The West

Eddie s girl from Perth
Actor Eddie Murphy and Perth-born Paige Butcher during an NBA basketball game. Picture: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

She is the "mystery blonde" who has Hollywood's paparazzi in a spin after stepping out with notorious ladies man Eddie Murphy.

But to her family, Paige Butcher, 33, is the down-to-earth Perth girl and charity worker who has carved out a successful modelling career since being discovered at 14.

Pictures of the Attadale-born model with the comedian, who is 18 years her senior, are splashed all over celebrity magazines and gossip sites.

The couple were first spotted together in September and were holding hands last weekend at a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game. The Maxim magazine cover girl was also Murphy's date at a comedy event in his honour in Beverly Hills.

Butcher, who went to Santa Maria College, won the lucrative Cover Girl Cosmetics Supermodel Search in 1994 to get an IMG modelling contract, which took her to New York.

At the time, she said: "I've always only wanted to model. It really is the only life I want."

She also spoke of her desire to return to Perth one day to open an animal refuge.

Butcher's father Robert said yesterday her modelling career kept her overseas but she was still passionate about charity work and visited her family in Perth every year.

"She's done a lot of work in New York with disabled children, taking aged people shopping, working in pet refuges and helping build houses for the needy," he said.

He declined to comment on his daughter's new relationship, saying it was private.

Butcher and Murphy met on the set of the 2006 movie Big Momma's House 2, in which she had a small part.

Murphy has eight children to four women and was involved in a bitter paternity battle with Spice Girl and X Factor judge Mel B.

The West Australian

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