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Brittany Murphy’s husband, Simon Monjack, found dead.

Brittany Murphy’s husband, Simon Monjack, found dead. (photo)

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Five months after the death of his wife, actress Brittany Murphy, British screenwriter, director and producer Simon Monjack was found dead at the couple’s Los Angeles home.

According to the Associated Press report, police have already ruled out foul play or criminal activity in Monjack’s death, while TMZ says their sources indicate evidence of a possible accidental overdose from prescription medication.

Flying home from Sundance, I just happened to catch the following segment from “The Today Show” on my seatback television, where Matt Lauer interviewed Monjack and Murphy’s mother Sharon:

According to Monjack — who was, let’s not forget, a screenwriter — “Hollywood broke [Brittany Murphy’s] heart” (Murphy died December 20th of last year after going into cardiac arrest brought on by “a combination of pneumonia, iron deficiency, and multiple drug intoxication.”). He also insisted that the movie business had “blood on [its] hands” for its poor treatment of his late wife. Some, though, disagree. After her death, there was a lot of hubbub online about Monjack potentially negative influence on Murphy.

05242010_thecaller.jpgIn the “Today” interview, Monjack mentions Murphy’s departure from a project named “The Caller” and how that, coupled with the effect of negative rumors around Hollywood, cost Murphy a job on “Happy Feet 2” and greatly increased her stress level around the time of her death.

But according to Roger Friedman, it was Monjack himself who cost Murphy her job on “The Caller,” by showing up to the set “inebriated” and forcing Murphy to choose between him and the production.

Over on blogger Jeffrey Wells’ site Hollywood Elsewhere, director George Hickenlooper called Monjack “a con man and a bad guy” and claimed that his story credit on his film “Factory Girl” was a result of him suing his way onto the project. (Wells, for his part, called Monjack a “food monster” and later “an overweight scumbag”. In other words, his report on this turn of events should be pretty interesting whenever it arrives.)

I bring this stuff up not to imply Monjack had any part in Murphy’s death or that he got what was coming with him in his own death, but rather to observe that these rumors Monjack told Lauer about swirled around him as well. Depending on who you believe, they were founded of truth or jealousy. Maybe it was a little of both.

Either way, the echoes between Monjack and Murphy’s death are immediate and eerie: both died of cardiac arrest in the same room of the same house, and both were found by Sharon Murphy, Brittany’s mother. Regardless of whose blood is on whose hands, this is another one of those icky, sad Hollywood stories that happens far too often.

[Photos: The disputed “Factory Girl,” MGM, 2006; Rachelle Lefevre, who replaced Murphy in “The Caller,” on set with co-star Stephen Moyer, via Lefevre’s Twitter account]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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