On the 20th of December, 2009, Brittany Murphy, a famous Hollywood star, collapsed on the bathroom floor in her home, which she shared with her mother and husband. She was pronounced dead a few hours later. The actress was only 32 when she met such a tragic death. Her sudden passing away shocked everyone, including her fans and friends in the industry.
Cut to 2021, HBO Max released a two-part documentary series called What Happened, Brittany Murphy. It reveals more chilling details about her final days, especially her relationship with her husband, Simon Monjack. Strangely, he died five months after his wife’s death from similar causes. This docu-series also throws light on the shady past of her husband. It has been produced by Blumhouse Television. The series also includes interviews with Monjack’s mother, Linda, his brother, James, and his former fiancé, Elizabeth Ragsdale, who revealed much information about his lying nature.
Here’s everything to know about Brittany Murphy and her passing away.
Brittany’s Childhood and Early Life
Brittany Murphy was born on the 10th of November, 1977, in Atlanta, Georgia, to an American mother, Sharon Murphy, and Italian father, Angelo Bertolotti. Her parents split as her dad was involved in organized crime and was often arrested and imprisoned.
After their divorce, Sharon and her daughter moved to Edison, New Jersey. Brittany developed a penchant for acting from a young age, and her mother supported all her ambitions. She even enrolled her daugthter in the Verne Fowler’s School of Dance and Theater in Colonia, New Jersey, when she was five.
Brittany started appearing in many television commercials when she was 12. She even bagged a few minor roles on TV shows like Murphy Brown and Kids Incorporated and played a supporting role in the American sitcom, Drexells’ Class. Her love for acting did not let her overlook her studies. She juggled the two and pursued her education at John Burroughs High School, Burbank, California.
Brittany Had a Promising Career
Though her life was short-lived, Brittany had a promising acting career. She is known for many roles. She acted in Clueless in 1995 and appeared in 8 Mile with Eminem in 2002.
Brittany co-starred in Girl, Interrupted in 1999 with Angelina Jolie. She also acted in movies from multiple genres, including romantic comedies like Just Married and Little Black Book in 2003 and 2004. She starred alongside her real-life boyfriend at that time, Ashton Kutcher.
Besides this, she also experimented in some music scenes, one of them was with DJ Paul Oakenfold, featuring their single Faster Kill Pussycat. This number became a club hit and reached the top of the charts, including Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play Chart in 2006.
In short, Brittany Murphy built a successful career for herself.
Her Marriage with Simon Monjack
Brittany lived a good and happy life until Simon Monjack happened to her.
Simon was a screenwriter. She met him in 2007, two years before her death. The couple got married. Little did she know that Simon would become a dominating husband and exploit her mental peace!
Some reports suggest that Brittany was abusing prescription pills, and the media, during that time, was also fixated on her rapid weight loss. According to the news, she was muddled and desperate and became prey to things that she thought would otherwise help her.
Simon was a dominating husband. He would often take charge of Brittany’s life and ask her to do things she would not do otherwise. For instance, when her team expressed concerns about Monjack, she fired her entire team, including her manager, agent, lawyer, and even her makeup artist. Simon Monjack also took over all her financial decisions and drove her everywhere. According to Brittany’s friends, she changed her phone number, making it impossible for everyone to reach out to her.
Monjack had some serious drug issues and problems. According to the directors of this docu-series, both Brittany and Monjack would show up to movie sets high. Soon enough, the actress’s offers started drying up because both of them developed a reputation for being difficult to work with. Brittany’s last movie set was for a horror flick, The Caller. Unfortunately, the production fired her after two days of shooting because her husband got into an altercation with someone on the set.
Brittany’s Husband was a Problematic Man
The docu-series also revealed issues with Monjack. When interviewed his ex-fiance, Elizabeth Ragsdale, she revealed that they became engaged after a brief courtship, and shortly after she became pregnant. Monjack insisted she give birth in the US. When Ragsdale was four months pregnant, he called her to New York and even paid for her ticket.
When she landed in the city, she called him up, and before she could speak anything, Simon hung up on her. She was left pregnant and abandoned by her fiancé.
According to the director of the docu-series, “He was a disturbed individual who was used to conning people, and Brittany was one of his last victims.”
What was the Cause of Brittany’s Death?
There are many theories regarding the cause of Brittany’s death. Some suggest that the 32-year-old died of pneumonia. But there had been more hearsay than facts about her death. Another theory that her father backs is that Brittany died of poisoning. Some theories also highlight that she died from black mold.
The docu-series highlights many questions surrounding her death leading to her husband. It presents him as a pathological liar who preyed on the actress and her mother, isolating them and draining their money. Monjack also encouraged Murphy’s use of prescription pills and the dangerous weight loss that she was going through even before she met the screenwriter.
According to Brittany’s medical examiner, her body essentially collapsed, starved of nutrition and addled by drugs. She was experiencing the mild flu and was in extreme need of medical attention. Yet her husband and mother maintained in interviews that Brittany was in a healthy state until she died.
After Brittany’s death, her husband and mother developed a weird bond. They even told the reporters that they would sometimes sleep in the same bed to share the common grief of losing Brittany. They participated in the photo shoot, which looked more like a couple’s shoot.
We wished Brittany Murphy had lived and achieved the best in her career.
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