The Death of Brittany Murphy | ''I am a Survivor of Simon Monjack and I believe that Brittany did not survive him.''

 (Brittany Murphy. Picture credit: rollingstone)

Brittany Murphy's sudden death in 2009 shocked and saddened everyone who ever knew her personally and for us fans of her work, it was heartbreaking. Just 32 years old with a stack of iconic movies under her belt, she wasn't just a fantastic actress, she was a talented singer, a gifted musician and she had a heart as big as Texas. 

It was so sudden when she passed away and everyone was trying to figure out exactly what had happened to her. The rumour mill was in overdrive and it still is to this very day. I received a few emails this past week in regards to my last post which focused on the death of another legendary actress, Natalie Wood and one of my readers requested that I write about Brittany. I had planned to write about her at some point but had forgotten that I had her on my list of cases to cover. Her death has always troubled me and I think that anyone who has ever taken the time to really look into the circumstances of her demise will understand where I am coming from. 

The truth is, is that Brittany Murphy should be alive today and would have been if she had been able to receive the proper treatment that she so desperately needed. 

We are all deeply saddened when we lose someone we have greatly admired for their talent, beauty and kindness towards others, even though we do not know certain celebrities personally we appreciate their gifts and the memories of how watching their movies and listening to their songs, has impacted our own lives over the years. You really do feel the sense of loss as if you have had to say a final goodbye to a dear friend. It's tragic when a terrible accident has occurred but what if the death of someone leaves a bad taste in the mouth due to unexplained circumstances, strange behaviours of others and twisted truths? 

In this post I will be talking about Brittany's death and her late husband, Simon Monjack. I will try to be as sensitive as always with the facts whilst also not shying away from the details. I don't claim to have all of the answers but I do have my own opinions just like everyone else and the truth of the matter is, is that since 2009 a lot of things about Brittany's death have continued to leave a question mark and a lot of things don't add up. I always leave it up to my readers to come to their own thoughts about particular cases and this is another situation where you may think a certain way about the events as they unfolded or you may think there is a reasonable explanation for everything. Whatever the case, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I always look forward to hearing what my readers have to say and a lot of the time they tell me things that I didn't know about a case as well as vice versa. 

So let's get into the brief background of Brittany's life. Brittany Anne Bertolotti was born on the 10th of November, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Her parents divorced when she was a toddler and her mother struggled financially whilst trying to raise her as a single parent in Edison, New Jersey. Money was very tight and necessities like food and clothes were often hard to come by but despite the struggles, Brittany's mother did her best and the pair were extremely close. Brittany was a fun, cheeky and bubbly child who never let financial woes dull her sparkle. From a young age she wanted to be either an actress or a singer like Madonna (who she adored). 

Brittany also had two older half-brothers and a younger half-sister. Brittany had been showing signs of her talent of acting and singing from a young age and as she reached her teens, the decision was made for her and her mother to move to Los Angeles. Brittany often spoke of how important and instrumental her mother had been to her career. She would talk in interviews about how her mother sold everything they had so that her dreams of making it as a star would come true. Brittany was always grateful to her mother and appreciated the fact that her mother had believed in her from day one. 

Fast forward to success, she had a stint on Broadway and various appearances in popular TV shows but it was her role in the iconic movie, Clueless (1995) that really put her on the map. Various star turns in movies alongside legends such as Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland followed and also, my favourite role of hers was in the classic, Girl, interrupted. Brittany even appeared alongside the rapper, Eminem in the movie '8 Mile'. She also did voiceovers for TV and film. Time and time again she was demonstrating that she wasn't just a comedy actress, she could pretty much play any role that was handed to her and she did it brilliantly. 

I remember hearing her singing for the first time and I couldn't believe it, she had an incredible voice (you can hear it here on this awesome track: Faster Kill Pussycat

She had various romances but the relationship that made the most headlines at that time was her romance with Ashton Kutcher. They both met on the set of a movie and the chemistry between the pair was plain for all to see. Even the Director knew they would end up together. Sadly the relationship fizzled out but they remained very close friends right up until Brittany's untimely death. 

