'What Happened, Brittany Murphy?' docu-series director calls late star's husband "disturbed"

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Photo credit: Lawrence Lucier - Getty Images
Photo credit: Lawrence Lucier - Getty Images

Quite unbelievably, this December will mark twelve years since actress Brittany Murphy died in hospital, after being found passed out in the shower room of her West Hollywood home. She was just 32 years old at the time. Now, over a decade later, a HBO two-part documentary titled, What Happened, Brittany Murphy?, is set to explore the 8 Mile and Clueless star's life and the "mysterious circumstances surrounding [her] tragic death". Here's everything we know about the upcoming docu-series, What Happened Brittany Murphy?

What is What Happened, Brittany Murphy? going to be about?

It's reported that the film will "go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines [and features] new interviews by those closest to Brittany and new archival footage" too.

Initially after her death, LA-based coroner Ed Winter told the press that Brittany appeared to have died from natural causes. However, a later coroner's report stated that the primary cause of her death was pneumonia, with additional secondary factors of multiple drug intoxication (in reference to a range of over-the-counter and prescription medications, likely taken to treat a respiratory infection) and anemia (a condition in which the body lacks healthy red blood cells).

Six months after her tragic passing, Brittany's husband, Simon Monjack, was also found dead in their formerly shared home. His cause of death was recorded as acute pneumonia and severe anemia too.

Photo credit: Jeff Vespa - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Vespa - Getty Images

At the time of her passing, Brittany's family shared a statement saying: "A bright light that lit the world is forever dimmed, but will live on in the hearts of those that Brittany touched. Brittany was an incredibly loving and passionate person and an artist to her core."

However, despite the officially recorded verdicts, alternative theories as to why Brittany (and Simon) passed away continued to be raised over the years, including one suggestion that their home was host to toxic mould.

Brittany's father, Angelo Bertolotti also told the press he believed his daughter was poisoned, claiming heavy metals were found in high concentrations during her autopsy. Other reports citing 'close sources' and 'friends' of Brittany's suggested she may have been battling a painkiller addiction.

One such source told The Sun, "Brittany has been living life on the edge. She definitely had a drug problem and we have all begged her to seek help."

Photo credit: Jean Baptiste Lacroix - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jean Baptiste Lacroix - Getty Images

The docu-series will reportedly explore the actor's final days and also look into various claims about the past of her late husband Monjack, whom director Cynthia Hill called "disturbed" in a recent interview.

"He was a disturbed individual who was used to conning people and Brittany was one of his last victims," she told People. "There was a pattern of behaviour that became very obvious the more research that we did."

Monjack's mother and brother were both interviewed for the docu-series, along with a former fiancée of his who claims that he left her "pregnant and abandoned."

Who's involved in What Happened, Brittany Murphy?

The series will be directed by renowned documentary filmmaker Cynthia Hill (A Chef's Life, Private Violence). Speaking about signing up to the project Hill said, "I agreed to do this film because I think it’s a shame that Brittany’s promising life and career has been eclipsed by the circumstances of her death."

She added, "I think it’s important to celebrate Brittany’s talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon’s deaths."

When is What Happened, Brittany Murphy? being released?

The series will premiere on HBO Max on 14th October, will its release in the UK due soon after.


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