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Brittany Murphy and Simon Monjack: Crazy in love


I suppose Brittany Murphy always seemed a bit unhinged -- the "Clueless" star had issues with fluctuating weight, a loopy persona and a whispered-about marriage to British screenwriter Simon Monjack

The rumors that had plagued the pair since their 2007 nuptials were varied and salacious: Monjack's visa had conveniently expired around their wedding; rumors of infidelity abounded on both ends; allegations that Monjack had bad debts and a worse business reputation. 

Neither would elaborate on these claims, consistently dismissing them through publicists or lawyers. Still, doubts lingered in the media and show business over the legitimacy of their love. 

In January 2008, I spent an afternoon with the couple at the Sundance Film Festival, where Monjack had been hired to photograph a series of celebs, including his wife, for a Rock the Vote campaign.

I was working for the New York Post at the time, and Murphy wasn't short on humor: When I introduced myself, she told me that her lawyer Martin Singer was quite familiar with the publication.

Still, she played ball. We had the kind of ice-breaking talk that's specific to an actress ... 

... about dressing up and down, landing good parts as a woman, work versus family. All very pleasant. Her strokes of eccentricity played as well in person as they did on screen; it was refreshing to know she wasn't so studied. 

But while she was the movie star, it was Monjack who dazzled me. They were a strange pair: Hollywood via London via Outer Space. But they were in love.

In the interview I conducted for the Post, Monjack revealed a rather interesting fact about the couple's history. He claimed to have taken the first editorial photo of a then-underage Murphy, and immediately fell in love with her.

"No one knows this, but I took Brittany's first photograph for a magazine. It was Jane magazine; Brittany was this big," he told me, waving his hand at hip level.

Back then, she was "too young to touch," Monjack said. "To make a long story short, I was very patient."


And about all those rumors, the allegations of owed money and expired visas and indiscretions?

"We never addressed it, and I'm not going to now," he said. 

Monjack told me about their professional life, in which one would book a job and the other would tag along to support. 

"We've created an environment that's conducive to making art and having fun and enjoying each other, and we can take that environment with us everywhere we go," Murphy echoed. 

She loved her sizable diamond engagement ring, but hated showing it because of her dirty fingernails. Monjack loved to tease her about putting on a full face of makeup 10 minutes before getting off any airplane. They traded barbs and stole kisses like a sincere couple.

Now that she's gone, the rumors will be stirred up again. Monjack's moves will be analyzed by the same skeptics, as he's already garnering suspicion for requesting that no autopsy be performed on his deceased 32-year-old bride. 

I can't say he'll handle his loss gracefully, or even in an acceptable social manner. I can't say he won't give bizarre catharsis chats with Diane Sawyer or release home movies that could further document their quirks. I can't say he isn't doubting himself or the universe at the moment.

I can say that to the best of my knowledge that he was in love, and I'm terribly sorry for his loss.

-- Matt Donnelly 

Photo: Brittany Murphy and husband Simon Monjack in 2007, the year they were wed. Credit: Dan Steinberg / Associated Press

RELATED: Brittany Murphy dies at 32; young Hollywood reacts

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Comments () | Archives (26)

I am so sad for his loss. it isn't the world to say who they were to marry or love. they loved each other and that is all that mattered. did anyone eve think that he didn't want the autopsy done cause he didn't want his beautiful wife cut up. i sure know i wouldn't want my man to be cut up.she had been sick and vomiting earlier that morning and when they found her. there was vomit found. they also found several prescription drugs prescribed to Brittany so that shows that she had been sick. no matter what her husbands past was. their love was all that mattered to her and we need to respect her for that and give this man the respect she gave to him. she is loved and will always be loved my many. RIP Brittany I love you girl

iz this for real ??

When the world is sad, God calls those with the gift of laughter and beauty so that their joy may be shared with all of us. RIP Brittany, and thank you.

This article is a smug filthy deplorable postscript to a young life just ended.

Thanks for a classy article about Brittany Murphy. It's nice to see someone not engaged in wild speculation and rumor.

Is that all you morons can do is disparage the poor girl upon her passing? She was beautiful, and she was a good actress, let her rest in peace. Have some decency and show some consideration for her family and loved ones for chrissake. Whatever happened to “let he who is without fault throw the first stone?” You disgust me with this trash. At least the girl tried her best to attain her dreams.

its so nice to hear someone saying good things about what could have been. Its tragic that when someone so young dies after the briefest of condolences, we immediately begin to destory their memory with speculative scandal.

Excellent piece.
I recall reading about his past a year or two ago...its good to see something positive about their relationship.

