Monday, November 25, 2013

Brittany Murphy's father responds to Sharon Murphy's open letter

In response to Sharon Murphy’s open letter to The Hollywood Reporter, AJ Bertolotti said, “This was to be expected from a disgruntled ex-wife, who even attempted (unsuccessfully) to question my paternity. Our contentious relationship through the years prompted Brittany and I to meet in secret on many occasions.

I find it interesting that Sharon reached out to the same outlet she attacked after a derogatory article was published by THR following Brittany’s death (Sharon said that Alex Ben Block's statements about Brittany's death in The Hollywood Reporter were "100-percent untrue"). It was written by Alex Ben Block, who also met with the Department of Homeland Security/ICE officials to discuss their extensive surveillance of Brittany and Simon.

Sharon falsely exclaims that I somehow stand to profit from learning the true cause of death of my daughter and son-in-law. That is completely untrue. I haven’t sued anyone for money with respect to Brittany’s death – Sharon did (twice and also considered suing the Los Angeles Coroner). I haven’t asked anyone for donations with respect to Brittany’s foundation – Sharon did and was later forced to return the monies collected under false pretenses.

I haven’t sold and would never dream of parting with any of my baby’s personal belongings – Sharon did (including Brittany’s passport, her SAG card, her used underwear, swimwear, clothes, etc.) I didn’t benefit nor ever sought to benefit from Brittany’s or Simon’s life insurance policies – Sharon did. After collecting on those life insurance policies, Sharon let Simon’s grave sit without as much as a headstone for years, until his mother Linda Monjack paid to have one put in. At this point, with respect to Brittany’s and Simon’s untimely deaths, I would ask people to think: Cui Bono? Therein lies the answer to this mystery.”

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Department of Homeland Security widens its reach

While the world and the majority of privacy-conscious Americans are rightly concerned with the NSA’s far reaching surveillance, the Department of Homeland Security continues its stealthy encroachment into every aspect of our lives.
For example, the DHS recently announced its new alliances with Western Union, the Department of Transportation and Amtrak. Additionally, the agency is proactively seeking partnerships with private businesses and organizations. In theory, these allegiances are supposed to combat human trafficking. In practice, this is merely a continuation of the government’s FinCEN methodology, wherein just about every financial transaction qualifies for a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). This approach is no different from the NSA’s efforts to indiscriminately collect every available morsel of information – simply because it can.
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Angelo Bertolotti launches Brittany Murphy Foundation

November 10, 2013 – Beverly Hills, CA: To celebrate the life and career of the unforgettable actress Brittany Murphy, her father Angelo "AJ" Bertolotti created the Brittany Murphy Foundation. It will strive to provide underprivileged children with the opportunity to study and participate in creative arts, thereby enabling them to express themselves in a positive way.
Brittany Murphy was born Brittany Bertolotti on November 10, 1977 in Atlanta, GA. Since her childhood, Brittany believed she was destined to become a movie star. She began receiving accolades in regional theater at the early age of nine. At the age of thirteen, Brittany landed several national commercials. After moving to California, Brittany appeared in TV Series and caught her biggest break co-starring with Alicia Silverstone in “Clueless.” She continued to excel in other films, such as “Girl, Interrupted” with Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie, “Sin City,” “Uptown Girls,” “Just Married” and “8 Mile.” Brittany lent her vocal talents to the hit TV cartoon, "King of the Hill" (1997) as the voice of Luanne. She also performed as Gloria in an animated film “Happy Feet.”
Brittany Murphy suffered an untimely death, under highly suspicious circumstances. Brittany’s early demise and the death of her husband Simon Monjack were written off as natural deaths due to pneumonia and anemia, in spite of the fact that both of them exhibited strong symptoms of a possible poisoning. Years later, Brittany’s father secured the release of Brittany’s hair, blood and tissues for independent testing. Initial testing already detected a toxic substance and further tests are underway. The Office of the Los Angeles Coroner admittedly did not conduct any testing for poisons or toxins.
On the anniversary of Brittany Murphy’s Birthday, her father continues to seek justice for his daughter and honors her memory with a foundation that will keep her legacy alive and ensure an opportunity in the field of Arts and Entertainment for underprivileged children. The foundation epitomizes Brittany's generosity of spirit, fulfilling her dream to help others realize their full artistic potential.
For additional information, please visit or e-mail

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Russian way to the American dream

The West Coast of North America has been attracting explorers from the Russian Empire since the Bering expedition of 1741. California is still the land of milk and honey to immigrants from all over the world, including those arriving from Russia. They learn English, acclimate and assimilate very quickly. Many Californians will readily say that they have Russian friends. Of course, most Americans can’t fathom the difference between Russia and other countries of the former U.S.S.R. Therefore, anyone from Eastern Europe is generally considered to be “a Russian”, regardless of their ethnicity or the actual country of origin.
Fresh arrivals to the West Coast often start their American journey in West Hollywood - a city in Los Angeles County, colloquially referred to as WeHo. It became LA’s own version of New York's Brighton Beach. West Hollywood is officially the most walkable city in California, with Russian stores, restaurants, pharmacies and doctors’ offices lining busy Santa Monica Boulevard. West Hollywood's Russian-speaking community is the most concentrated congregation in the United States.

