Almost 12 years after Brittany Murphy collapsed at home in 2009, mysteries still surround her shocking death.
Now a new documentary, What Happened, Brittany Murphy?, airing on HBO Max Oct. 14, reveals more chilling details about Murphy's final days and her relationship with her husband, Simon Monjack, 40, who strangely died just five months after her from similar causes.
Monjack's shady past is further explored in the docuseries, produced by Blumhouse Television, that includes interviews with Monjack's mother, Linda, and brother, James, as well as his former fiancée Elizabeth Ragsdale, who says he lied to her about who he was.
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As the series documents, Ragsdale and Monjack became engaged after a brief courtship. Shortly after, Ragsdale became pregnant and Monjack insisted she give birth in the U.S. When she was four months pregnant, he paid for her plane ticket to New York and told her he would meet her there. "When I got to my little studio in New York, I called him and he answered. I said, 'Simon, I've made it to ...' and before I could get that sentence out, he hung up on me. He left me pregnant and abandoned," Ragsdale says in the documentary.
"He was a disturbed individual who was used to conning people and Brittany was one of his last victims," says What Happened, Brittany Murphy? director Cynthia Hill of Monjack. "There was a pattern of behavior that became very obvious the more research that we did."
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Makeup artist Trista Jordan, who appears in the documentary and worked with Murphy on the star's last film, 2009's Something Wicked, says Murphy's appearance in her final months was alarming. "Her eyes were so sunken, and she just seemed so sad," says Jordan. "She wasn't herself. She was in so much pain. She had Bambi legs and couldn't stand up."
In February 2010, L.A. County Coroner Asst. Chief Ed Winter concluded that Murphy's death was the result of untreated pneumonia, combined with anemia and drug intoxication from prescription and over-the-counter medications, including painkillers and cold medicine. No illegal drugs were found in her system,
"Her death was was so bizarre and there are so many twists and turns," says What Happened, Brittany Murphy? executive producer Buddy Day.
But despite the drama that surrounded her death, Hill says everyone she spoke to mentioned the importance of remembering Murphy's kindness.
"Everyone was so consistent when they would describe her. She was so generous, caring and always thinking about everybody else and I think sometimes that gets forgotten because of all the mystery surrounding her death," says Hill. "She was loved by everyone."