Brittany Murphy's Dad Tells 'GMA' Daughter Was Poisoned
The actress' father continues to challenge the L.A. coroner's ruling that she died of natural causes.
Brittany Murphy's dad suggested that his daughter was murdered and poisoned on Tuesday's Good Morning America.
"I have a feeling that there was definitely a murder situation here," Angelo Bertolotti told the morning show in an interview. "Yeah, it's poison. Yes, yes, I know that."
Murphy, best known for her roles in Clueless and 8 Mile, was found unconscious in her Los Angeles home in 2009 and died shortly thereafter. The coroner ruled that she died of natural causes, claiming that her death was due to pneumonia and iron-deficiency anemia and noting that the prescription medicine she was taking weakened her system.
In 2011, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Murphy's use of prescription drugs had steadily increased in the time up to her death as she coped with pain from an auto accident, took medication for seizures after an incident during the production of 8 Mile and coped with other health issues. She also caught Staphylococcus aureus, a bug that played a major role in her death, while she was filming an independent movie in Puerto Rico.
To deal with that, she took the antibiotic Biaxin, migraine pills, cough medicine and an over-the-counter nasal spray. The day she died, she also had taken an anti-depression drug (fluoxetine, aka Prozac), an anti-seizure drug (Klonopin), an anti-inflammatory (methylprednisolone) and a beta blocker that her doctor gave her, as well as Vicoprofen to ease pain from her period. But she kept getting sicker, and her laryngitis during her final 10 days was the worst of her life. She also was weakened by her period -- the second in a month -- which was causing anemia that cut her red-blood count to a quarter of normal.
On her final night, Murphy was gasping for breath, her lips turning blue from a lack of oxygen as her lungs filled with fluid. Murphy had not seen a doctor for six weeks, despite her problems, and had accepted being sick, practicing her own form of "holistic" medicine. She and her husband also were afraid they would be seen as sick and that that would hurt their job prospects in Hollywood.
After her autopsy, assistant L.A. Coroner Ed Winter said, “She had been sick at least two weeks. Had they taken her to a doctor or hospital, it would have been treatable.”
On her final morning, Murphy's mother found her lying on the patio, trying to catch her breath. “I said, ‘Baby, get up.’ She said: ‘Mommy, I can’t catch my breath. Help me. Help me,’ ” Murphy's mother recalled.
Her husband, Simon Monjack, added, “She said to her mom: ‘I’m dying. I’m going to die. Mommy, I love you.’” Murphy was able to make it to her bathroom, but as she collapsed around 8 a.m., her mother pulled her daughter to her and screamed for Monjack, who said to call 911 while he moved Murphy into a cold shower. Her mother, acting on instructions from the 911 operator, talked Monjack through resuscitation efforts until the paramedics arrived. Murphy was rushed to Cedars-Sinai hospital but at 10 a.m., a physician said they couldn't save her.
Murphy's father, who previously challenged the L.A. coroner's ruling, recently ordered a new toxicology report, which shows that samples of the star's hair tested positive for 10 heavy metals. The lab that conducted the test suggests one possible explanation "would be an exposure to these metals (toxins) administered by a third-party perpetrator with likely criminal intent," GMA reported.
The coroner's office said in a statement to ABC News, "We have not seen the results and nothing has been presented to us. We stand by what we ruled on the case."
Family friend Julia Davis added, in the GMA interview, that "our theory is that [Murphy and her husband, who died a few months later] were poisoned. But the rest investigators should look into and determine."
"She was a young and wholesome girl, so we want the record to be set straight and for Brittany to have justice," Davis said.
ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams told GMA he believed the case will either officially or unofficially be reopened.
The LAPD declined to comment on the new toxicology report. The coroner's office has not responded to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.
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