Simon Monjack’s family hates that he’s shown as a suspect in Brittany Murphy doc

I only watched the first 10 minutes of the two hour two part HBO Brittany Murphy documentary, What Happened to Brittany Murphy, because the tone was just off. It seemed macabre, and I guess it would be if it focused on her death. When they played a montage of her as various characters suffering I turned it off. Plus I’ve read that it’s awful and salacious and I didn’t want to sit through that.

Brittany was married to a shifty guy, Simon Monjack, who died of the same official causes, pneumonia and anemia, in the same house, just five months after her 2009 death. I covered that story at the time. I always thought that Simon was a con artist who was using Brittany but that he was genuinely heartbroken at her death. I strongly believe that there was mold in the house, which was rumored but not conclusively found, that it was slowly poisoning Brittany and Simon, and that they took medication to deal with the symptoms. There are conspiracy theories about their deaths however, including theories that Brittany was poisoned.

There are also theories that Simon murdered Brittany for her money. Simon fabricated his backstory and told wild lies, he had two children Brittany didn’t know about, he married Brittany quickly and he isolated her from friends and business contacts. None of that proves he had anything to do with her death, but his family is not happy with how he’s been portrayed. Simon’s brother, who is featured in the documentary, told TMZ he was misled about the focus:

Simon Monjack isn’t the monster he was portrayed to be in HBO’s newest Brittany Murphy doc, so says his brother, who feels he was duped into participating in the whole thing.

The two-part series investigates the life, relationships and death of the actress … but mostly focuses on her bizarre marriage to Simon Monjack — who died just 5 months after Murphy. There’s a lot of suspicions raised about the circumstances surrounding her death, but one theme in the doc remains constant … Simon wasn’t a good dude.

Throughout the episodes, Simon is accused of controlling Brittany, taking her money, having secret kids and eventually preventing her from getting medical attention.

Monjack’s brother, James, who is interviewed in the series tells us he was disappointed that the filmmakers made Simon out to be the villain.

James says the project was originally pitched to him to be investigative journalism into the couple’s deaths, but instead, it came off as a sensationalistic piece. James said he and his mother — who was also interviewed — had hoped the series would lead to a breakthrough in what actually killed Simon and Brittany, but made it seem more like Simon led to her death.

[From TMZ]

I have heard so many stories about people being duped into giving interviews for shows that sensationalize their experiences. Granted I did not watch this as I mentioned, but Brittany deserved better than this documentary. By all accounts she was a lovely person who was taken before her time. Simon was a creep who was surely using her for her money, but I don’t think he killed her. I think something or someone in the house killed them both.





Photos credit: FameFlynet and WENN

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53 Responses to “Simon Monjack’s family hates that he’s shown as a suspect in Brittany Murphy doc”

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  1. Noki says:

    If it was mold then surely the Brittanys mother would have also succumbed to the same thing? She is the sole survivor , she always seemed under the influence of something.

    • ME says:

      Coroner said there was no mold found in Brittany’s lungs. She caught a virus or something while in Puerto Rico weeks before her death. The problem was no one took her to a doctor. She was also suffering from Anemia. Her blood count was super low. The documentary was really good and I encourage everyone to watch it. This poor girl was a victim of a f*cking piece of sh*t man. I hope he is burning in hell right now. Lying thieving bastard.

      • Libby says:

        Agreed! I think it is worth watching because it was clear Brittany died from a man that encouraged/made her anorexic (thus sever anemia) and didn’t take care of her when she was extremely ill, and therefore died. He didn’t murder her but her death is clearly his fault!

    • Sof says:

      Wasn’t there a rumor about her sharing a bed with Britanny’s husband? And that some of the prescriptions on the bedside table were hers, not her daughter’s.

      • ME says:

        They talk about that in the documentary. Yes, they shared a bed after Brittany died. So weird. I don’t think anything was going on between them. I think Simon controlled Brittany and her mother.

  2. Angie says:

    He’s the ONLY suspect in my mind too!!! Rest in peace Brittany…

    • Ok. I took a bullet for everyone and watched the “doc”. And it WAS exploitative and awful, but still brought up some very good points about her death, and Simon was definitively at fault though he didn’t directly kill her, he killed her through neglect and abuse.

