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Brittany Murphy, Husband's Deaths -- the Mold Factor

7/25/2010 3:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The investigation into Brittany Murphy and Simon Monjack's deaths is now being handled by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, TMZ has learned ... and it's all because of mold found in their home.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ the issue of mold in the house came up early during the investigation into Brittany's death -- but it was deemed "not to be a contributing factor."

Then when Simon passed away a few months later, we're told the issue came up again -- but Brittany's mom, Sharon, wouldn't let the L.A. County Coroner's Office in to investigate the mold. Now, we're told, Sharon has agreed to let Public Health investigators into the home.

Mold could be relevant to Simon and Brittany's respiratory health. Pneumonia was a cause of death for both of them.

We're also told Simon's mother, Linda Monjack is fully supportive of this move, and will be flying from Europe so she can be close to the investigation.

UPDATE: A rep for Sharon tells TMZ, "I have never been personally asked by the Coroner or anyone from the Health Department to come and inspect my home for mold ... to the best of my knowledge there has been no evidence of mold at the Murphy residence."


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Previous 15 Comments | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8


It has to be some kind of enviromental aspect. There is no way 2 people are going to die 5 months apart from the same thing. It is just to weird.. I hope they find out what is going on before anyone else dies.

1487 days ago


YES, to Trish number 5th comment. we found spots on this place walls. never told that this place was once flooded and had contaminated black mold. with doctors notes we moved in 7 yrs ago. getting sicker did not know what the black stuff was spots on the walls.
did mold test sure enough. since 2005 i have fought to get us out. people do not believe but we had lung eye and bone problems. if you look really close people live in it have a we call 'mold look'. no attorney will touch it. we can't get help either go homeless on the sstreets or live with it until we die! please do not ignore this dangerous unknown. don't let myself and daughter's death go unknown by what caused it. Black toxic mold!

1485 days ago

Richard Arsenault    

“Doctor: No Way Toxic Mold Killed Brittany Murphy, Husband” AOL -- by Catherine Donaldson-Evans

This AOL article lamely attempted to discredit TMZ. Here's why AOL is very very wrong in their article:

AOL and its author are in serious danger of litigation from this article and its consequences. Not only has AOL committed journalistic fraud on a health crisis impacting millions of Americans, but you have deliberately given dangeous medical and remediation advice that will cause injury and possibly morbidity to thousands of trusting readers. You will notice that EVERY case-specific argument is invalid, there are gross scientific facts that are lies or gross misrepresentations in the article, and you actually give remediation advice? Is $$$$$$ a word?

Dr. Len Horovitz should have his medical license suspended for commenting on a case where he knows nothing about the victims or the environment. How can a physician make these case-specific comments in your article with:

1) No allergy studies
2) No blood antibody studies
3) No air samples
4) No qualified inspections of the property
5) No fungal studies in the sinus or lungs

AOL's "experts" say "the chances that mold could cause pneumonia, particularly a lethal strain, in two young people are highly improbable" ABSURD! You NEED to quote the names of these experts along with their credentials on the subject. We have hundreds of very experienced doctors in the US treating mold victims, and we all know the dozens of bought and paid for physicians who deny mold as a matter of finance. WHO are your experts AOL? NAME THEM.

How then, doctor can you have an opinion?

Next, what about these statements:

"mold is rarely, if ever, deadly" Absolutely false. PROVING mold is the primary cause of death is rate. Mold as a co-factor is an epidemic across the nation, and the doctor knows that.

"There's probably just as much mold in her shower as there is in yours." Excuse me? What does mold in shower have to do with chronic long term exposure? Dr. Horovitz, property insurance defense can't even use that asinine backwards logic any more. How the hell can AOL print such a grossly ignorant statement?

"If they had a mold problem, the environmental inspectors would come in. They wouldn't go to the hospital over it, and they certainly wouldn't die over it." Is this "doctor" implying that the patient should be able to self-diagnose when they are environmentally exposed or have a hidden cause of illness? Tell that to the millions who have died from unnoticed heart conditions, you damn fool. You are actually blaming the victims that they would have gone to a hospital from acute mold exposure? What kind of insane logic is that for a modern doctor. Plus, with a mother like Sharon, even now denying the possibility of mold, do you really think they would have come to the conclusion that mold caused their illness?

“Symptoms of mold exposure are similar to those that accompany asthma and allergies: shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and sinus problems” Good, you’ve covered the allergenic effects. What about the irritant effects? And, what about the toxigenic effects.

