Monday, January 28, 2008

Heath Ledger 'feared losing access to Matilda in custody battle'

By Kate Schneider The Australian | January 27, 2008

HEATH Ledger’s fear of losing access to his two-year-old daughter sent his drug use spiralling out of control shortly before his death, claims a source from his inner circle.

Ledger believed ex-fiancée Michelle Williams was going to serve legal papers demanding sole custody of their child, Matilda, Rebecca White told The Daily Mail.

White, a personal assistant to stars who knew Ledger including Naomi Campbell and Anna Friel, said his dependence on drugs such as heroin and cocaine intensified after his separation from Williams.

"She (Williams) felt he couldn't be responsible for the baby because he wasn't responsible for himself… He got deeper and deeper into drugs as his fears of losing Matilda increased," White told the newspaper.

Ledger reportedly created a shrine to Matilda in a room in his Manhattan loft as his fears of losing joint custody intensified.

Matilda is set to inherit a multi-million dollar fortune amassed by Ledger over his successful 12-year-career, including properties and financial interests in several businesses.

Today Williams attended a small ceremony for the Hollywood star in New York, where he was farewelled privately.

Ledger's parents Kim and Sally Ledger flew to New York, where they attended the private memorial service in Manhattan with close friends, Williams and Matilda.

A large pine crate containing Ledger's body was taken from the Frank E Campbell funeral home in New York to begin it's long journey home.

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