The new edition of the National Enquirer has a piece on an alleged feud and estate grab between the husband and mother of the late Brittany Murphy. Seemingly in response to the rumors, there’s a new story in People about how well Simon Monjack and his mother-in-law get along. They’re also said to be relying on each other for support during the difficult time after 32 year-old Brittany’s sudden death. I’m not sure which side of the story I believe, but as Kaiser says “a little from column A, a little from column B.” Monjack is a known con artist who has been sued multiple times for bad debts. I don’t see him letting his mother-in-law inherit all of his late wife’s assets without a fight. Murphy was said to be broke, though, and I know I was wondering how she could afford to live in that huge house in the Hollywood Hills when she hadn’t had a hit movie in years. It turns out that she couldn’t. Here’s the National Enquirer’s version.
Brittany Murphy died virtually broke – and her financial mess has triggered a bitter feud between her husband and her heartbroken mom.
The Clueless star, who died mysteriously on Dec. 20 at age 32, owed more money than her Beverly Hills home is worth. The 8,000 square foot mansion is now occupied by her mother, Sharon, and her husband of 2 1/2 years, Simon Monjack.
“But a war has exploded over the estate, and there’s a lot of tension between them,” a Hollywood insider told The Enquirer.
“Brittany died practically penniless. And now her husband wants to sell her possessions quickly, while her mother is shell-shocked over the death…
“Poor Sharon can barely function, let alone think about selling the house or getting Brittany’s finances in order… But Simon is already pushing to sell Brittany’s possessions, including jewelry, clothes and the house.
“Sharon is appalled by his insensitivity.”
[From The National Enquirer, print edition, January 18, 2010]
People Magazine says everything is hunky-dory between Monjack and his mother-in-law. Maybe they’re helping each other in their time of grief, but I wouldn’t doubt that Monjack hopes to sell off Murphy’s stuff and cash in. That doesn’t mean he was somehow complicit in her death or is not devastated by his loss. Some people are just more action-oriented in times of crisis than others, especially when it comes to their own personal interests.
Since Brittany Murphy’s sudden death at 32 of an apparent cardiac arrest Dec. 20, her grieving husband Simon Monjack and mother Sharon Murphy have “clung to each other for support.”
“Simon is exactly as you would expect someone to be who has just lost the woman he loved. Some days he wants to kill himself, and other days he seems to be coping better,” Monjack’s mother Linda, a hypnotherapist and counselor in Buckinghamshire, England, tells PEOPLE. “He is distraught. I speak to him everyday, and he is often in tears.”
But thanks to his bond with his mother-in-law, the London-born businessman, 39, is surviving, his mother says: “He’s very strong, and he’s got Sharon. They’re very close, and they’re keeping each other going.”
Murphy and her mother were “extraordinarily close,” Murphy once told PEOPLE. “She’s my earthbound angel.”
Even after Murphy and Monjack married in April 2007, Sharon continued to live with her daughter in their Hollywood Hills home.
And quickly, says Linda, the three became a tight unit.
“Sharon witnessed [Simon and Murphy's] love,” she says. “She was so happy her daughter had found someone.”
And Monjack and Murphy’s feelings were real, she continues: “They truly loved each other. I don’t think they ever spent more than a few days apart. They were going to start a family this year.”
This story is straight from Monjack, and after all the interviews he did after Brittany’s death he knows how to go off the record to make his point. I do think he loved Murphy and that her death came at a great shock to him, but ten to one he’s hoping to get some capital. The estate was left to Brittany’s mom and Monjack doesn’t have much else to trade on. He bills himself as a writer/producer, but he has only two films listed on IMDB. The director on one of them, Factory Girl, calls him a major con artist who sued to get his name on the credits. He’s also been on the receiving end of numerous lawsuits and has been arrested twice for fraud. The guy is grieving, but he’s probably still rubbing his hands together.