Eddie Murphy Says He Declined to Do Cocaine with Robin Williams and John Belushi in the 1980s

The moment helped the actor realize he “just wasn’t interested in” drugs

<p>Robin Marchant/Getty; Kevin Mazur/Getty; Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy and John Belushi

Robin Marchant/Getty; Kevin Mazur/Getty; Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy and John Belushi

Eddie Murphy says Robin Williams and John Belushi played a critical role in convincing him to stay away from drugs.

While appearing on The New York TimesThe Interview podcast, the actor, 63, recalled a night out with the comedy icons in the 1980s, during which he declined their invitation to do cocaine.

The trio were out at a bar, and Murphy was just 19 at the time, he recalled. “It was me, [John] Belushi and Robin Williams,” the Saturday Night Live alum said on the podcast. “They start doing coke, and I was like, ‘No, I’m cool.’ ”

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Remembering his thought process in that moment, the Beverly Hills Cop star said, “I wasn’t taking some moral stance. I just wasn’t interested in it. To not have the desire or the curiosity, I’d say that’s providence.”

“God was looking over me in that moment,” he added.

Michael Kovac/Getty Eddie Murphy
Michael Kovac/Getty Eddie Murphy

Murphy said that, especially as an up-and-coming comedian, he did not want to do anything that could jeopardize his success.

“When you get famous really young, especially a Black artist, it’s like living in a minefield,” he said on The Interview. “At any moment, you could step on a mine. Any moment, something could happen that can undo everything.”

“But I was oblivious to the fact that I was in a minefield,” he added.

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Elaborating on that analogy further, Murphy — who made his SNL debut at just 19 years old — said that the bombs were “just everything.”

“Just imagine being a young person and having the world placed at your feet,” he said. “Nobody's saying ‘no,’ and everybody wants to be around you. You try all types of s--- and get caught up in all kinds of stuff."

"That's what destroys people," he added.

<p>Fred Hermansky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty</p> Eddie Murphy on 'SNL' in 1981

Fred Hermansky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Eddie Murphy on 'SNL' in 1981

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Belushi died of an overdose in 1982 at age 33, while Williams died by suicide in 2014 after a lifelong struggle with severe depression. He was 63.

In the podcast, Murphy said that the fates of legendary entertainers like Prince, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley “cautionary tales for me” — and the reason he steers clear of drugs to this day.

“I don’t drink,” he revealed. “I smoked a joint for the first time when I was 30 years old. The extent of drugs is some weed.”

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