LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Hollywood's Brittany Murphy wasn't a victim of foul play, nor did she die from heavy-metal poisoning as her estranged dad suggested, her mother, Sharon, said.
The "Sin City," "Girl Interrupted" and "Clueless" star died Dec. 20, 2009, at the age of 32. An autopsy indicated she died of pneumonia and anemia.
However, her father, Angelo Bertolotti, whom Sharon divorced when Brittany was 2, recently announced he ordered his own toxicology tests, which allegedly found evidence Brittany and her late husband, Simon Monjack, died of possible foul play. Officials said Monjack died at the age of 40 of the same causes several months after Brittany's death.
Sharon, who was living with Brittany and Monjack at the time Brittany died, wrote an essay for The Hollywood Reporter, rejecting Bertolotti's claims.
"I have chosen to stay out of the limelight since the tragic and sudden death of my wonderful, talented, loving daughter four years ago this Dec. 20," Sharon wrote.
"I have been devastated by her loss and that of my son-in-law and have remained in seclusion in my mourning," she said. "I have no choice now but to come forward in the face of inexcusable efforts to smear my daughter's memory by a man who may be her biological father but was never a real father to her in her lifetime. Angelo Bertolotti has relocated to California in his old age to claim he is here for Brittany, as he never was in life. He has made outrageous statements over the past few years, culminating in this latest madness: that my darling daughter was murdered. His claims are based on the most flimsy of evidence and are more of an insult than an insight into what really happened. ...
"In light of the recent publicity about a lab test Angelo had done, I have asked some knowledgeable people, and they tell me that an analysis from a sample of hair is not considered dependable unless it is backed up by tests of tissue and blood and other analysis -- which he did not do [the coroner did, but they show no similar results.] I am also told one lab may give different results than another lab in terms of heavy metals, and the proper method requires multiple tests before any results are released. The lab Angelo used, if you can call it that, is an Internet site that farmed out the actual testing and then wrote horribly untrue things under the guise of 'analysis.' It mentioned rat poison as a possible cause and claimed to be able to say that a third party murdered my beloved daughter."