The shocking death of actress Brittany Murphy early Sunday morning is being blamed on "cardiac arrest," but the reason her heart stopped will probably not be known until the autopsy is completed. Murphy's mother, Sharon, found the 32-year-old unconscious in the shower at the Los Angeles house Murphy shared with her husband, producer Simon Monjack, at about 8 a.m., according to TMZ. Someone in the house called 911, but efforts to revive her failed and Murphy was pronounced dead at Cedars Sinai Medical Center at 10:04 a.m., a spokesman confirmed to People. A neighbor who watchedthe resuscitation efforts says that when she saw Murphy, "she was fairly obviously dead at that time." The neighbor also said Murphy's husband, Mojack, was "staggering around" and "in a daze" as firefighters tried to revive his wife. He looked disheveled as he returned to his house from the hospital Sunday.
Perez Hilton reported Sunday evening that Monjack "strongly opposes the Los Angeles County Coroner's office's decision to perform an autopsy on Murphy!!!!" The coroner's office still plans to go ahead with the autopsy. Earlier, blogger Hilton wrote, "Absolutely devastating. Especially because this comes as no surprise! We, and those who knew Brittany personally, saw this coming. That does not make this any less horrible. ... Lindsay Lohan and Courtney Love take note: that could have been YOU!" TMZ reported that Murphy's mother told paramedics that Murphy had been diagnosed with diabetes. It is not known whether this could have been a factor in her death.
In a statement Sunday afternoon, Murphy's rep, Nicole Perna, said, "In this time of sadness, the family thanks you for your love and support. It is their wish that you respect their privacy." Murphy's first significant acting job, at age 14, was in the series "Drexell's Class," which starred Dabney Coleman. Murphy appeared in "8 Mile" with Eminem, "Girl, Interrupted," with Angelina Jolie, "Clueless," with Alicia Silverstone, and "The White Hotel," after which she married Monjack, who was the film's director.
At the end of November, Murphy was reportedly fired from "The Caller," a movie she was working on in Puerto Rico, but her rep denied that she was let go, saying, "She was not nor has she ever been fired from any job big or small ... [due] to creative differences Ms. Murphy and the production mutually parted ways." Around the same time, Monjack reportedly got into a scuffle with some local people in Puerto Rico and was stricken with a mystery ailment as he flew home, arriving at LAX "incoherent" and requiring hospitalization.
Murphy had dated Ashton Kutcher, left, her co-star in "Just Married." On Sunday he Tweeted, "see you on the other side kid ... 2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine. My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany’s family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon." Alicia Silverstone, who co-starred with Murphy in "Clueless," told People, "I always felt connected to her as we shared a very special experience in our lives together ... I feel love in my heart for her – and hope she is at peace. This is truly sad." The two did not stay in close touch after the 1995 hit, said Silverstone, but, "I loved working with Brittany. She was so talented, so warm, and so sweet." Others took to Twitter to express their sadness. Jessica Simpson said: "Brittany Murphy was an incredible ray of Light to so many people. Her smile was contagious. My prayers are with her family and loved ones." Lindsay Lohan's statement said, "My deepest condonlences go out to all of Brittany Murphy's loved ones& may she rest in peace....She was a great talent w/a beautiful soul xo" Alyssa Milano wrote, "[Brittany] and I did a USO Tour together in 2003. [Love] She was a sweet soul, with a lot of talent and heart." Hillary Duff posted, "RIP Brittany Murphy forever in our hearts" Jeff Bowler, who produced the just-released film Across the Hall co-starring Murphy, told Us Magazine, "It's truly a tragedy ... She was a great person with a huge heart."
While analysts lined up to discuss the possible financial ramifications of Elin Nordegren's expected divorce filing from Tiger Woods, not much has been heard about the reaction of another woman in the golf star's life -- his mother, Kultilda Woods. A family friend tells People that his mother "is hurt, angry and disappointed in Tiger. She wants to know how he could do this to his family." Kultilda Woods is said to be "worried about" daughter-in-law Elin and grandchildren, whom she "adores." "She doesn't want to see them hurt," the friend said. She also supports her son, the source said. "She loves him and will support him through anything, but she needs some time to work through this." Tiger plans to spend some time alone on his yacht, according to the source. "He's devastated about everything he has lost," says the friend. "He'll go through some dark times. It's going to be a lonely Christmas for him."
The East Coast blizzard didn't affect Kevin Jonas's fairytale wedding to Danielle Deleasa Saturday night at Oheka Castle, a French-style chateau in Long Island. The 400 guests who turned out in the snowstorm were ushered into a fairytale forest under heated white tents. "The snow only made it look more like a winter wonderland," said Michael Russo, the Roses-n-Lollipops event planner who designed the lavish nuptial area."Danielle looked like a princess," he said. When she walked down the aisle in her strapless tulle and Chantilly lace Vera Wang gown, "Kevin couldn't stop smiling." The couple told People, "We're so happy that we're finally married and we were able to share the special moment with family, friends and loved ones."
He was born Dec. 8, and finally, after a trip "back to the drawing board," the son of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen has a name -- Benjamin. On her web site, Gisele writes, "I want to thank you all with all my heart for the immense love I have received here on the website. It is a pleasure to receive messages from each one of you here. I am living a very special moment in my life, Benjamin is a blessing and I could not be happier."
Kevin Federline was briefly considered to play himself in the latest "American Pie" movie, but then took a more humorous role -- as a Canadian border guard. Federline says, "They didn't want me playing myself. I think they thought it would be funnier for me as a Canadian border guard." Federline donned a wide-brimmed hat, brown uniform and shiny badges for a day of shooting in Vancouver for "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love," which will be released on DVD Dec. 22.
-- Anne Neville