One of the many shocking revelations in ‘What Happened, Brittany Murphy?’ is that her husband, Simon Monjack, secretly fathered a child with Elizabeth Ragsdale. Here’s what you need to know.
Ever since Brittany Murphy died from pneumonia and anemia in 2009, there have been many questions around her tragic death and her relationship with Simon Monjack, a low-level Hollywood screenwriter who would die of similar causes six months later. What Happened, Brittany Murphy?, a two-part HBO Max documentary, aimed to answer some of the mysteries surrounding her tragic death. In doing so, it uncovered a shocking truth: Simon fathered not one but two children with other women.
One of those women was Elizabeth Ragsdale. What Happened, Brittany Murphy? marks her first public statement on her secret relationship with Simon and their now 18-year-old lovechild. As the world takes in all the new information about Simon, Brittany, and their controversial relationship, here’s the scoop on Elizabeth.
1. Elizabeth & Simon Had A Relationship In The 1990s
Brittany and Simon allegedly met when she was 17 when he became friends with her and her mother, Sharon Murphy. Around that time, Simon became involved with Elizabeth, a woman from Paris. Their relationship was more than a one-off because…
2. Elizabeth Was Once Engaged To Simon
In June 1998, Simon popped the question to Elizabeth in a Harrod’s department store in Paris. However, at this time, cracks began to appear in Simon’s façade. After Elizabeth turned him down for sex, he tearfully told her that he had “spinal cancer” and was undergoing treatments in Monaco. Elizabeth acquiesced to his pleading, and they made love. “He was very rough,” she said in What Happened, Brittany Murphy?, adding that they had sex “wasn’t always when I wanted to.”
3. He Told Her His ‘Cancer’ Treatments Would Make Him ‘Sterile’
In September 1998, the two were together in Monaco, and he said that if they were going to have children, she had to get pregnant right then because the “sharp cartilage treatments” would make him sterile.
Simon’s mother, Linda Monjack, defended her late son, saying that he developed extreme paranoia after his own father’s death from cancer. “I certainly don’t think he went out to tell people he had cancer. I think he believed it,” she said. Whether or not he believed it, the results were the same: Elizabeth got pregnant in Monaco.
4. She Gave Birth To Their Son In 2003
Elizabeth’s pregnancy wasn’t a happy one. She got very sick while carrying her and Simon’s child. Elizabeth wanted to fly her sister and her family out to visit Monaco, which Simon shot down. A friend of Elizabeth’s started to get worried because she was cut off from everyone, and this isolation was taking a toll. One day, when Elizabeth came to visit, her friend said she looked like she had gotten back from a “concentration camp.” This friend confronted Simon and told him to take Elizabeth to a doctor – immediately! If he wouldn’t, then she would, and Elizabeth thinks this friend saved her life.
Simon said he wanted to have the baby on U.S. soil and flew back to New York ahead of Elizabeth. When she arrived in the Big Apple, Elizabeth called up Simon to tell her that she had arrived. He hung up on her. Elizabeth’s subsequent attempts to contact Simon proved useless. After Simon essentially ghosted her, Elizabeth called up his mother – and Linda revealed that Simon didn’t have cancer and that he had been using Elizabeth’s money this whole time.
Elizabeth eventually got in touch with the owner of the villa where Simon was staying. The owner said that Simon had already found someone else, which enraged Elizabeth. She turned her anger inward and thought about killing herself but didn’t for the sake of her baby.
In 2003, she gave birth to a son, Elijah Ragsdale.
5. Elizabeth Thinks Simon Contributed To Brittany’s Death
Simon finally contacted Elizabeth in 2007, after he and Brittany became engaged. Elizabeth said that Simon offered to buy her a house, which she believes was his way of buying her silence. “The stakes were a lot higher with him being married to Brittany,” she said. “He didn’t want anybody to know I was out there with his son.” Simon also threatened to come and take Elijah from Elizabeth, which is why she stayed silent.
“I know why Britany chose Simon. He worked his spell on her. And she fell for it. Like I did,” she said in the doc. She also thinks that Simon had a hand in Brittany’s unfortunate death. “When I saw Brittany Murphy getting really thin, I knew he had something to do with that. He loved anorexic women. He would look at me from behind in my jeans, and he would go, ‘Do you really think you need to wear those jeans? Because you know you look kind of..’” she said.
“I believe that Simon Monjack, even if he did not kill Brittany Murphy, he allowed her to die because he did not get her to the doctor and get her help,” added Ragsdale. “And I believe that he did the same thing to himself, knowing that he needed medical treatment. He didn’t get it, and he died. He would rather be dead than to be discovered as the con artist he was.”