Brittany Murphy and Husband Simon Monjack Died of Similar Causes

Toxic mold not behind the sudden deaths of Brittany Murphy and Simon Monjack.

ByABC News
July 27, 2010, 12:02 PM

July 28, 2010— -- The eerily similar deaths of Brittany Murphy and her husband Simon Monjack, a mere six months apart, are "unusual" but not mold-related, says Los Angeles County assistant chief coroner Ed Winter.

Rumors flew early this week after a TMZ report suggested that toxic mold in the celebrity couple's house was to blame for their twin cases of severe anemia and fatal pneumonia. But though the house may have mold, autopsies show it "was not a factor in their death," Winter says.

Nonetheless, Winter says the house has been reported to the Department of Public Health, as a precaution considering that two people died of respiratory illness in the same residence within a few months of each other.

"It is unusual to have two people die of similar circumstances with pneumonia. We've been looking at it and saying, 'Something isn't right.' I'm not saying you can't get pneumonia from mold, but we did all the tests on it -- mold did not come up in the toxicology reports," he says.

There had been suspicions of mold in the house last fall due to a persistent leak, but a full house inspection ordered by Monjack in October came back mold-free.

"Simon told Sharon and Brittany that there was no mold danger and that they could remain in the house," family spokesperson Roger Neal says.

"In fact, Simon Monjack insisted on hiring an attorney and filed a lawsuit against the builder and subcontractors" due to the inferior products used in building that may have caused the leak, Neal says.

Having not seen the report herself last fall, Sharon Murphy is currently having that report interpreted for her to verify that it was negative for mold, Neal says, and she will be amenable to any further investigations by the state.