‘What Happened, Brittany Murphy?’: 8 Bombshells From the New Documentary – Rolling Stone

At the time of her death, Murphy was on a profession backslide, appearing almost solely in slashers and straight-to-video functions. Just a few years earlier she d been an It Girl, co-starring in hugely successful films such as Girl, Interrupted; 8 Mile; Just Married; and Uptown Girls, and dating co-stars like Eminem and Ashton Kutcher. Her sheer failure is the focus of What Happened, Brittany Murphy?, a two-part HBO Max documentary which traces her early successes, self-confidence battles, and sudden, confusing death. The secret surrounding Murphys passing deepened further when her husband, Simon Monjack, a third-tier Hollywood screenwriter, died of comparable causes less than 6 months later.

In the wake of the #FreeBritney movement and the reassessment of formerly reviled cultural figures like Paris Hilton, there has been a complete considering the toxicity of early-aughts media and culture– how we openly policed young female stars bodies and life options, clucking our tongues with faux issue while at the same time utilizing our talons to rip them apart. The most current well-known figure to be reconsidered in this new light is likewise one of the most awful: Brittany Murphy, the prodigiously gifted breakout star of Amy Heckerlings Clueless, who was swallowed up by the early-2000s tabloid-industrial complex and then passed away of pneumonia and anemia at her Hollywood house in 2009, at the age of 32.

See What Happened, Brittany Murphy? on HBO Max here

It wasnt up until after her passing that the general public realized Brittany had fallen under the grip of her Svengali other half, a British film writer and striving filmmaker who turned out to be little bit more than a con man. However hindsight provides the movie a clear viewpoint: Monjack, while an insidious force in his wifes life, was far from the only one to blame for her death. What Happened, Brittany Murphy? Casts its lens on the culture at large, revealing how Hollywood, the media, and the public were complicit in another promising young females tragic demise. Here is a rundown of the most explosive discoveries from the film.

Soon, she started to land leading-lady functions, while becoming a tabloid mainstay throughout her relationship with Kutcher. Not long after their split, her career went into a tailspin, with Brittany booking less and less high-profile functions amid reports of drug use and unpredictable habits on set, until her unfortunate death.

The movie likewise reveals that the anemia that the Los Angeles County coroner determined to be a significant element in Murphys death was likely triggered by the fact that she was exceptionally underweight. And rather than receive assistance at house, Murphy faced further criticism from Monjack, who apparently motivated her throughout their marital relationship to get plastic surgery and lose even more weight. Not just did Monjack promote Brittanys grave condition, he likewise presumably refused to take her to the medical professional when she fell seriously ill in her final days.

What Happened, Brittany Murphy? presents a relatively simple narrative (though, produced by the horror juggernaut Blumhouse, it injects the opening and closing moments with a spooky style). The movie chronicles the upward trajectory of Murphy, an irrepressible little woman raised by a single mother, Sharon Murphy, in New Jersey, with huge imagine one day ending up being a well-known star. Mom and child moved to Hollywood when Brittany was a preteen, and she rapidly began reserving bit parts in sitcoms like Sister, Sister, The Torkelsons spinoff Almost Home, and Boy Meets World prior to making her movie launching as the ungainly yet adorable Tai in 1995s Clueless. Insecurity set in fast. After getting merciless feedback from producers and representatives, Brittany gave herself a severe remodeling, dying her hair blonde and shedding a dramatic amount of weight from her already petite frame.

Sources close to the duo– including a Radar Online reporter who spoke with Monjack at house following Brittanys death– report that they slept in the exact same bed after the starlet died, sticking to each other in their grief. A post-death picture shoot featuring Sharon and Monjack holding hands and looking into each others eyes looked like “parents grieving as opposed to a spouse and his mother-in-law,” one insider says. A joint interview on Larry King Live, in which both Monjack and Sharon Murphy appear extremely disoriented, did not help to quell rumors about their unusual connection.

3. Simon Monjack had not one, however 2, secret children with other women.According to the movie, Brittany was not mindful throughout her lifetime that Monjack had actually secretly fathered 2 kids with other ladies: a daughter, Jasmine, in England; and a son, Elijah, in Paris. While a few of Monjacks relative and associates understood of Jasmine, the movie marks the first public declaration by Elijahs mom, Elizabeth Ragsdale, on her relationship with Monjack, who proposed to her and after that impregnated her in Paris in the 1990s. After deserting Ragsdale without a word while she was still pregnant, Monjack lastly called her once again in 2007, right after he became engaged to Murphy, using to purchase her a home. Ragsdale states in the film that she thought Monjacks intent was to buy her silence. “The stakes were a lot higher with him being wed to Brittany,” says Ragsdale. “He didnt want anybody to know I was out there with his child.”.

