THE AUTOPSY results aren't official yet, but Brittany Murphy's anonymous friends - and the London Sun - are speculating that the 32-year-old actress' heart attack was brought about by an addiction to painkillers.

Brittany ("Clueless," "Don't Say a Word," "Sin City") reportedly got hooked on Vicodin following plastic surgery. reported that some prescription drugs were found in the house but gave no details.

The Sun said that Brittany was reported to have been "unsteady on her feet" at the recent Hollywood premiere of her new movie, "Across The Hall."

In fairness, nearly every Hollywood starlet appears unsteady on the red carpet. Between the nerves and the tight dresses and the high heels, it's not easy to keep it together. And how many Americans, of any age, who aren't Jehovah's Witnesses don't have any prescription drugs in the house?

So let's not get ahead of ourselves.

On the other hand . . .

Brittany - who married British-born screenwriter Simon Monjack - had also been rumored to have an eating disorder and problems with cocaine. At one movie junket Tattle attended, a studio representative said quite matter-of-factly that she had an issue with heroin.

Any of those problems would have certainly made it more likely that a slender, young woman would die of a heart attack.

One unnamed friend told the Sun: "We have been very worried something like this was about to happen. Brittany has been living life on the edge. She definitely had a drug problem and we have all begged her to seek help. Sadly our words fell on deaf ears."

* Speaking of pharmaceuticals, there's little doubt that British druggie/rocker Pete Doherty likes to dabble. Doherty, absent from Tattle for awhile because he gets arrested so often that it's boring, got another reprieve from jail this week in a British courtroom, the London Sun reported, but when he walked out of the courthouse, he was quickly re-arrested for bringing drugs into the courthouse.

He was then led across the street and booked at the police station.

A packet believed to contain drugs allegedly fell from Doherty's pocket when he checked in for his court appearance.

A Stern warning

Howard Stern is threatening to leave Sirius XM Radio now that he's approaching a contract renewal, but analysts aren't taking his threats too Siriusly.

Sure, Sirius is going to want to pay him less than the budget-busting contract it gave him the last time, when it was trying to get off the ground, but it's not like Stern can get more money on terrestrial radio.

He may just have to "settle" for Rush Limbaugh money.

As of now, Stern accounts for about $80 million, or a bit less than one-quarter, of Sirius' annual programming costs. The $80 million covers Stern's salary, wages for his staff, and production and operating expenses, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The remainder of his contract is paid in stock. In his first year at Sirius, Stern received a stock bonus worth $82.9 million because Sirius' subscriber count exceeded an agreed-upon target by more than two million.

So Stern could just retire and enjoy life with Beth O. It's not like he's ever going to need the money.

We think he should team up with Oprah and take over the world.


* The two winners of the Tattle give-away for lunch for two at Varga (10th and Spruce) were Mary-Ellen Walter and Audrey Powell-Kinsey, both of Philadelphia. Congratulations!

* A California appeals court yesterday rejected Roman Polanski's bid to have his sex case dismissed, but cited grave concerns over possible judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.

The California 2nd District Court of Appeal announced that it had denied the petition, with justices saying they were "deeply concerned" about the alleged misconduct.

"We encourage all participating parties to do their utmost to ensure that this matter now draws to a close in a manner that fully addresses the issues of due process and fundamental fairness raised by the events of long ago," the court's opinion stated.

Although Polanski hoped to have the whole case tossed so he wouldn't have to return to the U.S., the ruling cast doubt on the handling of the case by a now-dead judge.

Oh, well, guess he'll just have to kill some more time in that Swiss chalet in the Alps.

* Let's see, Elin Nordegren married a golfer. He wrote a bad number on her scorecard.

Kate Hudson went out with a baseball player. She left him in the on-deck circle.

Carrie Underwood used to go out with a football player. She sacked him.

Now Carrie is trying hockey.

The country star and "American Idol" winner is engaged to Ottawa Senators center Mike Fisher, her publicist said yesterday.

No wedding date has been set for the pair, who have been dating for about a year.

"The couple couldn't be happier," said publicist Jessie Schmidt.

And if he cheats, like any hockey player would know, she could always curve his stick.

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.