[ALSO READ: Eddie & Kids Takes Rocsi on Vacay]
Loop 21: What made you open to the idea of falling in love and getting married again?
Murphy: Of course when you first get divorced you’re like, 'I ain’t never getting married again' [laughs]. But I think once you get settled — I actually prefer being married and now I’m open to it and thank God that I found someone that I get along with, and we have a lot in common, and I enjoy being around. When you get hurt with that whole trauma of divorce, you have this whole negative energy but you have to let it settle and eventually it goes way and you’re like, 'I’m good now.'
Loop 21: What are you working on career-wise?
Murphy: I have a jewelry line called FOP by Nicole Murphy -- it means friendship, love and peace. Then I’m working on a clothing line called Open Hours which is really cool because it’s casual and light. It’s something that I could put on right now and have some cute little flats on and then if I get the, 'Hey girl, come meet me for happy hour' or 'Let’s go to the club,' then I can throw on some cute heels. I can throw it in my bag too because it’s great for traveling.
Loop 21: What is unique about “Hollywood Exes"? You know people are going to try to compare it shows like “Basketball Wives."
Murphy: I would say first of all, we were all really married [laughs]. So, that’s number one. Then the second one is, it's more positive and encouraging. It’s sexy -- kinda like a “Sex and the City” type of thing. It’s really smooth. It’s fun. There’s a lot of laughter.