      The coroner made clear that a woman this young does not die of pneumonia, it was easily treatable in it’s early stages, but Brittany’s had gotten to the point of no return and she was incredibly underweight (Lots of evidence Simon kept his women skinny and of course Hollywood) so her body did not have the resources to fight the infection. They brought on Simon’s ex wife and gf’s to say that he never allowed them to go the dr either, and isolated them from friends and family so no one else knew what was going on with them. And in Brittany’s case it was clear that he was also giving both her AND the mom drugs . They were ALL strung out AND OMG THE AMOUNT OF “PRESCRIPTION” DRUGS IN THAT HOUSE! (I hope the shady dr who prescribed them was prosecuted) So the conclusion really seems he did not want her to go to dr and have it known how many “prescriptions” she was taking, nor allow an actual dr to “take over” her care, so she died an entirely preventable death due to Simon’s iron control over her AND her mom. And the mother and brother make excuses for Simon throughout the doc even when presented with ALLL the evidence of what a fucking horrifying human he was, so they can fully fuck off with this nonsense. The mother especially is culpable. You can see how she created and enabled a narcissistic monster, and NOW they want to cry foul. Hell no.

      And GOD, Howard Stern just comes across as SO disgusting in the bits they show of him. And it reminds me of why I can’t buy this cleaned up act as he was (is?) such a misogynistic prick. Utterly disgusting the way he spoke about her.

      • tealily says:

        But what did it have to say about Simon’s death? The whole thing was so weird. I’m still really sad about Brittany’s death.

      • He died of drug overdose and pneumonia too. But they had gotten sick in Puerto Rico filming her last film (that she got kicked off). The one thing that is weird to me is that they both had anemia. I get it with her, she was malnourished, but why him?! Brittany’s death was so sad, and the documentary is exploitative and sad.

      • Angie says:

        tealily, Simon’s death was the least of anybody’s concern! The fact that they (media, authorities) were on to him and all the dirt was coming out – he probably saw no other option but to end his life…IMO. There are always two sides to every story, but when one party’s is no longer here to tell their side of the story (accidental or not), we tend to draw our own conclusions.

      • Justpassingby says:

        I almost died of pneumonia. Wrong antibiotics prescribed by a hospital. Within a few days, it turned to septicemia. And I was 35, athletic and super healthy.

  3. Can we also talk about how horrendous Ashton Kutcher was to Brittany? January Jones, Demi Moore and Brittany have/had all ON RECORD at one point said how horrible he is. I don’t know how he is still around with that pattern of behavior.

    • Noki says:

      During the doc there was an audio clip of Ashton on Howard Stern, they were both such nasty jerks. Ashton seems like an immature break up guy,he cant just leave it at that he has to make up or say something rude about an ex.

      • It truly made me RE-hate Howard Stern for all the shit he’s put out in the world. The clips of him are just horrifyingly misogynistic. And Brittany’s relationship with Ashton is what really started he down the eating disorder path with his comments about her weight. Wan’t there another ex gf who talked about the same things with him? Excuse my language, but what a prick.

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      This! This is exactly why I don’t feel comfortable watching stuff Ashton Kutcher in it. Like yes I could seperate the art from the artist. But I just don’t like how his public image is always spotless while he throws his partners under the bus after the break up. And no interviewer seems willing to ask why at least three womxn have gone on record citing examples of how awful he is.
      I hope he changed and treats Mila Kunis well. But he’s made out of the same kind of Teflon that Justin Timberlake is.

  4. Léna Fontenelle says:

    I was young when this happened and the many theories surrounding her death are one of the reason I got into celebrity gossip, as sad as it is. It’s such a sad story.

  5. MarcelMarcel says:

    I love Brittany Murphy but didn’t watch the doco because I got the vibe it was macabre and fetishised her death. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But life is short and this documentary is long.
    Hopefully an journalist with ethical integrity makes a doco celebrating her life instead of fixating on her death.
    Clueless is obviously classic! The Ramen Girl and Uptown Girls are underrated gems imo. I gotta find which streaming service Drop Dead Gorgeous is on because I haven’t seen it yet. Maybe I need to have a Brittany Murphy marathon, she was so talented and had the kindest energy.

