There is no evidence of foul play in Brittany Murphy's untimely death, but as her life comes under scrutiny so does the man she quietly married two years ago, whose grieving will be complicated by public interest in his troubled past.
Murphy's husband, Simon Monjack, is the one who called 911 at 8 a.m. Sunday after her mother found her stricken in their home. Monjack, understandably, appeared "dazed" as rescue workers tried to revive his wife. He did not want an autopsy to be done, but the LA coroner began the procedure Monday against his wishes.
Monjack is a British screenwriter with two film credits: the 2006 Edie Sedgwick biopic 'Factory Girl' featuring Sienna Miller and 'Two Days, Nine Lives,' a 2002 British indie drama. His online presence repeatedly suggests he wished to be known first as Brittany Murphy's husband.
He and Murphy had a whirlwind courtship , marrying in a very small and private ceremony in May 2007 just months after they started dating and a month after he was arrested for staying in the US on an expired visa. No engagement had been announced. In 2006, Monjack had split from his wife and Murphy from her fiancee, 'Little Black Book' production assistant Joe Macaluso.
Monjack has been labeled a con artist by the tabloids and he has a long trail of shady dealings: at least two apartment evictions for failure to pay thousands of dollars in back rent, a $470,132 court judgment against him by a British investment bank, a $50,000 lawsuit from his ex-wife. A different ex-fiance claims Monjack gave her an engagement ring that was cubic zirconia, not diamond as he had told her.
He may have also had a hand in his wife's firing from 'Shrinking Charlotte' just two weeks ago, from which she was reportedly let go for her difficulty on set. Director Michael Z. Gordon tells Showbiz411 that it was not Murphy's behavior that was the problem, but her husband's. "Monjack came on the set inebriated," Gordon said. "The producers wanted to keep him away. Brittany of course defended him. And so she was let go."
Just last month Monjack was rushed to the hospital after he became incoherent during a flight to LAX. Murphy told EMTs he was suffering from an asthma attack and did not need to be hospitalized but "EMTs felt it could be more serious than that" and rushed him to the hospital.
Despite their personal struggles, Murphy and Monjack appeared to be happy with their relationship. Just a few weeks ago Murphy told People magazine she wanted to become a mother soon, and in April she had these words for OK! magazine:
"We first met when I was 17 years old. We checked in with each other throughout the years and remained friends. The easiest decision I ever had in my life was getting married...He's flown around the world to make sure we spend every single night together."
The pair was photographed enjoying a messy make out session at LAX last month. Here are some pictures of them over the past couple of years.