In 2006, Brittany bumped into a man named Simon Monjack, they'd met briefly during a photoshoot when she was a teenager. He had the unfortunate nickname around Hollywood as 'Conjack' because he was known as the man who had managed to con his way into Hollywood. His professional role was of a screenwriter and Director but his career wasn't going quite as he planned. He had a bit of a reputation and drama and rumours seemed to follow him in life (as it clearly has done, in death). He came across as a bit of an oddball and once claimed of his first meeting with the teenage Brittany as one that had made such an impact on him (he was older than Brittany, having been born in Uxbridge, England in 1970), that he watched her grow up from afar and waited for the right time to be with her. 

(Simon Monjack & Brittany Murphy. Picture credit: The Hollywood Reporter)

Some would say that is romantic, some would say creepy but nonetheless he managed to charm Brittany and the pair ended up getting married in a private Jewish ceremony in 2007. Things between them moved pretty fast from meeting again in 2006 to marriage in 2007 and then the heartbreaking death of Brittany in 2009 with his death soon to follow just months later. 

It's unclear just how much Brittany actually knew about her husband but his background of fraud, deception, so-called abandoned children, abusive and controlling relationship history, financial difficulties, false claims of credentials etc....they didn't call him 'The Man Who Conned His Way Into Hollywood' for nothing. He was obviously quite good at pulling the wool over people's eyes, after all he ended up in Hollywood married to one of the most talented and beautiful actresses of recent times. 

As time went on people close to Brittany had begun to notice that she became more and more withdrawn and the sparkle in her eyes seemed to be disappearing. People became concerned about her weight because every time they did see her she seemed to be getting thinner and thinner. Simon seemed to always be beside her and it was rare to see the two of them apart. He played the part of the adoring husband but people began to see more of a strange fixation, almost obsessive and controlling situation going on. 

Some people believed that Simon saw Brittany as his meal ticket and a way to get himself into the spotlight. Things got more sinister when Simon encouraged Brittany to fire her assistant and other members of staff which also included her make-up artist, he insisted that he would do a better job of managing her career as well as taking over as make-up artist. So he began deciding how she was going to have her hair, make-up and clothing. 

His behaviour towards Brittany was becoming more and more controlling and Brittany seemed to be caught up in what was obviously a very toxic relationship. Having worked so hard for years on her career and known in the industry as a professional as well as a well respected actress, Simon saw to it that piece by piece he would destroy what she had built. He made all of the decisions and it seemed to others who had witnessed his behaviour towards Brittany, that there was some resentment there that she was the star and he was always in her shadow. 

She was excited about working on a new movie and had prepared herself as she had always done since a teenager on the set. However, Simon appeared and made a fool of himself as he was heavily intoxicated. The whole spectacle resulted in Brittany being fired from the movie and she was devastated but couldn't confront Simon about his behaviour for whatever reason. 

Women who had been in relationships with Simon in the past described him as a 'control freak' and 'disturbing individual'. There seemed to be no end to the drama and troubles that this man had created for himself and other people in the past and now he was creating problems for Brittany. 

Everyone at the time was really concerned for Brittany and  their worst fears were realised when the news came through that Brittany had been pronounced dead, just days before Christmas (20th of December 2009) after being rushed to the famous Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Apparently she had been found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of the house she had been living in with Simon and her mother. There was utter shock around Hollywood but some people were not surprised because there had been some concerns for a while about Simon's behaviour towards Brittany and her weight continuing to plummet which was also said to have been a result of Simon's constant pressure. 

(Brittany Murphy: Article: eonline)

Brittany's cause of death was determined to be caused by a combination of pneumonia, various prescription drugs (some of which were registered to Simon), various flu medications and anemia. Her iron levels were so low that it was suspected that it could have been a contributing factor to her immune system being low. She was also underweight. Brittany had been ill with the flu a few weeks and for some reason was not able to seek medical attention, she was not taken to the Doctor or a hospital, if she had been she would have been given the proper medication and had her iron levels checked and put on a proper diet. She would be alive today without a doubt. Her death was determined to be accidental but preventable. 

It makes me angry personally because it was clear that Brittany was under Simon's control and seemed to follow everything he said from what she ate, what jobs she took on and even how she was to have her hair. He was a control freak with everything else and cut her off from proper support so is it any surprise that you would be led to believe that he was in control over what was going to happen with her health? Any decent husband would have called a Doctor straight away or took her to the hospital weeks before, why didn't he? 

