In 2009, famous actress Brittany Murphy shocked the world when she collapsed in her home and passed away.
More than a decade later, her death is still shrouded in mystery, but thanks to the new HBO documentary titled “What Happened, Brittany Murphy?” fans will have an opportunity to find out the details of her final days.
The documentary, which airs on HBO Max on October 14, doesn’t only focus on the days preceding Murphy’s death; it also shines more light on her relationship with Simon Monjack, her husband.
The two had quite a tumultuous relationship, but they only died five months apart and from similar causes, no less. Was it love? Or something more?
NEW DETAILS ABOUT MONJACK
The upcoming docuseries, which Blumhouse Television produced, gets very intimate with Monjack’s shady past, and his behavioral pattern was revealed the deeper they probed.
The documentary reportedly includes interviews with Monjack’s mother, Linda, his brother, James, and his former fiancée Elizabeth Ragsdale. Before Monjack moved to Murphy, he was once involved with Ragsdale, who says he lied to her about who he was.
They became engaged after a brief courtship. Ragsdale became pregnant shortly after, and Monjack insisted that she deliver the baby on US soil.
Four months pregnant, she boarded a plane he paid for to New York, where he told her he would meet her. He never did.
“When I got to my little studio in New York, I called him, and he answered. I said, “Simon, I’ve made it to …” and before I could get that sentence out, he hung up on me. He left me pregnant and abandoned,” Ragsdale says in the docuseries.
Cynthia Hill, who directed “What Happened, Brittany Murphy?” described Monjack as “a disturbed individual who was used to conning people,” and she believes Murphy was one of his last victims.
Hill’s docuseries will also feature new interviews from sources who had been close to the talented actress, as well as footage from her personal life.
For example, an interview with makeup artist Trista Jordan revealed how terrible Murphy looked while she worked on her final film, “Something Wicked,” just before her death in 2009.
According to Jordan, Murphy had sunken eyes and had come off as a very sad person. She was also reportedly in a lot of pain and could hardly stand.
Murphy’s career took off in 1991. She was notably featured in the Fox sitcom “Drexell’s Class,” which premiered that year. She would later focus more on movie roles, starring in several hit movies, including “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” “Girl,” “Interrupted,” and “Cherry Falls.”
Murphy also managed to make a name for herself in voice acting. She lent her voice to Luanne Platter on the animated comedy show “King Of The Hill.”
She enjoyed fame, but unlike many, it did not go to her head — it made her beloved. Despite the drama that surrounds her demise, Hill says that most people she spoke to remembered Murphy’s kindness. Hill says,
“Everyone was so consistent when they would describe her. She was so generous, caring, and always thinking about everybody else.”
HER MYSTERIOUS DEATH AND HIS
Murphy was declared dead in Cedars–Sinai hospital in December 2009 after collapsing at her West Hollywood home. The coroner’s report revealed pneumonia as the primary cause of death.
It also showed that she had been suffering symptoms of iron deficiency anemia and was using different over-the-counter drugs and prescribed medications, both of which contributed to her demise.
On the day she died, Murphy took the following drugs; antibiotic Biaxin, migraine pills, cough medicine, an over-the-counter nasal spray, an anti-depression drug (fluoxetine, aka Prozac), an anti-seizure drug (Klonopin), an anti-inflammatory (methylprednisolone), a beta-blocker, and Vicoprofen(to ease pain from her period.).”
Before she gave up the ghost in her bathroom, she put out a call to her mother and told her she loved her. The woman quickly called 911, but it was too late. Murphy’s death sparked a lot of conspiracy theories as well as criticism of Monjack.
Prior to his death, he made a statement in which he referred to himself as “the most maligned man in America.” He also urged people not to believe anything they heard and read before declaring his profound love for his wife.
Months later, on May 23, 2010, Monjack, who had been 39 at the time, was found dead in the couple’s home in the same bedroom as his late wife, and his death was attributed to pneumonia and anemia as well.
The fact that the deaths happened within five months of each other in the same room and of the exact cause made everyone who heard the story suspicious, but Sharon Murphy, the actress’s mother, was quick to keep things quiet.
Later in November 2013, Murphy’s dad, Angelo Bertolotti, broke his silence on the topic, saying he had a feeling murder was involved and that it was by poison.
He had allegedly requested additional toxicology tests and claimed that the results showed the presence of up to ten heavy metals in her system.
Sharon quickly denied Bertolotti’s claims in an open letter, effectively containing the rumors. Murphy’s father had not been nearly as close to her as her mother was, which gave her words more leverage with her fans.
In her letter, she tagged Bertolotti’s claims as lies based on “flimsy evidence” and implied that he wanted to exploit her.
Either way no more was revealed about what may have truly happened if, indeed, there was more at play. Bertolotti passed away in 2019 at the age of 92, but the mystery surrounding Murphy’s death remains to this day.