Mel B has reportedly hired one of Hollywood's most successful lawyers in her attempt to prove that Eddie Murphy is the father of her unborn baby.

The ex-Spice Girls singer, whose real name is Melanie Brown, began dating Murphy six months ago but the pair spilt after she was said to have heard media reports that he no longer wanted to date her.

According to the Daily Mirror, Mel B has taken on the services of Don Engel, who has represented stars including Cher, Fleetwood Mac and Meatloaf, to help her prove paternity.

"Mel is refusing to lie down and let Eddie walk all over her - and this is reflected in her choice of lawyer," a friend reportedly told the paper.

"She wants to hit him where it hurts... in the pocket and they don't come much better than Don."

Meanwhile Murphy, who has starred in numerous comedies including Shrek and The Nutty Professor, wants a paternity test and is reportedly in further doubt about whether he is the father after seeing photographs of his former lover with another man shortly before they became an item.

"Everyone thought it was suspicious that Mel fell pregnant so quickly after getting together with Eddie," a source reportedly close to Murphy told the News of the World newspaper. "Now he thinks the same. After seeing these photos he's convinced he's not the dad. And he won't believe any different until DNA tests are carried out after the baby is born."

21/12/2006 11:51:57