Brittany Murphy's mother-in-law: Judaism saved my son

Devastated: Simon Monjack with his wife, Brittany Murphy

Devastated: Simon Monjack with his wife, Brittany Murphy

The Jewish mother-in-law of Brittany Murphy, the 32-year-old actress who died last year, has said that her son’s faith has kept him going, despite the “devastating” rumours surrounding the death.

Ms Murphy, the star of Clueless and 8 Mile, died on December 20 at the Los Angeles home she shared with her British husband, Simon Monjack.

Mr Monjack’s mother, Buckinghamshire-based hypnotherapist Linda, said she had been “devastated” by reports of her son’s questionable past and rumours of drugs, alcohol and eating disorders which followed the actress’s death.

“It’s all ludicrous,” she said. “He has made mistakes and has had some dodgy girlfriends before, but I know the real person.

“He has sworn to me that Brittany never did drugs. She was always terrified of dying and was always very careful. Someone who is fearful doesn’t take drugs. I really believe that.”

Mrs Monjack described her son as “very observant” and said he was regularly reciting the mourner’s kaddish in memory of his wife. “The rabbi in Los Angeles has been wonderful,” she said. “He has been absolutely amazing. Simon’s faith does keep him together.”

She also said that Ms Murphy had been “terribly upset” after she had been “passed over” for a role in the sequel to animated hit Happy Feet.

Her son had told her he was planning to take action against the Warner Brothers film studio.

“She was devastated because it wasn’t a good time for her work-wise,” Mrs Monjack said. “He was very angry. He is looking for answers.”

“I speak to him most days. He has good days and bad times — and some days are very bad.”

Last updated: 6:30pm, February 4 2010