Brittany Murphy's brother makes fresh claims over actresses sudden death

Brittany Murphy died from a reported overdose in 2009, but her brother is determined to find out the truth.
Brittany Murphy died from a reported overdose in 2009, but her brother is determined to find out the truth. Photo credit: Getty / Facebook

Ten years on from his sister's death, Brittany Murphy's half-brother Tony Bertolotti refuses to believe the American actress lost her life to drugs. 

On December 20, 2009, Murphy collapsed from a reported overdose at her Beverly Hills mansion and later died at hospital. She was only 32 years old. 

Although he can never be sure of specific details, he believes whole-heartedly his sister was murdered. 

Only five months later, Murphy's husband Simon Monjack also collapsed at their home. Murphy's mother, Sharon Murphy, was reportedly present at both her daughter's and husband's deaths. 

Brittany Murphy and her late husband Simon Monjack .
Brittany Murphy and her late husband Simon Monjack . Photo credit: Reuters

A Los Angeles coroner found dozens of prescription pills in the pair's systems and ruled that their deaths were due to pneumonia, anaemia and drug intoxication. 

Although Murphy's drug use was never confirmed, the rumours she regularly used heroin and cocaine dogged her most of her adult life. 

It was believed Murphy had "too many drugs and not enough food", with one make-up artist who regularly worked with the actress telling the Daily Beast she was like "space cadet".  

But despite the coroner's ruling, Betrolotti still doesn't believe the deaths were an accident. 

"If you look at it from a distance, it's like here's this young lady, a fairly healthy girl, she's home with her supposed mother husband and mother, and she died," he told the Daily Mail. 

"I spent years looking at this, suppressing my own anger. I think Brittany was taken out. Who killed Brittany? She didn't die of natural causes." 

Although no evidence was ever found of foul play, Bertolotti believes the deaths could have something to do with Monjacks alleged "shady" business deals. 

Monjack, who was reportedly nicknamed in Hollywood "Conjack" had six-figure debts. The 40-year-old had spent time in jail, and faced being deported. 

Bertolotti agrees with one popular conspiracy theory - that his sister had only married Monjack to secure him a visa. 

"I heard that Monjack and Brittany were a marriage of circumstance...She practically told us it was that situation," he told the Daily Mail. 

He says "you have to go back to the money". 

"Every time the movie [referencing Murphy's work] comes on, someone is getting paid. Whoever's got the money knows the truth," he told the Daily Mail.

Brittany Murphy faced rumours of her drug use most of her adult life.
Brittany Murphy faced rumours of her drug use most of her adult life. Photo credit: Getty

In 2013, Murphy's father, Angelo Bertolotti, ordered an independent toxicology report, which found high levels of toxic metals, including ingredients used in rat poison, in Murphy's hair. 

Angelo Bertolotti passed away at the age of 92 in January, but Bertolotti said he was "obsessed" with discovering the truth about his daughter's death. 

"My father was up to it like a hound dog, but then got sick and had a stroke. Until his dying day, he was obsessed with finding out what happened...We couldn't find anything," Bertolotti said. 

In 2013, Murphy's mother refuted the independent report in an essay written for the Hollywood Reporter.

"This report conveniently ignores what any good scientist will tell you: A hair sample can be affected by many outside factors," Sharon Murphy wrote. 

"Angelo has shown he only wants to trade on Brittany's life, career and good reputation -- even at the cost of putting a cloud over her memory."

Sharon Murphy reportedly disappeared from the limelight following Monjack's death, and hasn't been in contact with Berolotti since. 

Bortolotti believes his sister's death may continue to be "one of the biggest conspiracies in Hollywood."

"Someday someone might find something, but it won't be me or my other brother...we're too old for that now."