Although some people close to Brittany Murphy believed that her husband, Simon Monjack, was a ‘con-artist,’ his mother came to his defense in a new documentary about the actress’ death.
Simon Monjack’s mother, Linda Monjack, and brother, James Monjack, were interviewed for the chilling new HBO documentary What Happened, Brittany Murphy? The documentary explores Brittany Murphy’s unusual 2009 death from pneumonia and anemia, which was exactly what killed Simon just five months later. The footage also delves deep into Brittany and Simon’s relationship, and recounts how those close to the actress were worried that Simon was a “con-artist” who was taking advantage of her.
However, Simon’s mother is fiercely defending her son, and insists that he loved Brittany. When asked whether she thought Simon was “controlling” of the actress, Linda replied, “Well, only to say, when I saw them together, they were very much in love. It’s a very fine line, isn’t it? Between controlling somebody and managing them to have the best career. I don’t know.”
Linda was asked whether or not Simon “exaggerated” things to her when he was alive, and she admittedly “didn’t know” how to answer the question. “I know he wasn’t in the market to hurt anybody,” she assured the interviewer. “You know, people do believe what they want to believe. You hear what you want to hear. You react to what you want to hear from that other person.” She also said that Simon “never swindled money from [her],” and insisted that anytime she gave him money, it was “willingly and freely.”
Brittany died on Dec. 20, 2009 after collapsing in the bathroom of her and Simon’s home. Linda said her last conversation with Brittany involved the actress asking her “Am I dying?”, as she struggled to breathe. A Feb. 2010 autopsy report confirmed that Brittany’s primary cause of death was pneumonia, as well as iron-deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication. The drugs in Brittany’s system were a combination of over-the-counter and prescription drugs that were legal; however, the coroner noted, “The possible adverse psychological effects of elevated levels of these medications cannot be discounted, especially in her weakened state.”
In the months leading up to Brittany’s death, friends noticed that she was looking much thinner. Simon’s ex-fiancee, Elizabeth Ragsdale, who he had a son, Elijah, with, commented on the weight loss in the documentary. “When I saw Brittany Murphy getting really thin, I knew he had something to do with that. He loved anorexic women,” she claimed. “I believe that Simon Monjack, even if he did not kill Brittany Murphy, he allowed her to die because he did not get her to the doctor and get her help. I believe that he did the same thing to himself, knowing that he needed medical treatment. He didn’t get it and he died. He would rather be dead that be discovered as the con-artist that he was.”