Brittany Murphy's widower has fired back at critics who blasted him for taking a pretty date to the Oscars less than three months after his wife's death, insisting his companion was the actress' longtime best pal.
Producer/photographer Simon Monjack was invited to attend the Oscars to witness the Academy's In Memoriam tribute to his late wife - and he was heavily criticized for showing up with another woman.
Monjack had planned on taking Murphy's mother Sharon to the Academy Awards but when she announced she was too sick to accompany him, the Brit asked his late wife's friend Hayley to be his guest.
He says, "(She was my wife's) dear friend, a childhood friend."
And he's appalled by the criticism that has been levelled at him.
In an exclusive interview with news show Access Hollywood, he says, "I've heard everything, and she is pretty... I wouldn't walk down the red carpet with a non-beautiful woman."
Monjack used the TV interview to clear up other "ridiculous" reports, linking him romantically to his mother-in-law, who lives with him.
He states, "We don't have sex, number one; number two she is a woman that has toxic neuropathy, which means she can barely walk. I live downstairs, she lives upstairs."
See more photos of Brittany here!