I have a email activation file which wont redirect to another php file.

1. user clicks the email activation link found in the email. - works
2. the link executes the file called emailActivation.php which verifies the user information and redirect the user to a different file called msg_statu.php to display a success or failure message. its that basic.

The redirect does nothing in my case, not even display a error message. I used(copied) the same redirect code/line from another script that i know it works with no success. I simplified the redirect and pointed it to Google thinking i made an error in the location/path to the file but its still not working.

can i not have a redirect in a file called in by a email link?
email link->emailActivation.php ->redirect to -> example: header ('Location: http://www.google.com"'); exit(); or msg_statu.php

background information on file: emailActivation.php
its a basic php file and it has a function which is executed if the url variable from the emial link is not empty. The function is tested and works.

any idea as to what could be causing the problem, it is a simple script?