Melanie Brown became embroiled in a bitter custody dispute with her ex-boyfriend Eddie Murphy when he refused to allow the singer to move their daughter to Australia, a court has heard.

The former Spice Girls star is currently at the centre of a legal dispute over her Tv career Down Under after she gave up her role on the panel of the Aussie version of The X Factor and subsequently signed up as a judge on Australia's Got Talent.

The issue sparked a legal battle between the two rival Tv networks, and Brown's private life became the centre of attention when the case went to court in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday (03Apr13).

Testimony from Tv executives has revealed Brown exited The X Factor due to custody problems with Murphy, who reportedly refused to give permission for his little girl to be taken out of the U.S.

Jane Oswald, production lawyer for the Seven Network, the channel which airs The X Factor, claims Brown's husband/manager Stephen Belafonte asked Tv bosses to bankroll a court battle with Murphy in a bid to solve the problem, but the executives refused.

Oswald told the New South Wales Supreme Court, "Eddie Murphy... wouldn't sign the documents, and (Brown and Belafonte said) they would have to take him to court to get the documents signed... He (Belafonte) said that unless (Channel Seven Executive) Brad Lyons was willing to bankroll the case he wasn't interested in going to court to try and get Mr Murphy to sign the (consent) documents."

Bosses at the Seven Network have taken legal action alleging Brown broke an agreement with the company by signing with rivals at Channel Nine to work as a judge on Australia's Got Talent after quitting The X Factor. A judge previously granted an injunction banning Brown from appearing on Australia's Got Talent while the dispute is ongoing.

Brown gave birth to a daughter called Angel Iris in 2007, after a brief relationship with Murphy, but the actor refused to acknowledge the child as his until a Dna test proved his paternity. She has another daughter, Phoenix Chi, with her first husband Jimmy Gulzar, and a third child, Madison, with Belafonte.

The court case continues.