New Lab Report Says Brittany Murphy May Have Been Poisoned
by Kate Stanhope
Brittany Murphy, Simon Monjack
Murphy’s father, Angelo Bertolotti, didn’t accept the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office conclusion that the Clueless star and her husband, Simon Monjack, died of natural causes — pneumonia and anemia — five months apart. Bertolotti sued to get access to her hair samples and hired a private lab, the Carlson Company, to look for signs of poisoning.
The lab found evidence that she was poisoned — likely by a “third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent,” according to a report authorized by the Carlson Company’s general manager, Denny Seilheimer. “It’s a bona fide report,” Seilheimer told the website. “It was our client’s prerogative to release the report. That’s all I can tell you.”
Ed Winter, the spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, said they have no comment on the new report. “Our report stands as of now,” he told TheWrap. LAPD spokesman Officer Cleon Joseph said it would be up to the coroner’s office whether to take further action.
Murphy died on Dec. 20, 2009 after collapsing in a bathroom at her Los Angeles home and going into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. Two months later, the coroner determined the primary cause of death was pneumonia, but said multiple drug intoxication was also a secondary factor. She had elevated levels hydrocodone, acetaminophen, L-methamphetamine and chlorpheniramine — all legal drugs — in her system when she died. Her widower, Monjack, was found dead at the same home on May 23, 2010. Although his cause of death was also listed as pneumonia, her mother, Sharon Murphy, later blamed toxic mold in their home as the cause.