Brittany Murphy
Source: Getty Images

New HBO Documentary Explores the Strange Circumstances of Brittany Murphy's Death

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Mar. 19 2021, Updated 7:02 p.m. ET

When news broke of Brittany Murphy’s tragic end, fans were just as surprised as close friends and family who questioned Brittany’s reported cause of death. 

Because the 32-year-old actress appeared to be in good health, her sudden cardiac arrest led many to suspect foul play. Not long after, her husband, Simon Monjack’s, subsequent death only further fueled the conspiracy theory fire.

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The coroner ultimately concluded that Brittany’s death was an accident, but more than one conspiracy theory suggests that she was murdered. So what really happened to the Clueless actress? 

brittany murphy conspiracy theory
Source: Getty Images
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Is the conspiracy theory about Brittany Murphy’s death true?

Shortly after Brittany’s death, her father, Angelo Bertolotti, ordered an independent investigation that was conducted by forensic toxicologist Ernest Lykissa, who suggested that Brittany may have been poisoned. Brittany’s father told HLN, “It’s very suspicious. I feel she was poisoned and there’s no question about that. She was murdered.”

“It’s too shocking and too fast. It just doesn’t make sense to me. As we speak, I am staring at a picture of her. I just can’t believe it. Can’t convince myself she’s gone,” Brittany's dad, who said he hadn’t spoken to Brittany in more than three years, told the Los Angeles Times in 2009. 

Brittany’s half-brother, Tony, also voiced his suspicions that his sister’s death was a homicide in a 2019 interview with Daily Mail and insisted that her death was “not of natural causes.” 

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brittany murphy conspiracy theory
Source: Getty Images

Tony had a number of theories about why Brittany was murdered, which all involved money. He shared, “You have to go back to the money. Jimi Hendrix died, but the money kept flowing for many, many years afterward. Sometimes an actress is worth more dead than alive.” 

He added, “You’ve got to look at who’s collecting the money now? I don’t know. Every time the movie comes on, someone is getting paid. Whoever’s got the money knows the truth."

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Along with Tony and Angelo, users on Reddit also have their own assumptions about the fallen celebrity — including a theory that she and her husband were murdered by Brittany's mom, Sharon Murphy.

While we have few clues as to what truly happened to Brittany, a new series on HBO might answer more of our questions.  

So how did Brittany Murphy really die?

Coroner Ed Winter’s autopsy revealed that Brittany Murphy died of pneumonia, anemia, and a fatal mix of prescription drugs, but no one really knows what happened to Brittany Murphy on Dec. 20, 2009. 

Luckily, Nuanced, a new HBO documentary series directed by Cynthia Hill, promises to “go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines" and give us more insight into what really happened. 

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brittany murphy conspiracy theory
Source: Getty Images

In a statement, she 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. I think it’s important to celebrate Brittany’s talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon’s deaths.”

The release date for the two-part series, which was produced by Blumhouse Television and Pyramid Productions, has not been announced yet, but Brittany’s murder was previously investigated on Investigation Discovery’s Brittany Murphy: an ID Mystery.

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