Brian To/ Getty Images
Brian To/ Getty Images
It appears that neither of Brittany Murphy's parents is living in peace.
Saying he's not satisfied with their conclusions as to how his daughter died in December 2009, the late star's father has filed a complaint with the LAPD and L.A. County Department of Coroner to obtain biological samples taken from his daughter's body so that they can be retested.
So what does Angelo Bertolotti, who reportedly hadn't seen his daughter in ages when she died, think the experts got wrong?
Bertolotti insists that the coroner's office didn't do its due diligence by performing "only very basic autopsy procedures/toxicology testing," according to the complaint filed today in L.A. Superior Court.
The suit states that Bertolotti met with Chief Coroner Ed Winter and LAPD Det. Sue Brandstetter to "voice his concerns" that their ultimate conclusion—that Murphy died of complications from pneumonia and severe anemia—was incorrect.
Brandstetter said that they never tested a hair sample from Murphy for poisons, toxins or heavy metals, the suit continues, after which Bertolotti paid to have whatever samples they took preserved for the next five years.
But what is Murphy's father really getting at here?
Citing a previous medical case, Bertolotti's complaint states that death by arsenic poisoning has been erroneously attributed before to pneumonia and anemia.
And now, he alleges, the only way the truth will ever be known is if the coroner and police department release their specimens—which in this case include hair from her head, face and body and a sample from hair extensions she wore—so that he can take them to an independent lab for "any and all remaining toxicology and/or outstanding tests."
Winter, the chief coroner, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
While Murphy's mother, Sharon, has been divorced from Bertolotti since their daughter was 2, she apparently isn't satisfied with the answers she's been given, either.
She sued her former attorneys for malpractice, claiming they never advised her that it was within her right to sue the contractor and builders of Murphy's home for wrongful death. Instead, Sharon's complaint states, the lawyers advised her to settle a previous suit filed against the builders for possibly shoddy construction (that led to water damage, which allegedly led to toxic mold that could have led to Murphy's—and later her husband Simon Monjack's—deadly pneumonia).
And now, Sharon complains, she can't sue them again for allegedly causing the conditions that could have exacerbated her daughter and son-in-law's deaths.