  6. Gemgirlaaa says:

    Sadly anemia and pneumonia can be caused by untreated viruses (and I will leave it at at that). There were some pictures of Simon and Brittany at Chateau Marmont…six months before? I was shocked at how yellow and bone thin she was. Eyes, skin, everything. It was horrifying.

    Uggh Simon. Well sir, your family isn’t going to tell the world you are a thieving con person after you’ve passed on. The publicist will. Thank you for your service in stepping up and telling us about the jewels, sir.

    It’s all very sad (cough, not Simon – I hope he suffered a lot)

    • Bettyrose says:

      The one thing I didn’t know before the documentary was that she was so severely anorexic. And with Simon’s ex on record saying he manipulated her into anorexia before her friends intervened, truthfully I don’t care if he premeditated her murder. Her endangered her life and then she died. He’s responsible. I adored Brittany Murphy and my heart really went out to Kathy Najimy who still lives with the pain that she saw what was happening and didn’t intervene.

      • Thank you, I have said all the same above but not as succinct! THE MOTHERFUCKING JEWELS!!!! OMG

        (Simon took out loads of cash from Brittany to buy “jewels” that would be good “investments” and he “gave” Brittany (With her own money) a tiara like Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Except when he died and everything was supposed to go to Brittany’s mom, (Curious that Simon got no money in Brittany’s will ) she had the “jewels” appraised and instead of being worth over a million dollars, yes, you can see this coming. They were PASTE. He was a villain out of batman.

  7. Holly says:

    You should have watched the whole thing. The framing was salacious and the editing had no taste, but I don’t think the documentary accuses him or insinuates that he outright murdered her. Rather, it makes the case that he controlled her because of his own issues, and that she died because her body was so susceptible to the pneumonia that killed her because of chronic malnutrition. It also shows that there were *90* prescription bottles found by their bedsides after her death, and many of the prescriptions were those subject to abuse, and they interviewed those who worked with her just before she passed and described some very bizarre behavior that also suggests prescription drug abuse. So I wouldn’t attribute it to some possible mold problem.

    • Holly says:

      I should add, they also interview the people who were responsible for her autopsy and explain in precise detail why it is not possible that a strain of mold killed her. The evidence simply did not exist in her lungs.

      • H says:

        I was about to post this, it wasn’t mold that killed either one of them. Britney was ill with pneumonia and if they had gotten her to the doctor sooner she would have lived.

        However, I do blame Brittany’s mother and Simon. Simon for isolating and controlling her. He basically ruined her career. Britney’s mother because she lived with them and allowed that control to go on without stepping up and intervening.

        As for Simon’s family, I’ve seen them give other interviews and Simon’s mother is constantly making excuses for her son’s bad behavior. Simon was a con man, a deadbeat dad and he thought had landed the Golden Goose with Brittany. I’m not sad he’s dead but Britney didn’t deserve that.

  8. Driver8 says:

    The coroner concluded their deaths weren’t due to mold bc the spores didn’t show up. She said that specifically. I don’t think SM killed her, but was negligent (possibly criminally) in her death. He also stole over 3 million dollars of her money. She would still be here today had she gotten medical attention. The documentary was depressing as hell, I wish I hadn’t watched it.

  9. FeatherDuk says:

    It was the mold. Many new homes in Texas have mold issues, and the people who live in them have the same health issues that Murphy had. Not everyone in the family will get sick and die, usually they move out before that can happen. Pets usually go first though.

    • FeatherDuk says:

      Also, yes, I understand that the coroner said it’s not mold, but having dealt with live people, with all these symptoms, who miraculously heal after getting out of the moldy home, my opinion is different. It’s hard enough to get a doctor to say anything is wrong with a live patient who is experiencing symptoms. That’s why these cases are so hard to win.

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      Two things could be simultaneously true- there was mould. And her health was put at risk by a controlling man enabled by the people around her.
      I haven’t seen the film and based off this comments I won’t. Does anyone know if there’s any long form articles that analysed the situation? I’d love to learn more about Brittany Murphy and find these topics way too confronting in a visual medium.

