Actress Brittany Murphy, 32, died abruptly on December 20th, 2009, after falling in the home she shared with her mother Sharon, and husband Simon Monjack in the Hollywood Hills. Her untimely passing was officially classified as an accident. Fans and loved ones have been troubled for nearly a decade by the mystery surrounding Murphy’s death.
According to Coroner’s asst. Chief Ed Winter, speaking to People in 2009, the official cause of Murphy’s death was listed as “multiple drug intoxication,” which included both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. However, she tested negative for illegal substances.
Alex Ben Block, a close friend of Murphy’s family, chronicled the bizarre events of Murphy’s final months in a story for the Hollywood Reporter in 2011. Simon Monjack told Block immediately after Murphy’s death that he believed his wife had committed herself due to a broken heart.
Murphy’s career was in decline because of rumors about her drug usage and chronic tardiness. Anorexia was also speculated to be an issue in the tabloids. But Monjack claims those rumors are completely made up. The actress allegedly had a heart murmur, which medicines would have made much worse. When she passed away, her weight was normal.
Brittany Murphy Cause Of Death
Almost immediately after Murphy’s passing, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told the Associated Press that the cause of death “appears to be natural.” Her official cause of death was reported as “deferred.”
Murphy’s autopsy was performed the day after his death, and in February 2010, a Los Angeles County coroner determined that pneumonia was the primary cause of death, with iron deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication contributing causes.
According to the autopsy report, Murphy had been medicating for what seemed to be a cold or respiratory infection with both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Her death was deemed an accident, but the study suggests that “elevated levels” of hydrocodone, acetaminophen, L-methamphetamine, and chlorpheniramine caused by the drugs may have played a role.
“The possible adverse physiological effects of elevated levels of these medications cannot be discounted, especially in her weakened state,” the study read. In January 2010, Murphy’s mother and husband publicly disputed their daughter’s drug and alcohol use, instead blaming a heart issue and mitral valve prolapse for the actress’s untimely death.
Murphy’s spouse, Simon Monjack, was discovered dead in their Hollywood Hills home on May 23, 2010 – less than a year after Murphy’s passing. Acute pneumonia and anemia were also confirmed as the cause of death by the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office.
James Patrick Stuart posted a tweet remembering Murphy:
Worked with Brittany Murphy near the end of her life. She & her husband, Simon, were an enigma at best & her death at 32 left us scratching our heads. Director Cynthia Hill’s two part “What Happened, Brittany Murphy?” on HBO is heartbreaking but very clearly answers the question. pic.twitter.com/AkhBhuxXEQ
— James Patrick Stuart (@japastu) January 15, 2023
Perez Hilton Predicted Brittany’s Death
Perez Hilton, a gossip blogger who gave celebrities obscene names and clumsily drew white lines across their noses and mouths to imply they were drug users, helped shape the media landscape of the early 2000s. Hilton admits to the filmmakers in an illuminating interview that he predicted Murphy’s death to a radio station in 2009, not long before her passing.
Hilton appears truly sorry for making the bleak forecast and for his part in establishing the society that elevated Murphy only to viciously denigrate her. After all these years, I really wish I hadn’t said it and released that much negative energy into the world. It stinks… but it says a lot about the state of things in 2009; that year was very awful all around,” he says.
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In Just Three Years, Monjack Managed to Blow Through $3 Million of Brittany’s Money
After Monjack passed away, Sharon Murphy asked her publicist to pawn some of the jewelry he had given Brittany, including a copy of Audrey Hepburn’s tiara from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Roger Neal, Sharon’s publicist, had the items appraised by two of his high-end customers in the jewelry business, who both gave the same verdict: that everything was phony and worthless. During his three years of spending Brittany’s money, Monjack reportedly spent $3 million. ‘He lived off this girl who had worked her heart out for every dime she had,’ a former associate claims.
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