After actress Brittany Murphy, known for the 1995 movie "Clueless" and for voicing Luanne Platter on the Fox series "King of the Hill," among many other roles, died in 2009, a coroner’s report attributed her death to pneumonia and anemia. But a new lab report says otherwise, TheWrap.com reports.
The lab report "lends credence to what actress Brittany Murphy’s father has long suspected: that she and her husband died not of natural causes, but of poisoning by someone out to kill them," the story reports.
Separately, the headline of a story penned by Alex Ben Block in The Hollywood Reporter’s legal blog, Hollywood, Esq., reads "Shocking New Brittany Murphy Claim Says Toxic Mold May Have Killed Star."
Block’s story starts, "The mother of Brittany Murphy has filed a lawsuit against the attorneys that represented her in a suit against the builders of the home where the actress died, claiming the lawyers never told her about a possible wrongful death suit due to mold in the house.
"The suit by Sharon Murphy in Los Angeles Superior Court comes nearly two years after the Dec. 20, 2009, death of Brittany Murphy, which was followed by the May 2010 death of Brittany’s husband, Simon Monjack. Sharon Murphy apparently did not become convinced that toxic mold was a cause in the death of her daughter and son-in-law until this past summer, when she was in the process of selling the house in the Hollywood Hills."
TheWrap story about Murphy and her husband possibly being murder victims adds: "Murphy’s father, Angelo Bertolotti, didn’t accept the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office conclusion that the ‘Clueless’ star and husband Simon Monjack died of natural causes — pneumonia and anemia — five months apart. He sued to gain access to her hair samples, and hired [Denny] Seilheimer’s private lab, the Carlson Company, to look for signs of poisoning."
TheWrap adds: "The lab found evidence she was poisoned — probably by ‘a third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent,’ according to the report, which was authorized by Seilheimer. The report found that Murphy’s body had dramatically elevated levels of aluminum, manganese, barium and other metals."
Murphy was 32 when she died in December 2009. Her husband died five months later, on May 23, 2010, at age 40. Like Murphy’s death, Monjack’s was attributed at the time to pneumonia and anemia.
After Murphy’s death, "Bertolotti fought for access to what he claimed was Murphy’s previously untested hair samples in Los Angeles County Superior Court," the New York Daily News reports. "He suggested in his court filing that chronic arsenic poisoning is sometimes misdiagnosed as anemia."
Ed Winter, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, told TheWrap that his office has not been in touch with Murphy’s father and that he had no updates as of Monday. He told the website: “We have no comment on that and our report stands as of now."
"LAPD spokesman Officer Cleon Joseph said it would be up to the Coroner’s Office whether to take further action," TheWrap reports, quoting Joseph saying: “Whatever the findings, if there was something to report, they would report it to us."
Getting back to Block’s THR story that toxic mold may have killed Murphy and her husband, Block writes, "According to Ed Winter, assistant chief coroner of Los Angeles County, the coroner’s office specifically looked for evidence of mold during the autopsies of both Murphy and Monjack and did not find any. Winter told THR on Monday [Nov 18, 2013] that at the time of Monjack’s death, Sharon Murphy told him she did not believe mold was the cause and she would not permit an inspection of the house by the L.A. health department as the coroner had requested. …"
"In a complaint filed Monday, Sharon Murphy charges the firm of Steiner & Libo with legal malpractice, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty for not properly informing her that in January 2011 — when she accepted the final settlement of that earlier lawsuit — she was giving up her right to sue for the wrongful death of her daughter due to the presence of mold in the 13-year-old, 8,000-square-foot-home.
"The coroner had found that pneumonia was one of the causes of their deaths."
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