I agree with >>> Karl in Texas ...

Brittany, I'm shock ! I don't care what they say about you . To me you were such a cutie that I will miss and love ... God, take care of her now will you , thanks .

You know, no one but the two of them knew what was truly going on. It could have been real; it could have been an act. We will never know. And, unfortunately for her, Ms. Murphy died too young to be remembered for anything but a few parts in some rather unforgettable films. That is sad, but the history of Hollywood is like that: from Peg Entwhistle, who jumped to her death off of the Hollywood sign, to Brittany Murphy. Hollywood eats you up and spits you out - and that was proven again when this young women died way too long before her time.

Whos Brittany Murphy ?????????/

I'm saddened by Brittany Murphy's much too untimely passing. My condolences to her grieving family and especially her husband Simon Monjack. I find the suspicions around his refusal of an autopsy incongruous and even heartless. My father suddenly passed away a few days ago and I was faced with the same question, immediately upon learning about his death. I too refused an autopsy. My thinking was, 'He's gone and nothing can bring him back, what good is it?' I felt it would violate his final peace. I can imagine that something similar went through Simon's head.

Brittney was hot - She lived life to the fullest - married a rich guy, acted in great films. I loved her. I'll dream about her.

I met her husband at a club in Vegas, he was very charming and polite and had no interest in an "evening fling" pointing at his wedding band.

My best to both of them.

Drugs are bad, Mmmkay?

I was sad when I heard of her death and I was to love her because of her such movies as Clueless and the 8 Mile and I will pray God to comfort her family and husband and may heaven accept her well and joy follow her always!

Cast a cold eye
on life
on death
critics pass by

Please heaven take Brit in your arms and comfort her always and make her your Queen of Laughter and Joy!

Uptown girls is one of my all time favorite movies. I must have seen it some 15 times, last time being 6 weeks back. I didn't remember the artiste names and I am shell shocked to have found my suspicion come true. A wonderful actress, a live-wire on the screen. I would see that movie 100 times more. What an actress. I'll miss you Mollie.

I'm more concerned about the 160 casualties last week in Iraq that you'll never see in the news. Tough break for the actress, at least she wasn't murdered by a nation that cares more about eating cheetohs than how many people they murdered last week.

I want to know how she died, that's all. So should Simon. Attempting to prevent a medical diagnosis autopsy is extremely suspicious and bizarre. And calling her preliminary cause of death "from natural causes" is shockingly irresponsible. Los Angeles is like a bad dream.

I have to wonder if some commenters here even read the article (*cough* ab and Karl in ATHF-err, Texas).

It's composed entirely of truth, respect, and sympathy. If you perceive those traits as 'filthy' or 'disparaging'...well, then you're an easily threatened halfwit who would do the world a favor by withholding your input in future discussions...ANYWHERE.

I agree with ab | Dec 21, 2009 at 10:33 AM

The problem is medialoid (defined as the infiltration of tabloid journalism into traditional media sources, including the proliferation of sensationalism, triviality and disregard for privacy, with particular emphasis on news coverage of the sports and entertainment industries. Medialoid thinks they make the rules by which society must live. They think they define what is and is not free speech. They have no morals, no decency and no shame. What we have is not qualified reporters reporting on newsworthy topics but packs of bloodthirsty jackals always on the prowl for their next victim. They hide behind the First Amendment while they tear down society by pandering to humankind's basest instincts. From their presumed position as the final arbiters of what people should think and what they should be thinking about, they smell blood in the water and circle the victim like a bunch of braying hyenas. I hope you're all proud of yourselves. Michael Jackson…now Tiger Woods. Tiger isn't the one who should be ashamed—except before his wife. Medialoid should be ashamed for the disreputable way they behave when a high profile personality stumbles. Ugh. I hate the media. You all make me sick. Far from a "classy" piece about Ms. Murphy, this is just another hatchet job of a celebrity.

I seen this when getting ready for work this morning & cried. She is a beautiful woman & she had a fun personality. I loved her movies & I will never forget her. God has his plans for her & I hope her family can make it through this tragic time. I agree people need to leave well enough alone & let them grieve in peace. I still can't believe she is gone. She still had so much of a life to live. People want to say mean things about her & the way she supposedly died in their eyes. Why can it not be natural causes why does something have to be made up to make it look bad? I feel for her husband & hope he will be ok. God truely got him a angel & a very beautiful one that was full of life.

God bless you and yours Brittany x.

Regardless of whatever happened, this story was very touching and very well written. None of us has the right to throw stones at anyone else. God bless us all!

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