Mysterious Deaths of Brittany Murphy, Husband Haunt Hollywood Still Youtube via Investigation Discovery
Youtube via Investigation Discovery

The untimely, sudden death of Hollywood actress Brittany Murphy in 2009 came as a shock to many, leaving several confused as to how the star actually died. This since details from her death are spotty and there are a mix of questionable insights from only some reliable sources. The Clueless and 8 Mile (with rapper Eminem) actress was only 32-years-old when she was found unconscious in her home.

There have been many theories as to what actually caused Brittany Murphy’s death. According to Murphy’s father, Angelo Bertolotti, he suspected foul play and that she was intentionally poisoned. He mentioned this to a news outlet, leaving out who he believed to be responsible.

Brittany Murphy: An ID Mystery by Investigation Discovery

Death Investigation

However, the way the story goes, the Girl, Interrupted star collapsed in the bathroom of her home on December 20, 2009, days before Christmas. The Los Angeles Fire Department received a call for “medical request” and transported her from her Hollywood Hills home to the hospital where she died after suffering cardiac arrest.

Assistant Chief Coroner, Ed Winter, announced that the star’s death appeared to be from natural causes. The next day, an autopsy report pinpointed the cause of death to be three main factors: acute pneumonia, iron-deficiency anemia, and drug intoxication of both prescription medications and over the counter medications.

The star had hydrocodone, acetaminophen, L-methamphetamine, and chlorpheniramine in her system. None of the drugs consumed were illegal, but it was assumed she was taking them to combat an illness that was accounted for late on.

Another potential piece in the complex puzzle in the actress’s death is toxic mold. Murphy’s mother, Sharon Murphy, did not believe that both her son-in-law and daughter’s death were due to pneumonia. She found one of the coroner’s toxicology reports mentioned that toxic mold may have been a part of the deaths. From this information, Brittany’s mother sued the builders and received a settlement of $600,000. The Los Angeles County Coroner still did not take toxic mold into account in the two deaths.

Simon Monjack

To make things even more strange, Murphy’s husband, screenwriter Simon Monjack, died five months after the Hollywood star and was found in the couples’ home by Murphy’s mother. Monjack, whom she just married two years prior to their deaths, reportedly died of the same causes which raised more doubt involving the star’s death.


After an autopsy was conducted, the Coroner’s office shed light into the “unhealthy environment” in which the couple lived, and how badly they treated their bodies. Murphy’s husband and herself were both exposed to a bug in Puerto Rico, months prior on set for The Caller, a horror film in which they were both intended to co-star but were later dropped from.

Murphy’s state worsened, while her husband seemed to be fine. Ultimately, coroners believed the couple both died from pneumonia and severe anemia. Murphy then overdosed on over the counter meds, while Monjack’s death was from an overdose from prescription meds.

Brittany Murphy’s Final Days by The Hollywood Reporter


From family members, fans, and various “insiders,” several claimed there were signs of drug abuse. Many believe the star was also potentially suicidal and had marital problems. Unfortunately, we still do not know what really happened to the Clueless star, but we do know that she left the world too soon.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 26, 2019.

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