Brittany Murphy’s sudden death is still a complete mystery 12 years on.
New documentary What Happened, Brittany Murphy? launches today on HBO Max and aims to uncover the chilling details of her final days.
The 8 Mile and Clueless star died at the age of 32 in December 2009 after being found collapsed in the bathroom at her home.
Firefighters who responded to a “medical request” tried to resuscitate her before taking her to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where she died after going into cardiac arrest.
A coroner listed her cause of death as pneumonia, but there are lots of conspiracy theories as to what actually happened to the actress, who was once one of the most in-demand celebrities.
Her mother Sharon and husband Simon Monjack, who died five months after her from the same causes, claimed her death was caused by a heart condition, while her estranged father Angelo Bertolotti claimed his daughter was poisoned.
In the run up to her tragic death, Brittany’s career started to unravel. It was from that moment things started to go wrong for the star.
The new HBO documentary claims to shed new light on Brittany’s tragic death.
‘Cursed’ and ‘filthy’ mansion
Brittany was living in a sprawling mansion situated on Rising Glen Road in the Sunset Strip neighbourhood with her husband Simon.
She purchased the home from Britney Spears in 2003 – who previously said she felt it was inhabited by bad spirits.
The house was prone to power cuts which saw the three relatives scurry around holding flashlights.
Brittany’s husband claimed to the Hollywood Reporter in 2010, before he died, that she found the home “unlucky”.
He told the publication: “She absolutely hated the Rising Glen house.
KPA/Zuma / Rex Features)
“Every time we would drive up Sunset, Brit would say, ‘Please, can we stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel?’
“I’d say: ‘Honey, you’ve got to be realistic. We have our house, a 10,000-square-foot home. We’re going to stay in it’.”
Just five months later, 40-year-old Simon died of the same causes – and he collapsed in the very same bathroom as his wife Brittany.
In the run up to her tragic death, Brittany was living with her husband and her mum in the mansion.
She was dropped from the sequel to kids’ movie Happy Feet, allegedly over drug accusations.
Brittany also lost her role in Jason Statham’s film The Expendables and was previously dropped from the 2008 Disney Tinker Bell film.
Brittany and mum Sharon were both struggling with their health before she passed.
The actress was anemic, had a heart murmur and suffered from chronic pain in her jaw from a 1995 car accident.
20th Century Fox)
Brittany was taking antidepressants, antibiotics, migraine pills, cough medicine and beta blockers before her death.
The actress’ life was in disarray before she died, as she cared for her mum – who was recovering from breast cancer.
Simon suffered from seizures after falling off a ladder, asthma and sleep apnea.
It came after he suffered a mild heart attack on a flight back from Puerto Rico weeks before her death.
What happened on their holiday is unknown, but the trio decided to spend a week in the country.
During the trip both Sharon and Simon picked up a cold – a virus called Staphylococcus.
When they returned Brittany also caught the bug which then turned into laryngitis.
Brittany began to suffer from flu-like symptoms, but she did not see a doctor about her illness.
Just six weeks before she died, the actress had a telephone appointment and, using the false name Lola Manilow, she saw a pharmacist.
On the morning she died in 2009, Sharon found her daughter lying on their patio struggling to breathe.
Sharon said Brittany told her: “I’m dying. I’m going to die. Mommy, I love you.”
Her mum allegedly shrugged it off and gave her tea.
However Sharon denied it, saying: “For anyone to even fathom that I would just sit and watch my only beloved daughter die and not get help instantly is beyond my way of thinking and despicable.”
Brittany then collapsed at 8am and was taken to hospital – where she died.
LA coroner Ed Winter said: “This death could’ve been preventable.
“Murphy was planning on seeing a doctor, but she unfortunately passed away before she did.
“This was a case of a person with pneumonia who was anemic and was taking medication when she should’ve been getting medical treatment.”
He said her death was down to anemia and pneumonia mixed with the medications she was on.
Rumours swirled following both Brittany and her husband Simon’s mysterious deaths.
When he died, fans started making theories over what had happened to the pair, as they died from the same causes.
Simon claimed he didn’t know his wife was ill, telling People: “I had no idea she had pneumonia. I took very good care of my wife, she was on an antibiotic and she was taking cough medicine and doing all the right things.”
One theory was that the couple had mould growing in their home when they lived there.
However Brittany’s publicist Roger Neal said the home was tested by “a well-respected company” just two months before she died.
Her mum agreed, adding: “One cause we now know may have been toxic mould that was eventually discovered in that house – which may have been what really killed her.”
However the coroner said: “There were no indicators that it was from mould.”
Meanwhile, Brittany’s distraught dad claimed on Good Morning America his daughter had been murdered.
He said: “I have a feeling that there was definitely a murder situation here. Yeah, it’s poison.”
And family friend Julia David added: “Our theory is that [Murphy and her husband] were poisoned. But the rest investigators should look into and determine.”
Sharon furiously denied her ex-husband’s claims.
In an open letter, she wrote: “Angelo has shown he only wants to trade on Brittany’s life, career and good reputation — even at the cost of putting a cloud over her memory.”
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