Simon Monjack didn't murder Brittany but there was serious neglect there and he did not get her the proper medical attention that she needed. The other terrifying factor in all of this is that Brittany's own mother was present the whole time and even she was under Simon's spell. Simon had been able to con Brittany and her mother as well as countless others over the years. Even after Brittany's death was announced, her mother and Simon clung together for support and his comments about his wife's death was bizarre to say the least. For example, he didn't want Brittany to have an autopsy in the beginning but after eyebrows were raised he had no choice and said ''This pristine body, curvy in all the right places with skin like could I say 'cut it up', in front of her mother?''

When Brittany's friends found out about her death and saw the continuing strange behaviour of Simon Monjack, not to mention the way he had managed to manipulate Brittany's mother too, they were shocked. They claimed that they had done everything they could to (in their words) ''Stop Brittany from marrying that bottom-feeding psychopath''.

Brittany was anti-drugs and was almost paranoid when it came to taking anything such as painkillers or too much caffeine. She was always focused on her health and career and was careful not to get addicted to anything but she did have a naivety abut her and reportedly hung on every word that Simon would say. He could be charismatic at times and there would be times he would talk about things with such confidence that he was able to get around people and convince them. With the difficulties that Brittany had in the relationship with her own father who had been absent for a lot of her childhood, she was probably looking for a father-figure and in many ways, Simon may have made her feel that she was safe no matter what the real story of his actions were. 

Brittany's mother was also a victim of Simon's manipulation and control, she loved her daughter and thought she was doing the best for her but it is puzzling as to why she felt that she couldn't be strong enough to challenge Simon. Maybe she saw how Simon had persuaded Brittany to cut off her friends and associates and was scared that she would be next if she pushed too far? 

Her mother claimed that Brittany's last words to her were ''Mom, I'm dying, I love you.''. Apparently Brittany had said this to her mother when the pair were in the bathroom together. The house that all three had been staying in had previously been owned by Britney Spears and it was a beautiful house but friends claimed that the couple often had the windows closed and there would be clutter everywhere. The environment in the house itself was said to have been unhealthy with items being left all over and reports of mould. 

Now, just when you thought you were already disturbed by what you have been reading so far, wait until I tell you this. I was hoping this was just a rumour but it turned out that after Brittany's death, Simon and Brittany's mother grew a bit too close for comfort and had a relationship. The pair would sleep in the same bed together in the same house where Brittany had passed away. At this point even I don't know what to make of her mother either? Let's address another elephant in the room, they were living in Brittany's house and Brittany was keeping them both comfortable financially and it's heartbreaking to state this but it is a fact. There's no doubt Brittany's mother loved her but she was in a lot of ways a typical 'stage mom'. 

(Simon Monjack with Brittany's mother, Sharon. Picture credit: esquire)

Anybody else in their right mind (and this is my opinion) would see their daughter losing tons of weight, having health issues, a shadow of her former self, friends being cut off, unhealthy living situation and they'd step in and take her away from a man like Simon. To hell with the fame and money, what is more important? And then to hook up with the guy after your daughter's death? I cannot get my head around that, can you?

(Simon Monjack with Brittany's mother, Sharon. Picture credit: esquire)

Well, nobody was buying Simon's story and a lot of people were looking at both him and Brittany's mother with raised eyebrows. Nobody believed it was just a simple tragedy. There was definite neglect, control and abuse going on there and it looked like her mother was more concerned about losing the financial stability Brittany had given her especially as Simon had such a hold on her. 

(Simon Monjack with Brittany's mother, Sharon. Picture credit: esquire)

Another shocking twist to this awful story is that Simon Monjack himself was found dead under similar circumstances. This further set the conspiracy theory mill into more chaos. He died just months later at the age of 40 and his autopsy revealed that he also died of anemia and pneumonia with similar prescription drugs in his system. All three individuals, Simon, Brittany and her mother had all suffered from the flu in those months and were using similar medications but because of Brittany's already fragile state physically and Simon's health issues, they were not strong enough to cope with it. Rumours went around (and still continue to this day) that the couple were poisoned, murdered, made some sort of strange pact. Whatever the truth, I still believe that Simon with the help of Brittany's mother (who I have said was also a victim of Simon's manipulation so I don't believe it was intentional on her part) was a huge contributing factor in Brittany's death. Piece by piece that man had broken that beautiful woman down to the point where she wasn't strong enough to fight off a common cold and isolated her from support and denied her proper medical attention. Just a five minute phonecall to a Doctor just weeks before would have prevented it all. 

