Brittany Murphy Death Cause is Reexamined as Lifetime Movie Gets Criticism From Her Father

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
September 7, 2014 Updated: September 8, 2014

The Brittany Murphy Lifetime movie has prompted some to look back into what caused her death, while the movie itself has drawn criticism from many.

There’s long been speculation that Murphy was murdered, as the actress mysteriously died at age 32 in December 2009.

The movie seemed to promise to explore some of the questions that still surround the death but turned out not to be much to watch, according to numerous reviews.

“The movie’s trailer, which flashes words like ‘targeted,’ ‘paranoid,’ and ‘afraid for her life,’ pegged the biopic as a murder mystery. Although the 32-year-old’s death was ruled as a case of pneumonia, with secondary factors of anemia and multiple over-the-counter drug intoxication, tabloids speculated that she was everything from an addict to anorexic to murdered. The first seconds of the movie also implies that she could have been a casualty of Hollywood exploitation. (‘You killed her,’ Murphy’s husband shouts to salacious paparazzi in the film’s opening sequence — an unintentionally ironic moment considering that Murphy’s actual father accuses the biopic, itself, of being ‘hideous, unauthorized and completely untrue’),” wrote Time magazine.

“But the movie isn’t a murder mystery. Outside the first five minutes of the film, it doesn’t explore the darker speculations surrounding Murphy’s life and death — which, while exploitive, would have at least made for an interesting watch. And the movie isn’t a tribute either. Lead actress Amanda Fuller, who didn’t resemble Murphy or even a real person considering the wigs she was wearing, says she was given two days to prepare for the role, mostly comprised of mugging.

“Instead the movie is just an unentertaining retelling of the late actress’ life, lived co-dependently with her mother — packing in as many details as possible in its allocating two hours without spending enough time on any one thing to make it interesting. Her highs (being cast in Clueless, dating Ashton Kutcher — who bizarrely comes out as the only stable character in the film, even though he uses french fries to emulate walrus teeth) and her lows (getting fired from films, bad relationships, and health problems) all read as humdrum because they are told in cliches. Like when Murphy throws a blanket over a mirror to show she is unsatisfied with her appearance.”

Murphy’s father isn’t happy with the film, and is still searching for answers surrounding the death.

The National Enquirer reports that Angelo Bertolotti is planning to sue ex-wife and brittany’s mother Sharon Murphy for wrongful death and slander, as well as the L.A. Coroner’s Office and L.A. Police Department for allegedly bungling the investigation into the death, reported the National Enquirer.

A spokeswoman for Angelo told the tabloid that after reviewing “extensive evidence,” Angelo concluded Sharon is “the most likely” to know what happened to Brittany.

As for the authorities, they are giving Angelo and his associates “the runaround,” prompting the legal action.

Angelo also plans to sue the Lifetime network for the movie as well as the producers of a British TV documentary that said it explored the last hours of the actresses’ life.

The legal actions are prompted in part by lab results that prove both Brittany and her husband Simon Monjack were murdered, the spokeswoman said.

Tests “uncovered large amounts of heavy metals and toxins, also concluding that they were most likely introduced into food or drink by a third party, with malicious/criminal intent,” she explained.

“This confirmed our long-standing suspicions that Brittany and Simon were poisoned, based on the fact that they exhibited nearly identical symptoms shortly prior to their deaths.”


Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.