Simon Monjack, Husband of Late Actress Brittany Murphy, Found Dead

Simon Monjack found dead five months after death of actress Brittany Murphy.

May 24, 2010, 6:05 AM

May 24, 2010— -- It's a tragic end for a Hollywood couple: just five months after the sudden death of his actress wife, Brittany Murphy, Simon Monjack was found dead at his Los Angeles home late Sunday, according to police.

The 39-year-old British screenwriter's preliminary cause of the death is natural causes, police spokesman Sgt. Louie Lozano told The Associated Press.

"We concluded there no signs of foul play or any criminal activity involved," Sgt. Alex Ortiz, another police spokesman, told the AP.

Firefighters found Monjack dead at his Hollywood Hills home after responding to an emergency call from a woman at 9:40 p.m., according to police spokesman Sgt. Louie Lozano. Ortiz told the AP he didn't know who placed the call. Monjack and Murphy had shared their home with Murphy's mother, Sharon.

A friend of Sharon's confirmed to People magazine that she was the one who found Monjack. Five months after losing her daughter, a devastated Sharon is "not well at all," the friend said.

Monjack had been unwell too. In January, his mother, Linda Monjack, told People that her son had suffered "a slight heart attack" a week before Brittany's death.

He had also struggled to regain his footing after his wife's death.

"Some days he wants to kill himself and other days, he seems to be coping better," Linda Monjack said in January, adding that her son's closeness with his mother-in-law was helping them both to heal. "I think they are really clinging to each other for support."

Monjack was outspoken about his grief following Murphy's December death. He described how he had lost his "best friend and soul mate" as the "Clueless" and "Girl, Interrupted" star was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park on Christmas Eve.

But just nine days before his death, he told People that he was planning a European getaway and a new book project. He told the magazine that he hoped to travel with Sharon Murphy.

"Of course I'll take her with me -- I can't leave her," he said of Sharon.

Monjack was planning to start work on a photography book about ballet. Given Brittany's love of ballet, he told People that he hoped the project would be therapeutic.

"It seems fitting to do it," he said.

The 32-year-old actress was found in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home on Dec. 20, 2009 and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

At the time, Monjack said that the day before Murphy's death, she was ill and stayed in bed all day. She was suffering from laryngitis, which she treated with herbal tea, ginger and lemon.

"She was on herbal remedies that wouldn't speed up her heart," Monjack told People magazine. "There was nothing here that could endanger her. There was prescription medication in the house for her female time and some cough syrup. That was it."

In February, the Los Angeles County coroner concluded that Murphy's death was accidental but likely preventable. The office said the primary cause of her death was pneumonia, while iron-deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication also played a part. The coroner found "elevated levels" of Vicodin and drugs from over-the-counter cold medicine in her system, but no illegal substances.

Monjack is best known professionally for writing and producing the 2006 movie "Factory Girl." His 2007 wedding to Murphy seemed, to the public, to come out of nowhere.

"The hush-hush ceremony -- and reluctant confirmation that a ceremony even took place -- follows an equally quiet courtship," E! News wrote at the time. "Murphy and Monjack didn't make any public appearances together and never announced their engagement."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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