*Just to for the record, police suspect no foul play in Brittany Murphy’s death, and our condolences go out to Simon Monjack for the loss of his wife.
After actress Brittany Murphy’s untimely death at 32, her husband Simon Monjack, who’s described as a writer-director and producer in most reports, requested that his wife’s body not have an autopsy. While that may seem suspicious, it really may just be chalked up to a Jewist tradition banning autopsies. But there are real questions surrounding Simon Monjack, including the body of work that supports his description as a writer-director, and his notorious reputation as a con-man.
After looking at his IMDB page, it looks like the 39-year-old has done surprisingly little work: he wrote the story (not the screenplay) for Factory Girl, a 2006 movie about Andy Warhol’s set. His only other credit is co-writing, directing, and producing a little known movie called Two Days, Nine Lives in 2000. When he met Brittany Murphy about two years ago, he had plans to direct a movie staring her called The White Hotel, which never materialized.
Interestingly enough, Monjack has made efforts towards a career in celebrity photography, which you can view on his website, simonmonjackphotography.com. Although his “About Me” page puffs up his efforts, it looks like he’s mostly just photographed his lovely wife, including two of her recent movie posters: the charming little-known romantic flick The Ramen Girl, and 40 Love. You have to give it to him though, most of the pics of her are well done, accentuate Brittany’s beauty, and look up to the task to appear in any number of fashion magazines. Dude may not be very productive, but he isn’t without talent.
Now we get to the conman part, and this is where it gets a little creepy. A US Weekly article published around the time Murphy and Monjack married, has some pretty outrageous claims. First of all, his former fiancee Taira Rafiq claims Monjack gave her an engagement ring that was a cubic zirconia, though he claimed it was the real thing. A little slimball, but it gets worse: “he apparently had two warrants for his arrest in Virginia for alleged credit-card theft and fraud; an unpaid $6,087 legal bill, and a $502,910 judgment against him by a British investment firm.” There are also claims that Monjack was about to be deported to Britain because of an expired visa, and was jailed for that reason a month before he married Murphy.
Those incidents were the extent of his legal troubles according to Showbiz411, they cite a number of other incidents in Monjack’s past: “In 2006, Coutts and Company, a British bank, received a court judgment against him of $470,132. In 2005, right before he met Murphy, Monjack and his girlfriend were evicted from their New York apartment for $7,025 in back rent. There was a similar incident in 1997 in Los Angeles.” According to Showbiz, Monjack’s considered to be a “dangerous guy” in producer’s circles, and someone who claims to have a lot of money when he actually has none.
Whether or not Simon Monjack is a person of great character, Brittany Murphy always seemed to be genuinely infatuated with him when they were photographed together. Even if he is a shady guy, hopefully he brought some joy and happiness to Brittany’s short life.