“In rare cases, mold can cause a certain type of fungal pneumonia in people with severely compromised immune systems, like those with HIV.” True, fungal infections are -- where the fungus is actually growing in the patient. It is most common with sinusitus -- which the national institute of health says is practically always mold infection. But, you don’t need fungal pneumonia to have pneumonia, do you? And, pneumonia can be deadly correct doctor? And, when you add immuno-compromise caused by mis-prescribed medications to cover mold symptoms, you have a person who may be weakened to the point approaching HIV.

"Mold does not cause anemia” This is a lie. How can you make such a broad statement that is absolutely false? Mold and mycotoxins can absolutely impact red blood count, and increase white blood cells -- and that’s just the beginning of how it can impact bloodwork. How can this doctor lie like this?

Shame on you AOL! But wait, there’s more:

“Mold that is black in color is a common household variety and tends to lurk on painted or wallpapered walls and in carpet, tile, insulation and upholstery, DIYLife reported. “ Excuse me? Again, there are hundreds of thousands of species of mold and many go through a black phase. Are you speaking of stachybotrys or fusarium? Based on the blanket ignorance of your article, I assume you mean the former, but the latter is up to 100 times more deadly. You really don’t have any idea what you are talking about do you AOL?

The L.A. County Health Department is the WORST SOURCE of information on this issue. Ask Betsy Polatis (if she works there) about her qualifications on the subject. She is completely incompetent on the subject and Betsy will not admit you have mold unless she sees it -- even if 1000 square feet are concealed behind your walls and your children are dying. I know this personally.

The only statement he got right: "black mold" is vague as it doesn't identify the specific type" Somewhat true. stachybotrys, for instance, is only black during certain growth phases. Many other species go through a black colored life cycle as well. I would say the only red herring, doctor is this word... but that has nothing scientifically or medically to do with disproving this case -- that's the media's buzzword and has no relevance scientifically.

“wear a full face mask and get rid of it using a mix of 20 parts warm water, one part detergent and five parts bleach, DIYLife advises.” I AM WARNING DIYLife and AOL that you are 100% accoutable for those individuals who follow this insanely dangerous advice. The WHO, the CDC, the NIH, and OSHA should collectively slam you on the heads... and I pray you are held accountable for the poor souls who become injured by following your glib ignorant advice. But hey, to spice up your imminent lawsuits, DIYLife, why not just tell folks to tear out their asbestos themselves while they are at it?

Last, AOL shot yourself in the foot once and for all with this little factoid: “The Murphy home had been plagued by persistent leaking,” Aha! So there have been water leaks and inspections and even a lawsuit. My guess is that they want to sell this property but do not want to go through the economic hassel of Ed McMahon, who was also a mold victim.... and could not sell his mansion do to bad press.

Shame on you AOL heath. Shame on your ignornace, which can only be explained away as deliberate. You get a worse grade than “F” on this article. And, the millions who believe you can hold you accountabl for their mold damages, because everything you said is a lie that will harm and possibly kill countless readers. Shame on you!

1485 days ago

I 'SAY' FAKE...    

... STFU & GTFO. Sharon 'SAY's herself THERE IS NO MOLD "Em" THAT HOUSE... ALL THREE WERE/ARE 'MAJOR' *DRUG USERS* and SHROOM KNOWS *it*. Britt's *drugs* of "Choice" were alcohol, opiates "Em" *cocaine* - GET OVER *IT*... She ALSO had 'OTHER' Physical/m"Em"tal "issues" SO She SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN USING/"abusing" *DRUGS* OR ALCOHOL "Em" the FIRST PLACE. And AGAIN - Google "Secret Show Brittany Murphy Butler" LISTEN TO *the BUTTler "Em"terview for more "Em"for re: *DRUG* USE/abuse* "Em" THAT HOUSE. AND TO HARVEY LEVIN - DON'T BE A KOWARD - "Em"VESTIGATE *THE RUSSIAN ANGLE* OF Britt's Death... NOW.

1484 days ago


I'm a property manager in Redondo Beach for the last 3 years. I'm in the process of finalizing my move due to mold.

Within my first year in my apartment I had the misfortune of assisting the police to find one of my tenants dead. His apartment had mold but no one in my management company took that serious.

Later I was going to the hospital / ER which totaled 14 separate times. Including by Ambulance 5 of those. I personally had the mold tested and proved it was toxic.

In doing more research found that prior to this first dead tenant 3 others had passed away. About the time I'm learning this I have a tenant who needed an emergency heart valve operation.

6 ER worthy issues, 4 deaths in a span of 7 years in a complex of 30 people. Some barely over 50 and one was 73. Ask when the last time 23% of your neighbors died in a 7 year period? Pets also die, we've lost 4 cats in 3 years. Two after work began exposing mold.

