Eddie Murphy concedes fathering Spice Girl baby

This combination photo shows actor Eddie Murphy (L) attending a premiere in a February 2007 file photo, and Spice Girl Melanie Brown performing in a March 2003 file photo. Brown filed a paternity suit August 1, 2007 against Murphy, asking for child support for her 3-month-old daughter. A DNA test in June confirmed that Murphy, 46, is the father of Brown's baby, Angel Iris Murphy Brown, who was born in April 2007. REUTERS/Files

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor-comedian Eddie Murphy publicly acknowledged on Friday having fathered a child out of wedlock with Spice Girls singer Melanie Brown, who brought a paternity suit against him earlier this week.

A brief statement issued by Murphy’s publicist said the 46-year-old star of “Dreamgirls” and the “Beverly Hills Cop” movies “always has and will continue to honor his responsibilities as a father.”

“Mr. Murphy and Ms. Brown dated very briefly and never made any plans of ANY sort,” the statement said. “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 statement concluded by saying Murphy “views this as a private matter, and as such, will not be making any further comments about it.”

Murphy had never publicly acknowledged paternity before.

Brown filed suit against Murphy in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, seeking to legally establish his paternity and seeking unspecified child support for the 3-month-old girl.

A DNA test in June confirmed that Murphy is the father of Brown’s baby, Angel Iris Murphy Brown, who was born in April. The couple dated last year and Brown, 32, known as Scary Spice as a member of the British pop phenomenon, listed Murphy as the father on the child’s birth certificate.

Celebrity magazines reported this week that Murphy had become engaged to his girlfriend of 10 months, Tracey Edmonds. Murphy has five children from his first marriage to Nicole Mitchell, which ended in divorce in April 2006.

The Spice Girls announced in June they would be reuniting for a world tour starting in December.