Brittany Murphy's mother has penned an open letter expressing her frustration over claims made by the late star's estranged father, Angelo Bertolotti, that poison may have played a factor in the Clueless star's passing nearly four years ago.
"I have chosen to stay out of the limelight since the tragic and sudden death of my wonderful, talented loving daughter," Sharon Murphy writes in the letter given to The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
Sharon calls Bertolotti's suggestion that Britanny may been murdered as "madness" and "more of an insult than an insight into what really happened."
Last week, it was reported that Bertolotti, who has always been dissatisfied with the coroner's ruling that Brittany died from pneumonia and anemia at the age of 32, had submitted samples of his daughter's hair, blood and tissue and submitted them for independent testing.
"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,'" Sharon notes. "It mentioned rat poison as a possible cause and claimed to be able to say that a third party murdered my beloved daughter.
"To even mention that heavy metals that were listed in his test are in rat poison, leading to articles suggesting Brittany ingested that or anything like it, is absurd. If she had, don't you think it would have shown up in the coroner's test of her blood and tissue?"
She adds, "We will never know for sure. However, we do know the Los Angeles County Coroner did extensive tests and found that she died of natural causes. And now she is a real living angel in heaven."
Sharon concludes by writing, "She was my baby, and we stood together throughout Brittany's life. Now I must stand up for her again. It is time for those who really knew and loved her to put those who want to exploit her on notice: Your lies will no longer be tolerated, and as long as I live will continue to be exposed."
Brittany's body was discovered by her husband, Simon Monjack, inside their Hollywood Hills home on Dec. 20, 2009. In May 2010, Monjack himself passed away in the same house. It was determined by the coroner's office that he had died from pneumonia and anemia as well.