Tony Bertolotti runs through the conspiracy theories, still to this day, unsure what to believe. But there’s one fact he’s convinced of – his sister was murdered.
On December 20, 2009, Hollywood actress Brittany Murphy collapsed in her bathroom at her Beverly Hills mansion and later died in hospital at the age of 32.
Five months later, her British husband Simon Monjack, a virtually unknown screenwriter, died in similar circumstances in the same house. Her mother Sharon, who was living with the couple, was supposedly present both times.
The Los Angeles coroner Ed Winter ruled the deaths were due to pneumonia, anemia and drug intoxication, after dozens of prescription pills were found in their systems.
But Murphy’s half-brother Tony Bertolotti – a sibling from her father Angelo’s first marriage – doesn’t believe it and says Murphy’s death wasn’t an accident.
It’s been 10 years since actress Brittany Murphy collapsed at her Beverly Hills home and died of supposed pneumonia and drug intoxication on December 20, 2009 at the age of 32. She’s seen here in one of the last photos taken of her before her untimely death
Murphy’s half-brother Tony Bertolotti is convinced that it’s connected to her British husband, screenwriter Simon Monjack (pictured with Murphy), who died just five months later
In January, Angelo died at the age of 92 and had spent his latter years chasing the truth, but died with very few answers, according to Bertolotti.
He says: ‘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 husband and mother, and she died. How absurd is it? It’s only in Hollywood that it’s considered another day at the zoo. No one takes her to a hospital, which is just four miles away.
Bertolotti (pictured), 70, says he and his father (Murphy’s father) believe the star was killed
‘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.’
Assistant chief coroner Winter, who also handled Michael Jackson’s overdose, dismissed Sharon’s claims that toxic mold in the property had killed them, but pointed to their unhealthy lifestyles, with the wafer-thin Brittany allegedly having an eating disorder and drug addiction.
There’s little concrete evidence to support that she was murdered, but the fact remains that after Murphy started dating, then marrying, Monjack – all within a few months in 2007 – her life turned for the worse.
He was a 40-year-old Hollywood failure, nicknamed ‘Conjack’, with six-figure bank and business debts. He’d also spent time in jail, and faced being deported, as his visa had expired.
The most credible theory Bertolotti can believe is that their deaths are connected to Monjack’s business dealings. Was Brittany killed to pay off his debts? Had one of his crooked deals gone badly wrong?
He adds: I don’t know what business decisions they were making at that time, but it [the deaths] sound business-related to me. I’ve heard all sorts of crap, so what is true? I don’t believe the drugs line that much, I don’t buy it. I’m sure there was experimentation. But Brittany was conservative with that stuff, she was a bright girl.
‘Then there’s the fan club that something nasty happened to Brittany and I believe it with all my heart.
‘You have to go back to the money. Jimmy Hendrix died, but the money kept flowing for many, many years afterwards. Sometimes an actress is worth more dead than alive.
‘You’ve got to look at who’s collecting the money now? I don’t know. Every time the movie comes on, someone is getting paid. Whoever’s got the money knows the truth.
‘There was a group of at least 15 to 30 people around Brittany, and you tell me that no one knows nothing? Are you kidding? If I had the money to properly investigate her death, I’d go round all of them, but they wouldn’t speak to me.
‘My father was up to it like a hound dog, but then got sick and had a stroke. ‘Til his dying day he was obsessed with finding out what happened. He went up to a bunch of these people, but no one would talk to him. We couldn’t find out anything. What’s it all tell you? The thing is locked down.’
Murphy’s mother Sharon was living with the pair at the time of both deaths and reportedly was sharing a bed with her son in law
Bertolotti tells DailyMailTV that he thinks it was Sharon who was dating Monjack, not her daughter, who married for his visa (pictured together during a photo shoot a month after Brittany’s death)
Brittany Murphy headstone that reads: ‘Brittany Murphy Monjack – Our Precious Daughter, Wife and Angel to All’. She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles
‘All of them who had personal contact with her in the last two, three weeks of her life could speak out, so I could understand this, but you’ll find that no one wants to talk.
‘I think it’s one of the biggest conspiracies in Hollywood like Hendrix.
‘Some day someone might find something, but it won’t be me or my other brother Jeff, we’re too old for that now. I’m 70 and live in north Florida in the country.’
