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Since her death, Brittany Murphy‘s net worth and what happened to her estate after she died has been somewhat of a mystery. Murphy was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but was raised by her mother, Sharon, in Edison, New Jersey, after her parents’ divorce when she was 2 years old.
When she was 13 years old, Murphy moved to Los Angeles and landed her first Hollywood job as Brenda Drexell in the TV show, Drexell’s Class, which ran from 1991 to 1992. She went on to star in shows like Boy Meets World and Sister, Sister, before her breakthrough role as Tai Fraser in 1995’s Clueless. Murphy’s career continued with roles in movies like Uptown Girls, Drop Dead Gorgeous and Girl, Interrupted.
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In May 2007, Murphy married British screenwriter Simon Monjack. In the three-and-a-half years before her death, Murphy, Monjak and her mother, Sharon, lived in the same Hollywood Hills home together. Murphy died on December 20, 2009 of pneumonia. She was 32 years old. Emergency responders from the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a “medical request” at her home at 8 a.m. that day, where they found her collapsed in a bathroom. After attempts to resuscitate her on the scene, Murphy was transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital, where she died at 10:04 a.m. after going into cardiac arrest. The Los Angeles County coroner later stated that the primary cause of Murphy’s death was pneumonia with secondary factors of iron-deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication. On Christmas Eve 2009, Murphy was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. Her husband also died in their home of pneumonia and anemia less than a year later.
So what was Brittany Murphy’s net worth at the time of her death and who inherited her estate after she died? Read on for who she left as the sole trustee of her fortune in her will and who she “intentionally” left out.
What was Brittany Murphy’s net worth?
So what was Brittany Murphy’s net worth at the time of her death? Murphy was worth $10 million when she died in December 2009, according to Celebrity Net Worth. That number included the money Murphy made for movies like Clueless, Girl, Interrupted, Drop Dead Gorgeous and Uptown Girls, as well as what she made for her Broadway run in A View From the Bridge in 1997.
Who inherited Brittany Murphy’s estate?
Brittany Murphy’s mother, Sharon Murphy, inherited her estate and not her husband, Simon Monjack, according to a 2010 report by The New York Daily News. The newspaper reported at the time that Murphy drafted a will and trust after she married Monjack, a screenwriter, in 2007. The will and trust, which left her entire estate to her mother, included her multi-million-dollar Hollywood Hills mansion. It’s unclear why Murphy named her mother as her sole trustee, but in her will, she stated that she “intentionally left” her husband out. “I am married to Simon Monjack who I have intentionally left out of this will,” her will read.
Though he wasn’t listed in her will, Monjack—who died in May 2010 of anemia and pneumonia—still had access to her money after her death. Murphy’s former business manager, Jeffrey Morgenroth, told People in 2010 that Monjack took 80 percent of the cash from his late wife’s accounts after her death, which left her mother in an uncertain financial position. “There were huge amounts of money in [Brittany’s] pension plan and bank account, and all of that’s gone,” Morgenroth said at the time. “I would see it on the statements. There was money being withdrawn by Simon, hundreds of thousands.”
Morgenroth also claimed that Monjack maintained a tight control over Murphy’s finances when they were both still alive. He recalled an incident in which Murphy needed to sign a tax form and Monjack wouldn’t let her. “I went down to the deadline and delivered it personally, and I couldn’t even see Brittany,” Morgenroth said, alleging that Monjack also cut off his wife’s cell phone. “Simon took [the form] from me. The excuse was her hair was messed up. I was at the front door and Brittany [called down] and said, ‘Hi Jeff, sorry I couldn’t see you, bye.’ It sounded fishy and weird.”
He recalls one incident in which Brittany needed to sign a tax form. “I went down to the deadline and delivered it personally, and I couldn’t even see Brittany,” says Morgenroth, who alleges that Monjack also cut off his wife’s cell phone. “Simon took [the form] from me. The excuse was her hair was messed up. I was at the front door and Brittany [called down] and said, ‘Hi Jeff, sorry I couldn’t see you, bye.’ It sounded fishy and weird.”
According to Morgenroth’s former assistant, Jeannette Bycott, Monjack’s mother, Linda, also believed that she had a claim in Murphy’s estate. Bycott told People at the time that Linda ordered Sharon to leave Murphy’s Hollywood Wills home after her son’s death. “Linda started acting like everything belongs to her,” Bycott said. “Before Sharon could say anything, Linda stated the house was now hers.”
Morgenroth also believes that Sharon, who was close to Monjack before Murphy’s death, was taken advantage of by her daughter’s in-laws. “She’ll say, ‘I can’t talk about that now,’ ” Morgenroth said. “I’m trying to get her to understand that the bank account has this amount. She was looking at the pension statement and I said, ‘Look. There are almost no zeros there.’ She needs guidance on how to deal with things.”
Linda, however, denied any wrongdoing by her or her son claimed that her son was left just “a few hundred dollars” after Murphy’s death. “If there is money missing I have no idea where it is,” she told People. “He didn’t get much, maybe a few hundred dollars, and he paid off his debts with it. He was spending his time crying his eyes out most of the time. He was in a terrible state.”
In 2011, two years after her daughter’s death, Murphy’s mother sold her Hollywood Hills home for $2.7 million, according to E! News. Murphy purchased the house, which was previously owned by Britney Spears, in 2003 for $3.85 million. Both Murphy and Monjack passed away at the home, and there was speculation that toxic mold in the house could have been the factor for their deaths, though that was eventually ruled out. After Murphy’s mother sold the home, it was later gutted and rehabbed. It hit the market again in 2016 for $19.75 million and sold in 2017 for $14.5 million.
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