    • destinationroad says:

      Just chiming in to say yes: the average doctor knows nothing about mold. I was bedridden and spent months going from one doc to the next– nothing showed up on tests, the docs told me I was “clearly” fine. Finally, I got a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, which was devastating. Then we found out we had mold. Docs said it couldn’t be mold. I wasn’t allergic, nothing showed up. Still, we decided to follow our intuition and moved out and followed some mold protocols and I healed in a few weeks.

  10. Jayna says:

    Aw, I loved Brittany Murphy. He definitely controlled her. It makes me think back to Tears for Fears’ 2004 reunion album. On their single “Closest Thing to Heaven,” Brittany Murphy appeared in it. I t was surprising to see her in the music video. Her face was luminous with her big brown eyes, and I loved her brown hair, with all of those tight curls, in the video.

    • Bettyrose says:

      I’ve never seen that before. She’s so beautiful in that video. And Everything Tears for Fears does is fun.

    • smlstrs says:

      Wow! Thank you for sharing this.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Yes, thank you for sharing it!! I had forgotten how talented Britney was with her expressions! There are lovely comments about her in the video, how she is missed, RIP, how stunning she was as well as talented. Her face says it all and she was stunning as well!!

        Roger Ebert mentioned that she was reminiscent of Lucille Ball with her facials expressions and comedic timing and I think he was right.

  11. Bettyrose says:

    The doc left me wanting to know more about the mother. I don’t think she did anything illegal so there’s nothing to investigate but if it’s true that Brittany was obsessed with getting married, and then when married the mother consistently reinforced that Simon had her best interests at heart, I think the mom was obsessed with having a man in the family and then gave that man too much power in the home. Poor Brittany.

    • Sue Denim says:

      Maybe I’ve watched too many crime shows but I suspect the mother. I also wonder if she and Simon were in on it initially then she killed him too. As others here have said, the coroner found it wasn’t mold. And I think some poisons could do this. The mother lived in the same home, had no symptoms, got the guy then everything after her daughter’s death…

      • Bettyrose says:

        I really hate the idea that the mother killed her and I’m deliberately ignoring the many signs pointing in that direction. But in the doc it was observed over and over that when others expressed concern about Simon the mother jumped to his defense. I’m not crazy about that.

  12. Digital Unicorn says:

    Both Brittany and Monjack abused drugs, she also had issues with an eating disorder (which I think she had spoken out about before she passed). It’s in her autopsy report that she had a severe iron deficiency and that there were multiple drugs (prescription/over the counter pills) found in her system.

    There was a lot of gossip about their relationship and in particular his behaviour, she struggled to get work after she married him. Her mother has always been dodgy and just as controlling. I have always thought that both of them stopped her from getting medical treatment.

    As for the mold story, that benefits her mother as she filled a suit against the builders of the house for a payout esp as she still lived/lives there. Brittany was used by her husband, mother and father for her fame and money. Read up on the Foundation that was set up after her death – very dodgy.

    God rest her soul! She was a very talented actress.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Digital Unicorn, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I adored her and she was the victim of an abuser and a delusional mother. How any mother would allow their daughter to be manipulated, abused emotionally and financially, cut off from her friends, lying, drug use and to not step in for medical care is unacceptable. I am certain that Simon was stumped that everything wasn’t left to him, hence why he kept Britney’s Mum close and they slept in the same bed 🤢! The fact that Simons family members, especially his mum coming to his defense and actually trying to lie about his character was sickening. Face it, your son was a POS. He wasn’t a man, he was a con artist! There is no saving him now, it’s all out in the open!! In addition to Kutcher, what a POS and Stern as well, though he is a misogynistic anyway, but FFS, they were both irredeemable.

      I adored all of her performances but my personal favorite is Love and Other Disasters! I have also watched Uptown Girls which i find extremely entertaining, almost as much as Clueless!!

      It’s so tragic that she is gone.

      All Britney wanted was to act, get married and be happy. Possibly have a family. That’s all.

  13. Heather H says:

    No one mentions her mother as a possible suspect, and while by all accounts they were very close it is just suspicious to me that she survived both of them dying without being ill. When Brittney died Monjack seemed of course the likely culprit, or at least contributor, but once he died similarly I don’t think so and agree this movie (which I won’t watch) seems exploitative for the wrong reasons. I would much prefer to watch a real deep dive into logical possible reasons for their deaths.