Angelo, in desperation, sometimes pointed the finger at his ex-wife, claiming Sharon killed Brittany, an unsubstantiated theory that runs wild online. Bertolotti – who’s known Sharon since she was 15 – argues against it, but thinks that Monjack was dating Sharon rather than Brittany.
TMZ reported that after Brittany’s death, an investigator had a conversation with Sharon, who admitted sharing a bed with Monjack.
He says: ‘Would I dig that Sharon would murder her own daughter? Absolutely not. I know people are saying that, but I know Sharon. I don’t like her, but personally do that to her daughter? I don’t think so. Sharon would have given up her life for her daughter, but ‘they’ didn’t want hers. This is bigger than Sharon.
‘I believe Monjack knew what happened to Brit. I don’t think Brittany and Monjack were man and wife. I think Monjack was shacked up with Sharon. They were sharing a bed when Brittany passed away.
‘I heard that Monjack and Brittany was a marriage of circumstance as he was trying to stay in the States. Whenever I spoke to Brittany, she just brushed the Monjack thing off. She practically told us that it was that kind of situation. I believe they kept him in the States, he had a better chance of staying if they say he’s with Brittany.’
Sharon disappeared just a few months after Monjack died and hasn’t been seen since although Bertolotti says he has credible information that she’s back in Hollywood.
He adds: ‘I had someone contact me on Facebook, she was a Russian and says she walks Brittany’s dog, who must be 15 years old by now, and is now working for Sharon in Hollywood. I thought that’s very strange.
‘She wanted to know what I thought happened? I said I think what happened in that house was totally criminally. She hung up the phone.’
In January, Murphy’s Angelo Bertolotti (pictured with his daughter in a dated photo) died at the age of 92 and had spent his latter years chasing the truth, but died with very few answers
Bertolotti shared photos with DailyMailTV of a young Brittany Murphy and recalled her outgoing personality and love for singing
Angelo, in desperation, sometimes pointed the finger at his ex-wife, claiming Sharon killed Brittany, an unsubstantiated theory that runs wild online (pictured with Brittany as a baby)
Although one of the crazier theories on Murphy’s demise does involve Russia with Bertolotti adding: ‘There was word out that she wasn’t in Hollywood the night before she passed away. Then comes in all the conspiratorial crap – someone contacts my father and tells them she wasn’t in the country, she was with bankers in Moscow. This is crazy sh*t.’
Bertolotti is a retired saxophonist and composer, who played with some of the biggest music stars in the sixties and seventies. He had a mutual love of music and the arts with Murphy, whom he says was desperate to quit the acting game.
She was a ‘lonely actress’ and harbored dreams to become a singer, but felt pressure to stay in acting, as other people relied on her financial success.
‘She was a singer, oh boy, she was the greatest. We’d talk about the arts, I’d send her some of my compositions all the time, and she’d send them back with her opinion. That’s what we had in common, the arts,’ says Bertolotti.
‘We never talked about her business, her mother, to us, that was just a diversion. We would have our happy talks. I miss her, she was always the light in my life, I miss her, I purely loved her.
Bertolotti says ‘lonely’ Brittany hated acting and would now be a professional singer (pictured left in her breakout hit Clueless)
Murphy’s former home – nicknamed the ‘House of Death’ – was knocked down and this mansion put in its place
‘She would have given up the actress stuff and be singing now. I told her that she needs to stay in the lane that she’s in, you made the choice, if you come into our [the music] lane, then you’re going to get hammered. She just wanted to sing that’s all, she was in the top five in the world, she couldn’t hold it in.
‘She was a born singer, she didn’t want to act anymore. But she was being guided in every step she made. She was lonely in some ways.
‘It’s playing for people that’s the deal. Movies is bullsh*t, you wait in the trailer for your scene. When playing in an auditorium for thousands of people, and feeling it, that’s so beyond making a movie, it’s a joke.
‘That’s what she wanted – and I don’t blame her. When she was performing for troops in Iraq [she was part of a celebrity tour in 2003], she felt like a million dollars. It was so important to her, she was missing it for so many years. But it was too late for her to do it professionally.’
So what’s next for the family? Will Sharon ever appear publicly or a new lead be found?
Bertolotti isn’t hopeful, adding: ‘You’ve got to look around Brittany and make your mind up. Who was her controller? Who was the one who ran the show? I have no proof of anything. If I did, I would have blown it off ten years.’