LA coroner insists that actress Murphy died from natural causes

HOLLYWOOD actress Brittany Murphy died from natural causes, a Los Angeles coroner insisted yesterday.

Los Angeles police have said Murphy, 32, appeared to have died from natural causes after collapsing at her LA home but were looking into her medical history.

Murphy, who appeared in films including 8 Mile and Clueless, was found in the bathroom of the home she shared with her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, shortly before 4pm (GMT) on Sunday.

Medics attempted to revive the actress, but she was pronounced dead two hours later after being admitted to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles.

An official cause of death will not be released until after toxicology tests have been completed, but LA’s assistant chief coroner Ed Winter said the cause of death “appears to be natural”.

An autopsy is planned for today or tomorrow, he added.

Showbiz websites in the US have carried unconfirmed reports that Murphy was on a number of prescription drugs before her collapse.

Since her death,paparazzi have been camped outside her home above Sunset Strip.

In a statement, Murphy’s publicist Nicole Perna said: “In this time of sadness, the family thanks you for your love and support. It is their wish that you respect their privacy.”

Murphy’s father Angelo Bertolotti said he was stunned on being told by his son about her death.

He said: “She was just an absolute doll since she was born. Her personality was always outward. Everybody loved her – people that made movies with her, people on a cruise – they all loved her. She was just a regular girl.”

Bertolotti divorced the actress’s mother when Murphy was young and has not seen his daughter in the past few years.

She is due to appear in Sylvester Stallone’s forthcoming film The Expendables, which is expected to be released next year.

In 2003 she starred alongside Ashton Kutcher in the romantic comedy Just Married. The pair later dated.

The actress has previously been forced to fight off rumours of drug use. In a 2005 interview with Jane magazine, she confronted allegations that she took cocaine head on.

She said the rumour was “pretty darn far-fetched” adding: “It couldn’t be further from the truth. I have known people over the course of my life that have bad problems with drugs and it’s something really serious.”

In recent weeks she reportedly left production of the forthcoming film The Caller on bad terms with film-makers.


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