Who Is Simon Monjack?

Brittany Murphy's life was cut short at 32 when she passed away this morning. The latest piece of news is that her husband, Simon Monjack, reportedly told Cedars-Sinai staffers that he didn't want there to be an autopsy. Who?

Murphy and Monjack got married in May, 2007, in a private ceremony. Previous to that, Murphy had been engaged and in relationships that ended quietly and without much explanation. Most publicly, she was engaged to production and management company The Firm CEO Jeff Kwatinetz (Kawtinetz left the company last year). In 2005, Murphy was engaged to Joe Macaluso, who worked with Murphy as the Production Best Boy on Little Black Book (he now works in Hollywood as a Key Grip). In an interview with OK Magazine, Murphy once had this to say about Monjack:

"We first met when I was 17 years old. We checked in with each other throughout the years and remained friends. The easiest decision I ever had in my life was getting married...He's flown around the world to make sure we spend every single night together."

When Monjack and Murphy got married, it was, for whatever reason, very, very quiet:

The hush-hush ceremony-and reluctant confirmation that a ceremony even took place-follows an equally quiet courtship. Murphy and Monjack didn't make any public appearances together and never announced their engagement, which, based on her dating timeline, had to have taken place within the past eight months.

At the scene of Murphy's death, it was Muphy's mother who discovered her. Monjack was noted as being "dazed" on the scene:

Murphy's husband, wearing pajama bottoms and no shoes, appeared ''dazed'' as firefighters tried to save her, Staples said. ''It's just tragic,'' she added.

And TMZ snapped him returning home. By any measure, anybody in any kind of grieving mode is absolutely entitled to feel as dazed or as frenetic or look however the hell they want.

But there's no question the circumstances surrounding this are, well, cloudy. Monjack concerning himself with whether or not there's an autopsy's certainly one of them. Another: there's almost no information out there on Monjack besides assertions of his "shady" nature on straight-Hollywood gossip sights that—while certainly trafficking in all kinds of rumors—all turn up the same kind of thing. One website's tipsters let loose on him: he drained his own family's cash on his film, he picked up women on J-Date, and he has some kind of reputation for a "con." They also came up with this:

He told me he was constantly tracked by the Customs & Excise in England - apparently he would tip them off about gun/drug smuggling on his aircraft and Air India. This is perhaps the funniest. He told me he had a homosexual affair with Damian Hirst when they lived in N.Y. (Broom Street). When they broke up, Damian gave him a picture entitled "I Feel Fine." Simon's ex-wife, Marcia, had damaged the picture, so Simon repaired it with glue (!?) He was frequently calling sex lines in Gambia.

So...who is this guy? Simon Monjack's a screenwriter who hasn't done much work recently. He was behind Factory Girl and did indeed write and direct a film called Two Days, Nine Lives that wasn't very successful. But Murphy's friends have been warning her off him for a while. The guy's had a past, and a substantial one at that:

Among his troubles: two warrants for his arrest in Virginia for alleged credit-card theft and fraud; an unpaid $6,087 legal bill, and a $502,910 judgment against him by a British investment firm. And Us Weekly reports in its new issue that Monjack gave his former fiancée, British film producer Taira Rafiq, an engagement ring he had told her was a diamond but was, in fact, cubic zirconia. "Taira tried to get in touch with Brittany to warn her," a Rafiq pal tells Us.

Where there's smoke, there's fire. Murphy was reportedly diabetic, and we're hearing from a tipster that she had heart conditions that would've prevented her from doing any kind of drugs that would've resulted in an increased heart rate. There're any number of possibilities here.

But some of them involve Simon Monjack, who's about to enter a world of unprecedented scrutiny. The Big Yellow Taxi law couldn't be applied more, here: fans of film didn't know what they had until it was gone. Monjack can mourn, and be presumed innocent of any wrongdoing in regards to influencing Murphy's life. In all fairness, he can even be assumed to be something that made Murphy very, very happy.

But he's going to have to answer for quotes like the autopsy one, and the incident at LAX coming from Puerto Rico last month in the upcoming days. Let's hope he has the right ones, for everyone's sake. Because from the sound of it...

On whether she wants kids: "I hope to have a few. I've always loved kids and babies and always wanted to be a mom. Hopefully soon."

...Brittany Murphy had no plans of leaving this world yesterday, or in the foreseeable future. People are going to want to know why it happened.

Update: MediaElites' Steve Huff has found one thing about Simon Monjack's internet presence to be very, very clear....He wanted you to know who he was married to.