Brittany Murphy May Have Been Poisoned: Report

Toxicology testing finds high levels of heavy metals

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 19, 2013 8:59 AM CST

(Newser) – Brittany Murphy's dad may have been right all along: Angelo Bertolotti always doubted the official coroner's report on his daughter's death, as well as the death of her husband, Simon Monjack, five months later. (Both were found to have died of natural causes including pneumonia.) Bertolotti long suspected they may have been poisoned, but the LA coroner didn't test for poisonous substances. Bertolotti was finally able to get Murphy's hair, blood, and tissue independently tested—and the testing found 10 heavy metals present at levels that exceeded the World Health Organization's "high levels recommendation," per the report. That led the lab to conclude Murphy may indeed have been poisoned "by a third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent," the Examiner reports.

Heavy metals are typically present in rat poison and insecticides, and both Murphy and Monjack exhibited symptoms associated with acute heavy metal poisoning in the days prior to their deaths, notes the Examiner. "Vicious rumors, spread by tabloids, unfairly smeared Brittany’s reputation. My daughter was neither anorexic nor a drug junkie, as they repeatedly implied," Bertolotti says. "Brittany and Simon were ridiculed by the Hollywood Reporter, when they complained of being under surveillance and in fear for their lives." Indeed, Monjack also believed foul play was involved in his wife's death, Radar reports. Bertolotti now wants the investigation re-opened, he tells the New York Daily News, but a source close to Murphy's mom is suspicious of how he got Murphy's hair without her mother, Murphy's sole heir, being notified.

In this Nov. 1, 2007 file photo, Actress Brittany Murphy, right, and husband, writer Simon Monjack, left, at the BAFTA/LA Cunard Britannia Awards in Los Angeles.
In this Nov. 1, 2007 file photo, Actress Brittany Murphy, right, and husband, writer Simon Monjack, left, at the BAFTA/LA Cunard Britannia Awards in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, File)
In this photo provided by Sony Ericsson Open Brittany Murphy and husband Simon Monjack pose for a photo during the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne Fla., Thursday, April 3, 2008.
In this photo provided by Sony Ericsson Open Brittany Murphy and husband Simon Monjack pose for a photo during the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne Fla., Thursday, April 3, 2008.   (AP Photo/Sony Ericsson Open/IMG, Mike Baz)
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The toxicology report concludes, "The only logical explanation would be an exposure to these metals ... administered by a third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent."   (Newsy)

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