Nicole Murphy has changed course and is now offering her mea culpa for being caught passionately kissing Training Day director Antoine Fuqua at a hotel in Italy on Saturday. Fuqua has been married to actress Lela Rachon for 20 years.
At first, Murphy, 51, defiantly downplayed the kiss in a message to blogger Love B. Scott, dismissing the tongue-dive as a simple “hello” and goodbye to an acquaintance.
However, after spending a day getting buried under an avalanche of criticism on social media, Murphy is now showing much more contrition for her illicit behavior with the 53-year-old Fuqua, a married father of two.
“Antoine and I are friends. We ran into each other while we both were in Europe,” Murphy said in a statement obtained by People. “Without going into the entire situation, I want to apologize to my family, and to Lela and the Fuqua family for what transpired.”
Murphy added that she didn’t know Fuqua was married, but that she understands what it’s like to be a celebrity wife as she was married to legendary comedian and actor Eddie Murphy.
“It was not my intention to be in this situation. I do not condone women kissing or interacting in anyway [sic] inappropriately with a married man,” Murphy continued. “I too was once married and I would never intentionally undermine another woman, despite what has been written.”
That statement represents a complete reversal from what she said 24 hours earlier when she hastily spat out that she “ran into him in Italy and we exchanged a friendly hello and that was it,” according to Love B. Scott.
As previously reported by rolling out, Fuqua was in Italy for the Ischia Global Festival where he received the director of the year award. The part about a “friendly hello” didn’t wash with fans as her head was turned to the side while kissing Fuqua and both had coffee cups in their hands while sporting swimwear.
Since the scandal hit the airwaves like a thunderclap, Rochon, who is best known for her roles in Waiting to Exhale and Harlem Nights, immediately deleted her Instagram and Twitter accounts and has cordoned herself off from the media and public. Efforts to reach out to her for any comment have proven futile.
But a source close to the Fuqua-Rochon household intimated to People that the couple seemed happy a couple of weeks ago.
They “were both together a few weeks ago at their son’s basketball game and looked like a happily married couple,” the insider said. “She was wearing her ring and they seemed perfectly happy.”