There has been a lot of mystery surrounding Brittany Murphy’s cause of death, and whether mold in her home in the Hollywood Hills could have contributed to why she and her husband died within six months in a row.
Murphy – an actress who has starred in films such as Clueless, Drop Dead Gorgeous and Girl, Interrupted– was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but was raised by her mother, Sharon, in Edison, New Jersey, after her parents divorced when she was 2 years old. When she was 13, Murphy moved to Los Angeles and landed her first Hollywood job as Brenda Drexell on the television show, Drexell’s class, which ran from 1991 to 1992. She continued to play in shows like Boy meets the world and Sister, sister, before her breakthrough role as Tai Fraser in the 1995s Clueless.
In May 2007, Murphy married British screenwriter Simon Monjack, who lived with her and her mother in their home in the Hollywood Hills until her death two and a half years after her wedding. So what was the cause of Brittany Murphy’s death? Read more about how Murphy died and the dark story behind the home that she shared with her husband and mother.
How did Brittany Murphy die?
Brittany Murphy died on December 20, 2009. She was 32 years old. At 8 a.m. that day, emergency personnel from the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a “doctor’s request” at Murphy’s Hollywood Hills home, which she shared with her husband, Simon Monjack, and her mother, Sharon. Firefighters found Murphy crashing into a bathroom. After attempts to revive her on the spot, Murphy was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she died at. 10:04 after going into cardiac arrest.
What was the cause of Brittany Murphy’s death?
Shortly after her death, assistant chief Coroner Ed Winter told the Associate Press that the cause of Murphy’s death “appears to be natural.” (Her death certificate listed her cause of death as “postponed.”) An autopsy was performed the day after Murphy’s death, and in February 2010 a Los Angeles County coroner confirmed that the primary cause of Murphy’s death was pneumonia, with secondary factors of iron deficiency anemia and multiple drug poisoning. .
The forensic pathologist at the time published a report that Murphy had taken various over-the-counter and prescription drugs likely to treat colds or respiratory infections. However, the medication led to “elevated levels” of hydrocodone, acetaminophen, L-methamphetamine and chlorpheniramine, according to the report, which may have contributed to her death, which was settled as an accident. “The possible negative physiological effects of elevated levels of these drugs can not be discounted, especially in her debilitated condition,” the report said. In January 2010, Murphy’s mother and husband denied that Murphy was using drugs or alcohol and maintained that the cause of the actor’s death was a heart disease and mitral valve prolapse – not drugs.
On May 23, 2010 – less than a year after Murphy’s death, her husband, Simon Monjack, was also found dead in their home in the Hollywood Hills. The Los Angeles Department of Forensic Medicine also confirmed that the cause of death was acute pneumonia and anemia.
Was Brittany Murphy’s cause of death mold?
Because Murphy and her husband died of the same condition in their home, there was speculation that a so-called toxic “black mold” could have been the cause of their death. The Los Angeles County Department of Health confirmed at the time that mold was considered a possible cause of Murphy and Monjack’s fatal pneumonia, but the study was later rejected by the Department of Corrections, declaring that there were “no indicators” that mold was a factor in Murphy or Monjack’s death. Murphy’s mother, Sharon, also called reports that mold was a possible cause of her daughter and son-in-law’s death “absurd”, claiming that their home in the Hollywood Hills was never inspected for mold by the Los Angeles Health Department.
“I’ve never been personally asked by death medicine or anyone from the Ministry of Health to come and inspect my home for mold,” Sharon told People in 2010. “In the last eight months, I have been through the most unimaginable events that no man has ever had. I have and will continue to be very cooperative and comply fully with any such request. “She continued:” It is absurd that this kind of misinformation is being reported by the media. “
In December 2011, two years after the daughter’s death, however, Sharon withdrew his statement, claiming that poisonous mold was actually the cause of Murphy and Monjack’s death. She then filed a lawsuit against Steiner & Libo, the attorneys who represented her in a previous lawsuit against builders of Murphy’s Hollywood Hills home. She accused the firm of legal error, breach of contract and breach of confidentiality for failing to properly inform her that – when she accepted the final settlement of her previous lawsuit in January 2011 – she was giving up her right to sue for the wrongful deaths of her daughter and son-in-law due to the presence of mold in their 13-year-old home, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The lawsuit at the time stated that the company, which was first hired in early 2009, “should have known that Brittany and Simon were dead and that their deaths were the result of complications from matters related to the property rights that are in the subject. ” The suite also claimed that the company “had a duty to advise and / or inform (Sharon Murphy) that she may have had an unlawful death warrant.”
Ed Winter, the Los Angeles County assistant chief, denied Sharon’s allegations of mold at the time, stating that the forensic office specifically looked for signs of mold in Murphy and Monjak’s autopsies, but found none. He told The Hollywood Reporter that Sharon at the time of Monjack’s death told him she did not believe mold was the cause of his pneumonia and would not allow an inspection of the house by the Los Angeles Department of Health.
Sharon and Murphy bought the five-bedroom, 8,000-square-foot Hollywood Hills home from Britney Spears in June 2003 for $ 3.85 million. (Britney lived in the house with her then-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake.) Sharon sold the home for $ 2.7 million in 2011. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sharon moved to a hotel in the weeks before she sold the house due to mold concerns.
What happened, Brittany Murphy? is available to stream on HBO Max. How to watch it for free.
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