How did Brittany Murphy die? Actress had 'an incredibly slovenly, shoddy existence’, expert rules out homicide

Dr Cyril Wecht, who re-examined the case of Murphy for months, said: 'Brittany had severe anemia and suffered from malnutrition'


                            How did Brittany Murphy die? Actress had 'an incredibly slovenly, shoddy existence’, expert rules out homicide
Brittany Murphy died in 2009 (Getty Images)
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A forensic pathologist has claimed that late actress Brittany Murphy, who “lived an incredibly slovenly, shoddy existence”, was not killed. Dr Cyril Wecht was hired by the actress’ late father, Angelo Bertolotti, to look into her 2009 death, which many thought was suspicious.

After looking at the case for months, Dr Wecht said she was not poisoned to death.

The ‘Uptown Girls’ star was found dead in 2009 at her home in Los Angeles. At the time, she was just 32. A few months later, her British screenwriter husband, Simon Monjack, 40, was also found dead in similar circumstances at the house. The Los Angeles coroner then stated that the actress had died because of pneumonia, anemia, and drug intoxication. But Bertolotti did not believe the coroner’s ruling and employed Dr Wecht on the case.

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Dr Wecht told The Sun, “I worked on the Brittany Murphy case after the father contacted me and I dealt with it over a long period of time. Brittany had severe anemia and suffered from malnutrition. There were also high levels of heavy metals associated with a hair dye or hairspray but I do not believe that she was intentionally, accidentally, or suicidally poisoned by those compounds.”

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Actress Brittany Murphy (R) and husband writer/producer/director Simon Monjack attend the Prada Los Angeles screening of 'Trembled Blossoms' at Prada Beverly Hills Epicenter on March 19, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California (Getty Images)

“Her husband died a few months later and also suffered malnutrition and severe anemia. They lived an incredibly slovenly, shoddy existence despite their celebrity and, presumably, their financial means. I don't know what their problem was psychologically but I do not believe that this was a homicide. It was an incredible, unbelievable existence they were leading and it’s a fascinating case from a psychiatric and sociological standpoint. They were living in a very unhygienic way, almost as if they were impoverished migrants,” he stated.

Dr Wecht’s findings came as a new two-part HBO Max documentary on the actress “that goes beyond the conspiracy theories” is set to be released. After Murphy’s mysterious death more than a decade ago, a 2013 report stated that ten heavy metals were found inside the ‘Clueless’ star’s body that were several times higher than WHO safe levels, which led to the speculation that she was murdered.

But the forensic pathologist dismissed that speculation as he noted, “If you're going to poison somebody, why would you use a potpourri of heavy metals? You would do it either with arsenic or strychnine or thallium or whatever. It’s absurd to even think about it.” Dr Wecht added, “Another matter is what was going on in that family with Brittany’s mother and her estranged father. It’s a whole forensic psychiatric textbook. I did not find significant levels of prescription drugs and I do not think that they contributed directly to what happened, although they may have contributed somewhat psychologically or emotionally.”

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Actress Brittany Murphy arrives at the Carolina Herrera Boutique opening on November 13, 2006 in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

Murphy’s father died two years ago. Before his death in 2019, Bertolotti had said, “I have no idea what happened, I wish I did. I think about my daughter a lot, think about the nice times we’ve had together. But I’ve lost hope. I still don’t know who’s responsible for her death - it makes me feel pretty, well, very bad. I thought I’d solved it, but I was getting a lot of publicity from it, and I had to back off from it.”

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