Brittany Murphy’s husband says while he feels a sense of relief following the coroner’s final report on the death of his wife, which erased any speculation about illegal drugs in the actress’ body, it’s hardly a reason to celebrate.
“There is no solace in redemption when your family has been ripped apart,” Simon Monjack told AccessHollywood.com on Friday. “To a degree, it’s ‘So what?’ But to a degree, there’s a young woman who died under tragic accidental circumstances that can now be free – free of her name being tarnished.”
On Thursday, the final coroner’s report stated that multiple medications were found in Brittany’s blood at the time of her death, including “elevated levels of hydrocodone, acetaminophen, and chlorpheniramine L-methamphetamine (a component of some inhalers).” The report also stated that “the pattern of use of these medications suggest treatment of symptoms of a cold or other respiratory infection.”
As it turns out, Simon and Brittany’s mother, Sharon, were able to view the final report before it went public.
“I saw it before everyone else and for that I was very grateful,” he told Access. “I read it with Sharon and the finality of it hit us both. We both cried for probably about two hours and it was almost… the tears were so mixed. Tears of the finality, tears of redemption and her name finally being cleared.”
The coroner’s report also cleared up any speculation regarding Brittany’s physical appearance, which some had suggested had been altered by plastic surgery over the years.
“When I read the coroner’s report, everything was normal in her body. She hadn’t had plastic surgery. And for a woman who was accused on a regular basis of altering her appearance via cosmetic surgery, it now becomes laughable that people can’t spot the difference between an adolescent becoming an adult and a woman who has had plastic surgery,” the still grieving Simon continued.
In the years leading up to her death in December 2009 at the age of 32, Brittany wasn’t the only one who was scrutinized in the media – Simon also became a tabloid target.
“Out of every tragedy, one hopes a little good comes. And one hopes in this case, it’s that people really think before they write. I don’t know why Brittany and my marriage was always so scrutinized in a negative light and people made up these absurd stories, whether it be kidnappings or bankruptcies or arrest warrants – and every single thing turned out to be fictitious,” he added. “I don’t understand what Brittany did to deserve it and I don’t understand what I did to deserve it.”
It was the public speculation over her health and alleged drug use that Simon believes severely damaged his wife’s blossoming Hollywood career.
“This is a girl who for 10 years had been told everyday she was a heroin addict, a cocaine addict, she had plastic surgery, she had been anorexic — and suddenly there’s a report that refutes all of that and says none of that is true,” he explained. “For Brittany, I think it damaged her career. When a producer hears an actress is a junkie or whatever it was, producers and directors are very weary of that. And that happened long before I came along. I think her career slowed down so much after ‘Little Black Book’ and I think she wanted to change her life… She really wanted to move on and have children and have different hopes and dreams for the future. Of course she wanted to continue to act and continue to be a part of the community which gave her so much.”
It’s that same Hollywood community that will honor Brittany’s work during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards on March 7 in Los Angeles.
Simon revealed that he has been invited to this year’s Oscars, where his wife will be remembered.
“The Academy invited me and will presumably honor her in some way. I’m very grateful to them for extending that invitation and it’s something that I treasure,” he noted.
While he didn’t know the exact details of the planned tribute, Simon said he assumed Brittany would be part of the annual “In Memoriam” segment, which takes a look back at the stars who died in the year leading up to the awards.
Now that the final official report on his wife’s death has been made public and the rumors put to rest, Simon said he hopes Brittany’s legacy won’t be tarnished by tabloid hearsay.
“I hope that people concentrate on the positive. I hope that Brittany’s legacy and her films are actually looked at and the work that she did and the incredible actress that she was,” he said. “I’ll never recover from the tragedy of losing Brittany – never. She was so special, what we had was so special and I love her just as much today as the day we married. I think that what will change is her legacy. I think instead of being about who she was, it will be about what she achieved – whether it be in her films, her year on Broadway or touring with the USO – there’s a legacy that really happened before she was 26 that is an amazing body of work. I think her legacy now, people will see past the rumors and past the untruths and hopefully past the tabloid aspect of her life and look at the incredible actress that she was and the incredible spirit and the incredible love that she brought to the world.”
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