Brittany's pneumonia and anemia are both symptoms of toxic mold exposure. She's denying this possibly because it's so hard to prove and until she has a case she needs to evaluate the downside of possibly selling her home at a loss because of it.

In my case the management also knows it's hard to prove and it took citations from the city to even get them to remove the moldy film covering 13 of the tenants windows. I have a disabled couple and an elderly Hispanic woman living in an apartment we are positive needs addressed. Mold tests requests are declined.

The sad thing is I have 4 deaths and broken families, 2 changed lives, tenants living in moldy conditions and no lawyer seems to feel this case is big enough to pursue. So you can imagine why Sharon would refrain from confirming such suspicions.

Feel free to contact me with questions about toxic mold. I'll point you in the right direction.

1473 days ago

Lori Tondini    

Toxigenic molds contain MYCOTOXINS. Mycotoxins are TOXIC TO EVERYONE, AND THEY KILL. Mycotoxins have even been used in biological warfare. Chronic infections, organ and brain damage, immune system damage,SIDS, asthma and other lung conditions, cancer,death; all of these have been linked to exposure to toxigenic molds/mycotoxins.
The general public must be educated in order to protect themselves from this 100% preventable illness/disease.

"Are You Moldy? The True Story of a Very Moldy Person"

1471 days ago


Mom will cover up the Mold Issue rater than being saddled with an unsellable multi-million dollar home and mortgage with tens or even hundreds of thousand of dollars it takes to rip out the walls and floors. It could take months to years for the process to make the home habitable. We suffer health issues because of Mold. Can TMZ put up a timeline of the past owners of this property including Britney Spears who sold it to Britney Murphy and husband Simon Monjack? Didn't Spears go mental at one time? Can a mold specialist show the mold was blooming during the rainy season? Just Google "KB Home Sucks" to read mold reports that do in fact cause respiratory failure when the home builder is more concerned with quick profit rather than building a home correctly. Love your show!

1471 days ago


"Sharon, wouldn't let the L.A. County Coroner's Office in to investigate the mold."

Hmmm...Perhaps she didn't want them to discover that the killer mold in question is Sharonsporus Murphyarum?

1465 days ago

I 'SAY' FAKE...    


1464 days ago


I have to respond to everyone who thinks they know something about mold and heath. Twenty years ago I lived in a house that was progressively killing me with mold. I had the exact health problem that Brittney and Simon had. I almost died from it, with lung infection after lung infection it would be very easy to be on medications to address all the system break downs your body has. I weathered the attack of mold on my body with an extreme diet. I was twenty pounds under weight with very thin hair and cognitive challenges. After a sewer back in my basement we found the mold and vacated the home. All health problems vanished...I don't take any meds. Mold kills and probably debilitated the health of this couple until other illnesses took their lives. My sympathy to their family and friends.

1464 days ago


One effective way to combat mold problems is by the use of desiccants like Silica Gel. These are the same small sachets you find in packaging of various products like electronics, garments, etc.

Silica Gel works by absorbing the moisture in its surrounding area. For most mold challenges, it does the job pretty well. Small sachets cost less than a dollar. It truly is a cost effective way of protection from moisture.

There is a lot more information on our website at

1415 days ago

Lori Tondini    

Toxigenic molds contain MYCOTOXINS. Mycotoxins are TOXIC TO EVERYONE, AND THEY KILL. Mycotoxins have even been used in biological warfare. Chronic infections, organ and brain damage, immune system damage,SIDS, asthma and other lung conditions, cancer,death; all of these have been linked to exposure to toxigenic molds/mycotoxins.
The general public must be educated in order to protect themselves from this 100% preventable illness/disease.
"Are You Moldy? The True Story of a Very Moldy Person"

1371 days ago


Those of us who have been poisoned by toxic mold know that it can devastate lives, destroy health and, yes, kill. For those suffering, look up Klinghardt Neurotoxin Protocol, Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, bioenergy treatments, NAET (to eliminate the many sensitivities you may have developed from being poisoned). It is unclear why more and more people's lives are being devastated from toxic mold poisoning. Perhaps it's behind why the honeybees have disappeared from the US. Perhaps we have chemically poisoned our environment to the point that we cannot resist certain things, such as strains of mold that used to be weaker than us. Perhaps our country is being poisoned by other countries in a way that will continue to weaken us further and further. What I do know is this: DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE OR DISMISS THE INCREASING NUMBER OF STORIES ABOUT TOXIC MOLD POISONING. IT IS REAL. AND IT DEVASTATES LIVES. SOMETIMES FOREVER.

1260 days ago
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