Brittany Murphy’s mom rejects claim her daughter was poisoned

A closeup of Brittany Murphy's face
Brittany Murphy’s mother has rejected a recent claim by the late actress’ estranged father that the “Clueless” and “8 Mile” actress was poisoned.
(Max Nash / Associated Press)

Brittany Murphy’s mother, Sharon Murphy, is rejecting a recent claim by her daughter’s estranged father that poisoning was a possible cause of the actress’ 2009 death.

Angelo Bartoletti, Brittany’s biological father, last week made public the results of new toxicology tests he’d had done after suing to gain possession of hair samples that were not used in the autopsy process.

The tests revealed higher-than-normal levels of 10 heavy metals in his daughter’s hair, he said, and the lab he used suggested such a result was most likely from third-party poisoning. However, it was later noted by other sources that benign products such as hair dye or foods could cause a similar buildup.


Still, Bartoletti stuck to his guns.

“I have a feeling that there was a definite murder situation here,” he said on “Good Morning America,” one of several shows he was on after the information was released. “It’s poison, yes, I know that.”

Sharon Murphy, in a lengthy letter published exclusively by the Hollywood Reporter on Monday, lashed out at Bartoletti, saying he showed up only after his daughter saw some success as an actress, and again after her death. She called his claims “more of an insult than an insight into what really happened.”

“I have no choice now but to come forward in the face of inexcusable efforts to smear my daughter’s memory by a man who may be her biological father but was never a real father to her in her lifetime,” Sharon Murphy wrote.

She noted that hair analysis is typically not used as evidence unless it is supported by blood and tissue tests, which Bartoletti did not have done and which the coroner didn’t see fit to have done for heavy-metal poisoning. She also brought up the possibility that toxic mold found in the house could have contributed to the deaths of her daughter and her son-in-law, Simon Monjack, who passed away five months after his wife, of the same natural causes.

“Angelo has also formed the Brittany Murphy Foundation, as if he is fit to carry on her memory. Like everything else Angelo and his collaborator Julia Davis have done, this is calculated to make them money and bring them the fame they desperately crave,” Murphy wrote. “They say they want to do a documentary and write a book, and this whole stunt is merely publicity to fuel their aspirations.”

She said she wanted her daughter to be remembered for the “darling person she was,” and for her talent.


“It is time for those who really knew and loved her to put those who want to exploit her on notice: Your lies will no longer be tolerated, and as long as I live will continue to be exposed,” she concluded.

Murphy died Dec. 20, 2009, at age 32. The cause of death was declared to be natural causes, including pneumonia and severe anemia.


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