4. Monjack was a serial fabulist who told people, to name a few things, that he d had terminal cancer that he treated with an experimental shark-cartilage treatment.In the film, Ragsdale states that Monjack informed her he was experiencing back cancer and required shark cartilage treatments in order to recuperate. It wasnt till Monjack had actually abandoned her while she was pregnant that Ragsdale contacted Monjacks mom, Linda Monjack, and realized the story was phony. Linda, who is spoken with in the movie, safeguards her departed child in this regard, saying that he had developed severe fear after his own fathers death of cancer: “I definitely dont think he headed out to inform individuals he had cancer. I believe he believed it.” Ragsdale wasnt the only one he fed this lie. Prior to Monjacks relationship with Britany, he fulfilled filmmaker Allison Burnett at a dinner party, where he told the put together guests that he was a billionaire with the worlds biggest collection of Vermeers; that he had actually dated Elle MacPherson and Madonna; that he had a collection of Ferraris; which he d been passing away of brain cancer till he bought a treatment stemmed from shark fins that conserved his life.

5. Monjack spent $3 countless Brittanys cash in 3 years.Following Monjacks death, Sharon Murphy asked her publicist to pawn precious jewelry that Monjack had actually given Brittany, including a reproduction of Audrey Hepburns tiara in Breakfast at Tiffanys, so that she might pay her expenses. Sharons publicist, Roger Neal, had actually the items assessed by two of his high-end clients in the precious jewelry service, only for them to tell him that all of it was fake and worthless, leaving Sharon basically destitute. All informed, Monjack spent an approximated $3 million of Brittanys cash over a period of simply 3 years. “He lived off this lady who had worked her heart out for every single cent she had,” a former partner states.

6. Monjack managed every element of Brittanys life, becoming her representative, service manager, and even makeup artist.Following the timeless patterns of a domestic abuser, Monjack cut Brittany off from all of her old pals and lifelines as their relationship advanced, according to a number of people interviewed in the film. He took over her e-mail account and confiscated her phone, and presumed total control of her money. However he wasnt content just to rule her individual life: Not long after they wed, Monjack fired Brittanys whole professional team and became the sole supervisor of her profession, negotiating her sex scenes (one director says she declined to do a prepared kissing scene till he threatened, within earshot of Monjack, to have her replaced), and even doing her makeup on movie sets.

7. Brittanys battles with drugs were worse than the public understood at the time.Immediately after Murphy passed away, there was speculation of a drug overdose, primarily because of how young she was at the time. While she was not a recognized addict, for years there had actually been whispers amongst Hollywood experts that Murphy grappled with compound abuse. Several people interviewed for the movie reported seeing Murphy glassy-eyed and high on set and at industry events, declaring that she and Monjack would keep up all night doing downers and after that take stimulants in the morning to stave off fatigue. It was throughout these late-night binges that Monjack would encourage Murphy to get involved in creepy image shoots, where he would “dress her like a doll,” states one People publication reporter. The Los Angeles County coroner likewise reports in the movie that he found 90 prescription bottles on Monjacks bedside table the night of Brittanys death, a number of in “third-party names” like Lola Manilow, which he presumed were aliases.

Simon Monjack had not one, but two, secret kids with other women.According to the film, Brittany was not conscious throughout her life time that Monjack had actually privately fathered 2 children with other females: a child, Jasmine, in England; and a son, Elijah, in Paris. Monjack was a serial fabulist who informed people, among other things, that he d had terminal cancer that he cured with an experimental shark-cartilage treatment.In the film, Ragsdale says that Monjack informed her he was suffering from back cancer and required shark cartilage treatments in order to recover. It wasnt up until Monjack had actually deserted her while she was pregnant that Ragsdale contacted Monjacks mother, Linda Monjack, and recognized the story was bogus. Monjack managed every element of Brittanys life, becoming her agent, organization supervisor, and even makeup artist.Following the classic patterns of a domestic abuser, Monjack cut Brittany off from all of her old friends and lifelines as their relationship advanced, according to a number of people spoke with in the movie. He wasnt content simply to rule her individual life: Not long after they wed, Monjack fired Brittanys whole professional group and became the sole manager of her career, negotiating her sex scenes (one director states she refused to do a prepared kissing scene until he threatened, within earshot of Monjack, to have her replaced), and even doing her makeup on film sets.

Perez Hilton forecasted Brittanys death.One of the designers of early-2000s media culture was Perez Hilton, the chatter blog writer understood for providing celebs vulgar names and crudely drawing white lines near their mouths and noses to imply they were drug users. In a revelatory sit-down with the filmmakers, Hilton reveals that he had actually told a radio station in 2009, soon before Murphys death, that she would be the celebrity that would be the next to pass away in the coming year. Hilton seems genuinely remorseful for having actually made the grim prediction, and for the role he played in constructing the culture that put Murphy on a pedestal only to extremely knock her down.

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