Brittany Murphy's mother has written an open letter publicly disputing claims the actress was poisoned. The Clueless star passed away in 2009 at the age of 32, and officials ruled her death was caused by pneumonia, anaemia and excessive use of prescription medications.
However, the case hit the headlines against last week (ends24Nov13) after her father, Angelo Bertolotti, revealed high levels of "heavy metals" had been found in samples of the star's hair and tissue samples which he had independently analysed.
Bertolotti alleged his daughter had been poisoned, but now Murphy's mother has publicly refuted his claims.
Sharon Murphy has written an open letter, published by The Hollywood Reporter, in a bid to silence speculation about her daughter's death, calling the poison story "absurd".
She writes, "His claims are based on the most flimsy of evidence... The lab Angelo used, if you can call it that, is an Internet site that farmed out the actual testing, and then wrote horribly untrue things under the guise of 'analysis.' It mentioned rat poison as a possible cause and claimed to be able to say that a third party murdered my beloved daughter.
"To even mention that the heavy metals that were listed in his test are in rat poison, leading to articles suggesting Brittany ingested that or anything like it, is absurd. If she had, don't you think it would have shown up in the coroner's test of her blood and tissue?
"This report conveniently ignores what any good scientist will tell you: A hair sample can be affected by many outside factors, including hair dye, hair spray, prescription medications, foods, smoking the occasional cigarette and environmental factors. One cause we now know may have been toxic mould that was eventually discovered in that house - which may have been what really killed her. We will never know for sure. However, we do know the Los Angeles County Coroner did extensive tests and found that she died of natural causes. And now she is a real living angel in heaven."
Following the release of Bertolotti's lab report, officials from the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office have stated that they have "no plans to reopen our inquiry" into Murphy's cause of death and they "stand by our original reports."
Gritty drama For Those In Peril leads the nominations at this year's (13) BAFTA Scotland awards with four nods. Paul Wright's movie, about a loner blamed for a tragedy on a remote Scottish fishing island, is up for Best Film, Best Director, Best Writer and Best Actor/Actress (Film) for its lead George MacKay.
The young star will face competition from Martin Compston (The Wee Man) and Iain De Caestecker (Not Another Happy Ending), while the film will be up against The Wee Man and Fire In The Night.
Wright will fight for the Best Director prize against Kenny Glenaan (Case Histories) and Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon (I Am Breathing).
Ford Kiernan (The Field of Blood: The Dead Hour), Peter Mullan (The Fear), and Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary) are all nominated in the Best Actor/Actress (TV) section.
The ceremony, which celebrates the best of Scottish entertainment talent, will take place in Glasgow on 17 November (13).
Heavy rocker Zakk Wylde touches late hero Randy Rhoads' gold vest whenever he needs a little greatness in his life. The Black Label Society star was handed the special piece of memorabilia by Sharon Osbourne when he used to back her husband - and he admits he still cherishes it.
He tells Revolver magazine, "She gave me the gold vest he used to wear. Whenever any of my guitar player buddies come over, I go, 'You gotta touch the vest for the mojo'. I don't even have it in a glass case... It's like the holy shroud.
"I touch it for greatness for anything - if I'm gonna clean the dog run and I want to do an amazing job, I just touch the vest. It adds instant greatness to whatever feat you're trying to accomplish."
Sharon Osbourne ordered her rocker husband Ozzy to leave home and not come back until he had addressed his addiction issues. The couple was rumoured to be on the brink of a split earlier this year (13) when the Black Sabbath star went public with his relapse, admitting he had turned to alcohol and drugs again after previously kicking his bad habits.
Reports suggested Sharon had moved out of the family home during the crisis, but she has now revealed she threw Ozzy out in a bid to force him to face his problems.
She tells Thedailybeast.com, "He slipped really badly. Well, he didn't slip, he f**king fell. At that time in my life, I couldn't handle it. I just said, 'You've got to get out and come back when you're sober.'"
However, Sharon is adamant she would never divorce her husband, who is now sober again, no matter how bad his problems became.
She adds, "It was not a case of divorce. I would never divorce my husband. Ever. I love him too much. He's far from perfect, and I'm even further from perfect, but I've known him for 42 years, and we've been a couple for 33. That's my life. You just don't walk away from people because they have a problem."
Kelly Osbourne has been banned from driving following her seizure earlier this year (13). Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's daughter suffered a health scare while filming U.S. TV series Fashion Police in March (13) and spent several days in a Los Angeles hospital while doctors attempted to discover what caused her seizure.
Osbourne has now revealed she is taking precautionary medication, and has been told she cannot sit behind the wheel of a car in case she suffers a relapse.
She tells Britain's Hello! magazine, "I don't know if I'm epileptic or not - it's a waiting game right now. It's scary and confusing. I'm hoping it was just a stress-induced seizure, but I have to be on anti-seizure medication for a year and I can't drive in case I have another episode.
"Not knowing what caused it is the worst thing. There's a chance it won't happen again and I hope it doesn't, though I don't remember it."
Rock matriarch Sharon Osbourne has heaped praise on kind-hearted Sir Elton John for hosting his annual AIDS charity gala at his home in England last month (Jun13) even though he was terribly ill and in tremendous pain. The Rocket Man hitmaker was convinced he was suffering from a bad bout of food poisoning when he was struck down with crippling stomach cramps, but he was recently diagnosed with a case of appendicitis after seeking treatment when the pain became too much to bear.