  14. AmelieOriginal says:

    He may not have killed her, but he helped kill her career. He became her manager when she fired her entire team and controlled access to her. She was fired from her last movie that was filming in Puerto Rico (where she got sick and which eventually became pneumonia which killed her) on the first or second day, because Simon reportedly got into an altercation with someone on set. She lost a ton of weight due to Hollywood pressure and the last movie she actually completed, the director said she was difficult to work with because she was very spacey and kept forgetting her lines. This is all stuff covered in the documentary. In the end, she died because she failed to get adequate medical help, her death was entirely preventable. I don’t think it’s a really huge mystery. It’s weird her husband died in the same room she did in the same way, I can’t explain that, clearly there was a lot of weird stuff going on in that house. But Simon’s family can’t be really mad, the guy was super shady and lied about his past, about who he was to everyone around him.

  15. Misskitten says:

    Omg the Larry King interview w/ Monjack and Brittany’s mother ALONE makes me think something is NOT NOT right about Brittany’s death. And while the filmmaker definitely used a number of tactics to set a dark tone and certainly did point the finger at Simon, that Larry King interview didn’t NEED any help making Simon (and her mom to a lesser extent) look EXTREMELY suspicious. At one point Simon claimed that Brittany told her mother that she loved her and knew that she way dying a couple days before she actually died!!! And the WAY he brought that up…..[cringe] I have a VERY hard time believing that Brittany thought she was dying but did not seek medical attention. And Simon talking about how he didn’t want an autopsy on his dead 32 year old wife because she had that “beautiful body, curvy in all the right places, skin like silk.” And went on to say he couldn’t bear to see her cut into. And THEN went on to describe how he and Brittany’s mom hold each other in his and Brittany’s bed! 🤮🤮🤮🤮
    I have little to base this on other than that interview and my gut, but I think those two were having an affair. And Brittany found out and was going to kick them both to the curb, leaving them penniless.

    • I wonder if the full interview exists in youtube somewhere? I couldn’t possibly watch it as just the bits in the doc were incredibly horrifyingly cringe as you point out so well. I was watching though my fingers and how did the police not open up a new investigation into her death after that interview!?!?! WTF??

    • ME says:

      It’s always suspicious when someone doesn’t want an autopsy done. It’s so gross how he said he didn’t want her beautiful body cut open. She was severely anorexic. She had no curves at that point. Is he out of his mind? Yes, yes he is.

      • bettyrose says:

        That comment about her beautiful curves made me want to retch. It’s no lie that she did at one time have a very enviable figure, but he was referring to her skeletal frame when he made that comment.

      • Nope says:

        Well, and let’s say she wasn’t anorexic and was ideally curvaceous and at the peak of her looks. So effing what? How disgusting that he was fetishizing her body even *in death* at the expense of her as a person. He wanted–and this is the most generous possible interpretation of his motives–to preserve a dead and decaying body more than he cared to know what had happened to cause her tragic and untimely death. I mean, FFS, order yourself a custom Real Doll if that’s what is important to you, but trying to avoid an autopsy for these reasons is grotesque.

  16. Mads says:

    Rest In Peace Brittany.

  17. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    I watched it last night and there was much more to it like many others have commented. They made it very clear that mold was not the cause and Simon’s controlling behavior definitely contributed to her death. It was so sad.

  18. Lea says:

    My opinion is that they both died of pneumonia due to past drug abuse. Drugs can weaken the lungs, and if there was mold in the house it may be what caused the infection.

  19. Angh says:

    It was dreadful. It was uncomfortable to watch them use movie clips to supposedly convey what Brittany was feeling. I mean these are movie clips, you can’t take them out of context and use it to express what you think she must be feeling. She’s dead and it’s unfair to put words in her mouth by using her work. That said, I do think it did answer what caused their deaths. The interview with Simon’s baby mama made it clear he did like to self medicate. There was a similar incident with her except her friend took her to the hospital. So she probably did die if pneumonia. Still think something is off with Simon and the mom. The photos Simon took of Brittany were also creepy but again it’s probably taken out of context so I dunno.

  20. Mimi says:

    I’ve had a sour on for Howard stern since he made comments about Selena’s murder in 1995. Ever since then I give him the side eye. I can’t bring myself to watch the Brittany doc, the entire thing is just sad and very suspect.