Brittany Murphy Lab Report Contested By ExpertBy: Amanda Crum - November 20, 2013
Brittany Murphy, the young actress who died in 2009 at the age of 32, was originally declared dead as a result of pneumonia and anemia, but her father claims he had hair and tissue samples tested which showed high levels of heavy metals in her system. Now, an expert who looked over the lab reports says the claim that she was poisoned is “ridiculous”.
Murphy’s father, Angelo Bertolotti, says he believes strongly that his daughter was murdered, and that she spent the last few months of her life in fear of someone who was allegedly tapping her phone and following her. After she supported a Homeland Security whistleblower–Julia Davis–Murphy was reportedly put under surveillance by the government. When the samples that Bertolotti sent for testing came back with the heavy metals levels elevated, rumors began making the rounds that she had been given rat poison. That’s not necessarily the case, says director of forensic medicine at the University of Florida Dr. Bruce Goldberger.
“It’s ridiculous,” Goldberger said. “A hair test alone, without any clinical signs or symptoms, cannot be used to establish poisoning…She was a beautiful woman and likely had numerous hair treatments. Chemicals in the hair treatment would alter the chemistry of her hair sample.”
Bertolotti says he wants to find answers about his daughter’s death–and about the suspicious death of her husband, Simon Monjack, who died just five months after she did from similar symptoms–and clear her name.
“Vicious rumors, spread by tabloids, unfairly smeared Brittany’s reputation,” said Bertolotti. “My daughter was neither anorexic nor a drug junkie, as they repeatedly implied. Brittany and Simon were ridiculed by The Hollywood Reporter, when they complained of being under surveillance and in fear for their lives. I will not rest until the truth about these tragic events is told. There will be justice for Brittany.”
The L.A. Coroner has no plans to review the case.
Image: Wikimedia Commons