Lifetime’s “The Brittany Murphy Story” isn’t just about the deceased starlet’s rise to fame and paranoid downfall -- it also tackles her relationship with Ashton Kutcher. The pair dated in 2002 after meeting on the set of their romantic comedy, “Just Married.” The Lifetime “true story” not only highlights their public relationship, but claims that Murphy’s husband, Simon Monjack, shot down an opportunity for her to work with her ex again.
According to the Lifetime flick, Brittany Murphy (Amanda Fuller) and Ashton Kutcher (Adam Hagenbuch) were in a steamy relationship by the time that “Just Married” hit theaters in 2003. However, the starlet and her mother were initially cautious about her involvement in the film. At the time, Kutcher was making a name for himself in the industry through his roles in “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “That ‘70s Show.” Murphy’s mother, Sharon (Sherilyn Fenn), wanted to be sure that Murphy’s career was headed in the right direction.
“The Brittany Murphy Story” shows the couple making out during a promotional photo shoot for “Just Married,” but their relationship isn't just in front of the cameras. The duo spend time at her California home, hike in the hills and enjoys meals at Murphy’s favorite diner. While the chemistry appeared to be undeniable between them (although the Razzies would disagree), their different lifestyles drive them apart. Murphy enjoyed spend time at home with her mother, and Kutcher wants to party with the Hollywood crowd. The pair calls it quits, with Murphy explaining to her mother that they are just “too different” and that she is only “dragging him down.”
In the Lifetime movie, Brittany Murphy collapses and is rushed to the hospital shortly after her split from Ashton Kutcher. The reason behind her hospitalization is due to chronic anemia and hypoglycemia, but the tabloids report that the actress was on drugs.
Murphy denied these accusations, and continues to flourish in the Hollywood spotlight. However, things began to spiral after her mother’s breast cancer returned. Leaving work to care for Sharon, the tabloids publish rumors about drugs and wild sex. The actress is ultimately dropped by her agency and struggles to find work for a couple years -- until she met Simon Monjack (Eric Petersen).
Murphy knew Monjack from his time as a photographer, but he resurfaced in her life as an executive producer and writer in Hollywood. Simon Monjack wanted to reboot Brittany’s career, and the actress is on board. But the relationship between the pair bloomed from business to romantic. The two got engaged and Monjack began handling her career -- from scripts, to wardrobe, makeup and hair.
Despite a shady history involving debt, credit card fraud and an expired visa, Brittany Murphy and Simon Monjack wed in 2007.
By 2009 Brittany Murphy’s career was still struggling, yet her husband promised her that he had a role that would put her back on the map – a low budget thriller shooting in Puerto Rico, “The Caller.” According to “The Brittany Murphy Story,” the actress was simply happy about working. But prior to leaving for Puerto Rico she received an offer from Ashton Kutcher. Her ex paid her a visit to explain that he was producing a pilot for a TV show and that her name came up. Kutcher believed that Murphy would be “great for the lead” and approached her about the project. The Lifetime movie showed that the actress was excited and flattered about the offer -- but her husband was not.
“We’re just rebooting Brittany’s feature career,” he responded in the film, explaining that now’s not the time for her to return to TV.
Kutcher ignored Monjack and told Murphy that he hoped she would consider the part. Murphy shyly agreed in front of her husband and mother, but chased after Kutcher. Her ex questioned if she was all right and revealed that he never stopped caring about her. Murphy expressed the same feelings, but promised him that Monjack cares deeply for her.
While fans of Brittany Murphy will never know if Simon Monjack played a role in Brittany Murphy turning down an opportunity to work with Ashton Kutcher again, the actor did refer to the TV project in a 2010 interview with ABC News. When asked if he had been in “close touch” with the actress prior to her death on Dec. 20, 2009, Kutcher responded, “not really.”
“I mean she came in,” he explained. “We were casting a TV show that we were producing and I wanted her to play this role in it, and she came in and I got to see her probably about two months before she passed away.”