Report: Brittany Murphy's Husband to Sue Studio for Wrongful Death

Celebrity News Jan. 27, 2010 AT 6:22PM
Report: Brittany Murphy's Husband to Sue Studio for Wrongful Death Credit: Gustavo Caballero/WireImage.com

Simon Monjack is planning to sue Warner Brothers for the wrongful death of his wife, Brittany Murphy, the Daily Beast reports.

Two weeks prior to Murphy's sudden death on Dec. 20 at age 32, the studio fired her from the sequel to the animated smash Happy Feet, where she was to reprise the role of penguin Gloria. "She was devastated," Monjack tells the Daily Beast's Gerald Posner. "They killed her."

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Murphy's cause of death has yet to be released by the L.A. coroner's office -- but Monjack and the star's mother, Sharon Murphy, both believe that the Clueless actress suffered a heart attack as a direct result of her cancelled contract.

"It's a cruel town," Monjack says of Hollywood."You're disposable as an actress or actor."

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On Wednesday, Warner Brothers roared back at Monjack in a statement which said, "Any claim that Warner Bros. Pictures was somehow responsible for Brittany Murphy's tragic death is demonstrably false, reprehensible and defamatory."  

The studio also begged to differ about Monjack's claims about the Happy Feet sequel. "Warner Bros. Pictures and Ms. Murphy never entered into any deal for Happy Feet 2, and thus, there was no contract to cancel."

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In his interview with Posner, Monjack is unapologetic about his plans to sue. "I am tough. I litigate when somebody does something wrong to me. That's one of the reasons I make enemies."

The British Monjack acknowledges to Posner that his marriage to the star (who was once engaged to Ashton Kutcher) surprised many. "I was never the right guy to marry Brittany,” he says. "She was supposed to marry a young dashing star with a million-dollar smile. She wasn't supposed to end up with a balding, heavy guy who doesn't play by their rules."

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But he snaps at suggestions that he was freeloading off his famous wife. "I spent over a million on her engagement rings...And probably $3 million on clothes." He adds: "When Brittany died she had 60 pieces of unworn Louis Vuitton. The dog had Louis Vuitton. This was all me. We kept our money separate. When I took Brittany out shopping, I paid for everything.”

Did his controversial presence "ruin" Murphy's once high-flying career? "Brittany's films had grossed $100 million before she met me," he insists. "But her career had ended before then...She trusted some people who she shouldn't have."

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