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Video: Monjack death accidental?

Image: Brittany Murphy, Simon Monjack
Dan Steinberg  /  AP file
Simon Monjack told the New York Post that he fell in love with Brittany Murphy during a photo shoot when she was a teen.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 5/24/2010 3:29:54 PM ET 2010-05-24T19:29:54

The husband of Brittany Murphy was found dead at his Los Angeles home late Sunday, five months after the Hollywood actress died, police said.

Firefighters responding to an emergency call found British screenwriter Simon Monjack dead at the Hollywood Hills residence, police spokesman Sgt. Louie Lozano said.

The preliminary cause of the 39-year-old Monjack's death is natural causes, Lozano said.

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

Ortiz said that the Los Angeles Coroner's Office was taking over the investigation because criminal activity had been ruled out, and would provide more details later on the death and circumstances surrounding it.

Firefighters rushed to the home after receiving a call from a female occupant at 9:40 p.m. Sunday, but Ortiz said he didn't know who then name of the caller.

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At his wife's funeral in December, a visibly emotional Monjack talked about their relationship and called her his best friend and soul mate. The two married in 2007.

He had said that they had been planning a family and contemplating a move to New York.

Monjack is credited as producer and co-writer of the 2001 film "Two Days, Nine Lives" and executive producer of the 2006 "Factory Girl."

Murphy, best known for her major roles in "Clueless," "Girl Interrupted," and "8 Mile" in 2002, died Dec. 20, at age 32 after collapsing in her home. The Los Angeles County coroner's office concluded Murphy's death was accidental, but likely preventable.

The coroner's report said that the medications found in her system were consistent with treatment of a cold or respiratory infection. Monjack and Murphy's mother had reported the actress was ill with flulike symptoms in the days before her death.

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An autopsy found no evidence that Murphy abused drugs. Investigators found numerous prescription medications in the actress' home.

In March, Monjack moved to set the record straight about his wife's death and also deal with rumors about his relationship with Murphy.

In an interview with Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson, he said suggestions that Murphy’s death and the death of Corey Haim were similar were "absurd," saying they made him "furious."

“Corey was someone that had openly used drugs for many, many years and had a problem,” he continued. “Brittany was someone that never used a drug in her life.”

While prescription medications were found in Murphy’s system at the time of her death, Monjack insisted she never abused prescription drugs.

He was asked about comments he made saying he fell in love with Murphy when she was a teen, but that he had been "very patient."

“I mean, she was like very young. When she was 17, it would’ve been like dating a 12-year-old,” Monjack explained, dismissing the notion that some might call it inappropriate. “There was only eight years between us. It was more of just an attraction to the person.”

As a photographer, he often staged elaborate photo shoots with her. But he hit back at rumors that the two got married in 2007 because the British-born Monjack’s visa was about to expire and he was facing deportation.

“Brittany Murphy marrying for a visa – it’s so crazy," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photos: Brittany Murphy: 1977 - 2009

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  1. A life cut short

    Brittany Murphy posing for photographers in Sydney, Australia in 2006. The actress died Dec. 20, 2009, at age 32. (Tracey Nearmy / EPA file) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Breakout role

    Murphy, center, began to make a name for herself in acting when she starred with Alicia Silverstone, left, and Stacey Dash, right, in 1995's "Clueless." (Corbis Sygma) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Hard-knock life

    Murphy played rapper Eminem's girlfriend in the autobiographical "8 Mile," which came out in 2002. (Eli Reed / Universal Studios) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Hollywood couple

    Murphy dated actor Ashton Kutcher for a time. The two co-starred in 2003's "Just Married." The actor posted on Twitter that with Murphy's death, "the world lost a little piece of sunshine." (Frank Trapper / Corbis Sygma) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Booking it

    Murphy and Josie Maran co-starred in 2004's "Little Black Book," about a woman who snoops into her boyfriend's past. (Zade Rothental / Columbia Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Supporting the troops

    In 2003, Murphy performed for crewmembers aboard the USS Nimitz for a USO show. (Phan Shannon Renfroe / Department of Defense / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Speaking for Tinkerbell

    In 2006, a news conference announced that Murphy would voice the animated character TInkerbell in an upcoming movie, but she was later replaced by Mae Whitman. (Keith Bedford / Reuters / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. French adventure

    Jessica Alba and Murphy starred in 2005's "Sin City," based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller. The two promoted the film at the Cannes Film Festival that spring. (Stephane Cardinale / People Aven) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Happy penguins

    Murphy often did voice work, and was perhaps best known as the voice of Luanne Platter in "King of the Hill." She also gave voice to Gloria in the animated penguin flick "Happy Feet." (Peter Andrews / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Newlyweds

    Murphy married British screenwriter Simon Monjack in 2007. He was one of the writers for 2006's "Factory Girl," which told the story of Edie Sedgwick and her relationship with painter Andy Warhol. (Dan Steinberg / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Smiling for the cameras

    In 2005, Murphy helped launch the summer sale at Harrods department store in central London. (Matt Dunham / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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