WeHo is an eclectic mixture of different nationalities and lifestyles. Demographic studies show that approximately 41% of the city's population is made up of gay or bisexual men, sharing West Hollywood with approximately 20% of Russian immigrants, as well as a varied mixture of American artists, seniors and business people. A rainbow flag flies in WeHo’s City Hall, where posted notices are printed in both English and Russian.

This peaceful co-existence was recently tested in 2013. International debates over the possibility of intervention in Syria resurrected the Cold War sentiments in the mainstream media. The re-plays of James Bond films, featuring Russian villains, flooded TV channels. Politicians and talking heads on television repeatedly referred to Russia as an “evil nation” that cannot be trusted. Mainstream media demagogues, normally unconcerned with anything that takes place beyond American borders, proceeded to dissect Russian laws, events and politics.

Russia’s law that aims to protect the children from gay propaganda ruffled the feathers all over America. West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran encouraged gay bars to protest this law by boycotting Stolichnaya vodka. Numerous bars have removed the brand from their shelves and stopped ordering it from distributors. Some establishments went even further, publicly announcing that they “could not support any brand associated with Russia.”
The protesters in WeHo also staged an open protest, by ceremoniously dumping the contents of Stolichnaya vodka bottles into a gutter. While the protest did take place, no vodka was spilled in the process – as the bottles were filled with water, not spirits.

Throughout this controversy, West Hollywood’s Russian residents remained characteristically nonchalant. They traditionally avoid any entanglement in protests or conflicts. Russian-speaking émigrés are typically reluctant to interface with government or law enforcement. This prompted the city of West Hollywood to create the Russian Advisory Board, as well as to add Russian-speaking Deputies to the local Sheriff’s Department.
The cautious unwillingness to make waves stems in part from the difficulty of immigrating to the United States. Statistics reveal that immigration from the countries of the former Soviet Union has fallen dramatically and continues to decline. Some estimate that in 5 to 6 years, Russian-speaking immigrants will account for less than 1% of American passport and green cards holders. The Department of Homeland Security has extraordinarily low quotas for the number of visas available for the applicants from the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), as compared to other countries. Businesses that promise to circumvent this shortage are simply bilking hopeful immigrants out of their hard-earned money.
Another reason for the self-sufficient avoidance is the disappointment with the disparity between America’s shiny image as the land of dreams – and the cruel realities of living in the United States. While the standard of living usually improves for those who arrive to the U.S. with significant amounts of money, the reality is quite harsh for those starting from scratch. Highly educated Russian doctors face years of additional training to obtain a medical license, having to work as nurses, medical assistants or even lab technicians. Engineers usually have to put in at least two to four years of additional training and work experience, in order to receive a license. Education evaluation boards tend to equate Master’s Degrees from CIS countries to an American Bachelor’s Degree. Some employers (such as the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department) even claim that a Russian Master’s Degree means nothing more than an American high school diploma.

The cutthroat, dog-eat-dog approach from employers, landlords and co-workers is sometimes hard to handle for good-natured, trusting CIS immigrants. Many of them eventually return to their home countries. Others turn to crime and substance abuse, out of desperation. Those who stay and persevere, become valued members of the American society. Their plight to survive, combined with mistrust towards the government and law enforcement, is shared by many Americans. Indiscriminate mass surveillance, prosecutions of whistleblowers and infringements on the freedom of press have awakened the country to the deterioration of constitutional rights and freedoms in the United States. Massive unemployment and poverty add to the uneasy atmosphere.

As the American economy is struggling, the unemployment is on a rise. In West Hollywood, the unemployment rate is a lot higher than the nationwide average. Recent job growth rate is in minus. Formerly bustling Russian stores, restaurants and bakeries see a reduced number of customers. Busy Santa Monica Boulevard sits uncharacteristically quiet, in spite of California’s perfect weather. Patiently overcoming setbacks and disappointments in the melting pot of America, resilient Russian immigrants continue their pursuit of the elusive American dream.

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