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The true story of Brittany Murphy’s death


On December 20, 2009, Brittany Murphy collapsed on the bathroom floor of the house where she lived with her mother Sharon and her husband Simon. A few hours later, around 10 a.m., she was declared dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The Distraught The actress was only 32 years old and her sudden death shocked Hollywood and the world, sparking a lot of speculation about her personal life, conspiracy theories about the cause of her death and numerous investigations by amateur sleuths on YouTube during years that followed. A new two-part documentary series from HBO Max titled What happened, Brittany Murphy? the premiere of October 14 aims to set the record straight.

HBO’s documentary Max postulates that the talented 8 miles and trendy girls the actress appeared at a particularly cruel time for women in Hollywood. As was widely discussed after Hulu’s viral Britney Spears documentary Controlling Britney Spears came out earlier this year, the late 90s and early 2000s were a time of extreme media scrutiny, heavy paparazzi surveillance, and the heyday of gossip bloggers like Perez Hilton. In the series, Murphy’s co-workers reflect on her desire to lose weight and change her hair color after Hollywood executives tell her she is “not fuckable enough” to be cast in roles main in the cinema. But perhaps even worse, the culture gave way to an insecurity that left Murphy vulnerable to the charms of Simon Monjack, a man revealed to be a manipulative con artist by HBO Max’s new doc.

Monjack and Murphy in 2008.


Murphy married Simon Monjack in 2007 after a failed intervention from his friends showing him evidence of his criminal background. He moved in with her and her mother, and soon after, began isolating Murphy from his friends by disconnecting his phone lines, cutting off all access that did not go through him, and firing and taking on the roles of his. manager, agent, and even makeup artist himself. An ex-girlfriend and mother of Monjack’s child – a child Murphy never knew, according to the show – testifies about his abusive and controlling behavior and streak of lies in the HBO Max doc. Murphy was fired from the last movie she allegedly shot in November 2009 after Monjack showed up to get drunk, according to LA Weekly. The following month, on December 20, she collapsed in her home and died a few hours later.

In the weeks that followed, Brittany Sharon’s mother and husband Simon stayed together and had a very strange appearance on Larry King Live, in which Simon expressed the need for an autopsy in Brittany’s case. Their behavior raised suspicion in an already shocking event and fueled many conspiracy theories about Brittany’s death.

simon monjack and sharon murphy portrait session
The documentary also highlights the bizarre mother and son-in-law photoshoot they took after Brittany’s death.

Frazer Harrison / BMGetty Images

According to the coroner’s report, Murphy deceased pneumonia with contributing factors of iron deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication. But over the years, fans and true crime bosses have questioned the likelihood of a 32-year-old woman dying from pneumonia, and have alleged that mold growing in Brittany’s home or possibly even being poison administered by her mother or her husband could have caused her death. The mystery grows when Simon Monjack deceased less than six months after Brittany, on May 23, 2010, pneumonia and anemia also. He was 39 years old.

The HBO Max doc largely debunks these conspiracy theories. A lab performed toxicology tests on Murphy’s hair after his father filed a complaint against the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office and the Los Angeles Police Department in 2012, and although they discovered that her hair contained dangerous amounts of lead, they determined that the lead was from her hairspray or dye. for the hair, as no lead or mold spores were found in his system during the autopsy. The coroner, interviewed on the series, says Brittany would likely have survived had she been taken to hospital in the days before her death, when she suffered from pneumonia and struggled to breathe.

brittany murphy happy feet premiere arrivals at graumans chinese theater hollywood, california 121106 featuring brittany murphy where the united states when nov 12, 2006 credit adriana m barraza wenn
Murphy in 2006 at happy feet First.


Murphy’s mother, Sharon, has been living in seclusion since her daughter’s death. The documentary explains how she ended up with it soon after Simon’s death, because when she tried to sell diamond jewelry he made for her, she quickly learned it was all wrong. Monjack spent $ 3 million during the few years he was married to Murphy and controlled his assets, creating fake deeds and jewelry to assure Sharon and Brittany that he was smartly investing their wealth.

Sharon Murphy does not appear in the HBO Max documentary. The last time she spoke publicly about her daughter’s death was in an open letter posted by Hollywood journalist in 2013, which she wrote after Brittany’s father Angelo Bertolotti, who was not involved with Brittany when she was young, claimed she had been poisoned and her hair had been tested for metals heavy. “Angelo has shown that he only wants to talk about Brittany’s life, career and good reputation, even at the cost of clouding his memory,” she wrote. “She was my baby, and we’ve been together throughout Brittany’s life. Now I have to defend her again … I want my Brittany to be remembered as the cherished person she was, for the giant talent she showed to the world (and left behind in her film appearances). and on TV) and for the friendships and love relationships that were truly a part of her life.

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