Nicole Murphy Addresses Photos of Her Kissing Married Director Antoine Fuqua in Italy
By Antoinette Bueno
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Nicole Murphy has broken her silence on recent pictures of her kissing married director Antoine Fuqua.
Murphy and Fuqua were snapped kissing in Italy on Saturday, where the Training Day director is set to receive the Director of the Year award at the Ischia Global Festival. The pair appeared to be enjoying the sun during the European getaway and showed off their fit physiques, with 51-year-old Murphy sporting a bikini and 53-year-old Fuqua going shirtless. In one photo, the two are standing and holding coffee cups as they kiss, and in another, the two share a kiss as she leans into him while sitting down.
Fuqua is married to actress Lela Rochon, and they share two kids together -- 16-year-old daughter Asia and 15-year-old son Brando.
In a new statement to LoveBScott.com, Murphy says the two are just friends.
"Antoine and I are just family friends," the statement reads. "I ran into him in Italy and we exchanged a friendly hello and that was it."
An eyewitness tells ET that Murphy and Fuqua enjoyed some time by the pool at the Regina Isabella hotel in Ischia, Italy, on Saturday, and were there for half an hour and went unrecognized by the other hotel guests. According to the eyewitness, the pair first kissed sitting down on the pool chair and not long after, shared a second kiss standing up. They also lounged around and then took a dip in the pool.
They were "relaxed, happy … they seem very friendly and at ease with one another," the eyewitness observed.
The eyewitness adds that Murphy and Fuqua later went to the Punta Molino Resort for dinner where they dined with the organizer of the Ischia Film Festival, Pascal Vicedomini, and had the entrance of the restaurant blocked off in order to avoid photos.
ET has reached out to reps for Murphy, Fuqua and Rochon.
Fuqua has been married to Rochon since 1999, and he also has a son named Zachary from a previous relationship. Meanwhile, Murphy's last high-profile relationship was with her ex-fiance, Michael Strahan, though the two called it quits in 2014. She was previously married to Eddie Murphy, and the two share five kids together -- son Myles and daughters Bria, Shayne, Zola and Bella.
"First of all, you gotta love yourself," she said of her advice to women who look up to her as aging inspiration. "Second of all, don't let fear hold you back. And third, I would say exercise! Make sure you exercise."
She also talked about what she's looking for in a partner.
"I'm looking for somebody who's got their stuff together," she said at the time. "Who's smart, who likes to have fun, who likes to travel and he's gotta be somewhat good-looking. Or a nice body. At least a decent body … They don't have to be all that, but they can be decent."