His pal Osbourne reveals the 66 year old had been silently suffering with the condition for weeks, but he refused to cancel his annual White Tie and Tiara Summer Ball on 27 June (13), and carried on with the show in between vomiting bouts.
While co-hosting her U.S. chat show The Talk on Wednesday (10Jul13), she said, "All I have to say is that he was sick a couple of weeks ago at his White Tie and Tiara Ball. This is where he gains millions for his AIDS charity, and he went through the evening, he went to every table, he welcomed everybody and in between he was going outside, throwing up, coming back in... He just will not give up... He thinks of everybody else but himself!"
The TV personality also gave viewers an update on the singer's health, insisting he is already starting to show signs of improvement: "He's doing really well. He's at his home in Windsor and he's recuperating."
Rocker Ozzy Osbourne and Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher were once unlikely sober companions after striking up a friendship during a stint in rehab. The actress made light of the pair's relationship during the 2013 Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday (16Jun13), when she served as an award presenter, after spotting the Black Sabbath frontman in the audience with his talk show host wife, Sharon.
She quipped, "Ozzy, I haven't seen you since rehab..." before going on to introduce the category for Outstanding Special Class Animation Program.
The then added, "Our nominees, they take us into worlds we've never seen before, unlike, like Ozzy and myself, you've taken acid, in which case... yeah. Same dealer."
Fisher's comments raised a few laughs at the Beverly Hilton hotel, and, returning to U.S. talk show The Talk on Monday (17Jun13), Sharon Osbourne revealed the recovering addicts had actually been in rehab together many years ago.
She explained, "Everybody (at the Emmys) thought that that was a joke, but it's serious, they were in rehab together... After they came out of rehab they would go to meetings together and she would call the house... and say, 'It's Princess Leia (Fisher's character in the Star Wars franchise),' and (my son) Jack would go, 'Mummy, Princess Leia's on the phone!'"
Ozzy Osbourne recently confessed to suffering a drink and drugs relapse but is now celebrating over 100 days sober.
Sharon Stone is countersuing her former nanny over allegations she owes the actress almost $10,000 (£6,250). Erlinda Elemen filed a wrongful dismissal suit against the Basic Instinct star last year (May12), accusing Stone of insulting her Filipino heritage and religious beliefs before allegedly firing her back in February 2011.
Stone previously blasted Elemen's claims and branded the case "frivolous" - and now she is hitting back with her own lawsuit.
In her complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Hollywood star maintains her ex-employee borrowed $12,500 (£7,800) from her in 2010 but only paid back $3,000 (£1,870).
According to TMZ.com, Stone is suing for the remaining $9,500 (£5,900), as well as interest.
It's not the only legal battle Stone has brewing with domestic staff - a former maid sued the 55 year old last month (Mar13), claiming she was dismissed because she refused to do any heavy lifting after hurting her back.
What happens when '60s radicals go underground, take on new identities, and resurface to live downright suburban lives?
So many of us can look back at different eras of our lives and say that we were different people, but for some members of groups like the Weather Underground, it's quite literally true. The Company You Keep takes its cues from those members of the Underground who left the group and remained fugitives, whether literally on the run or figuratively, with new names and lives. What's especially interesting is that these radical leftists, who some have called terrorists, are now our parents and grandparents, our lawyers and professors, living normal — one might even say bourgeois — lives.
That's the case with Jim Grant (Robert Redford), an upstanding citizen, father, and lawyer who takes on the sort of do-gooder cases that are usually the bread and butter of avowed bleeding hearts and not well-to-do widowers. When a former Weather Underground member named Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon) turns herself in, the story falls in the lap of Ben Shepard, a hungry young reporter played by a bespectacled and smarmy Shia LaBeouf. Once Ben starts sniffing around, Jim's guard goes up, which only makes the journalist more curious. What unfurls is a network of former Weathermen, some of whom still live under the radar and on the run, and others that left the group before things got too hairy. None of them are particularly thrilled to see their former comrade come calling, either. Ben's trying his damndest to stay on top of the story even as the trail takes him across the country, but Jim's one step ahead of him. The question is what he's running away from or, as Ben suspects, towards.
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The Company You Keep gives up its secrets too readily. Sharon Solarz is more than happy to grant her only jailhouse interview to Ben so she can expound on her radical values, though it's not clear why she was planning to give herself up or how the FBI managed to catch her beforehand. The FBI agents are just a tad too cartoonish, like Terrence Howard's suspicious Agent Cornelius and Anna Kendrick's Diana, who helps Ben out a little simply because he's the kind of jackass who would ask a former flame for such a favor. Other flourishes get lost in the mix; there are nods to the changing landscape of journalism, like Ben's harried boss played by Stanley Tucci, and a truncated subplot that gives you the feeling something was left on the cutting room floor, to the detriment to the story.
It's hard to deny the gravitas of Robert Redford, whether as a patron of the arts, a director, or an actor. His strength of character lends The Company You Keep an air of seriousness that benefits this promising thriller, but neither he nor the impressive cast can keep this film moving. Some of the scenes are wonderfully tense, but the energy lags when the focus shifts to Ben's storyline. He does get journalism points for using a microfiche reader, though.
The movie already clocks in at 125 minutes, so some of Jim's cross-country travels could have been trimmed. The quality of the filmmaking, from cinematography to the music by Cliff Martinez, is hard to find fault with, but The Company You Keep doesn't linger after the credits roll.
[Photo Credit: Sony Classics]
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