When his death was announced, people were shocked but there wasn't an outpouring of grief. Some people continued to believe that there was more to the story. Instead of the beautiful memories and tributes that Brittany had received and her continuing support for homeless charities being talked about, Simon had more dirty laundry exposed. It was bad enough all of the stuff that was already out there about him and what he had done when he was alive, but now more victims came forward and it turned out more abandoned children of his were revealed as well as survivors of his narcissistic abuse. One of his previous victims said: ''I'm a survivor of Simon Monjack and I believe that Brittany did not survive him. He was letting me be sick like that when I was pregnant with our child until my friend walked in''.

More financial drama was revealed too because he was paying off thousands of dollars to different people, had debts as long as his arm and was in all kinds of financial trouble. It's unclear where all of this money that he was using was coming from?

Brittany's mother was left the bulk of her estate so maybe that is part of the reason Simon was trying to cosy up to her when Brittany died? Another interesting fact is that Brittany left Simon out of her will, reportedly stating ''I am married to Simon Monjack, who I have intentionally left out of this will'' So Brittany made sure that Simon would not get a penny from her if she was to pass away. Was she planning on eventually leaving him and he knew it? Did he see the opportunity of her illness as a way of getting his hands on her money either by her or by manipulating her mother? With Simon Monjack, you always had to read between the lines, this guy did not do anything out of the goodness of his own heart, there was always a hidden agenda. 

I've written about various cases over the years on this blog where people have met their end by being struck by a weapon, shot or physically assaulted but there are ways to kill someone slowly, psychologically by denying them their basic needs as a form of control. Simon had a history of abusing and controlling women. His abuse of Brittany started with preying on her insecurities and controlling her career, what decent man tells a woman how to dress, wear make-up and have their hair? What decent man turns up to their partner's place of work, drunk and making a fool of himself? His previous victims had been able to escape him but he must have thought he struck gold when he set his sights on Brittany.

The death of Brittany Murphy will forever haunt me and there will never be a time where I don't see her fantastic performances on screen and not think ''What if?''. She was brilliant at everything and great with her fans, most importantly, she never forgot where she came from. We really did lose a wonderful human being and for what? 

(Brittany Murphy. Picture credit: rollingstone)

RIP Brittany, you may have physically left us in 2009 but here we are in 2023, still enjoying your amazing performances, listening to your music and sharing your story. You remain forever an icon. I hope that you are somewhere up there ''Rollin with the homies'' 

Brittany's final resting place is at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. Simon Monjack was buried next to her. 

What are your thoughts on what happened to Brittany? Let me know in the comments below, by email: or on my social media platforms

Further Reading & Sources:

Brittany Murphy: Article | Rolling Stone

Brittany Murphy: Article | Vanity Fair

Brittany Murphy: Article | People

Brittany Murphy: Article | E Online

Brittany Murphy | Wikipedia

Brittany Murphy: Movies | imdb

Brittany Murphy: Article | Mirror

Brittany Murphy: Article | ABC News

Simon Monjack | Wikipedia

Simon Monjack, Brittany Murphy: Article | USA Today

Simon Monjack: Article | The Sun

Brittany Murphy: Article | LA Times

Brittany Murphy (Documentary) | Our History

Brittany Murphy (Documentary Clip) | Inside Edition

Brittany Murphy (Documentary clip) | HBO Max

Brittany Murphy: Article | Hollywood Reporter

Sharon Murphy: Article | Heavy

Brittany Murphy: Article | E Online

Brittany Murphy: Article | Rolling Stone

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post and I hope that you will join me next Sunday. I always post on Sunday evenings so get your cookies and cups of tea ready - remember, self care is very important!

Take care until next time x 

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