It is heartbreaking enough when we lose a great actor like Heath Ledger. When the news comes through as chaotically as it did yesterday, though, it heightens the tragedy. We all heard speculation, rumors and inconclusive reports about Ledger's death Tuesday, and while some of it was true, most of it was not. On the morning after, things don't feel any more concrete, but we at Cinematical would like to keep you updated on what is confirmed and what is still not definitively known. Also, we'd like to share the statements made by family and friends, all of whom are in our hearts today.

The only bit of information that could really be corroborated last evening was the time of Ledger's death and that he was discovered in his bedroom (in his apartment, not Mary Kate Olsen's) by his massage therapist. Anything else you heard, whether it had to do with scattered pills or type of pills, may have been exaggerated. And until a medical examiner issues a certain cause-of-death statement, we can't even be sure if any pills were involved in the incident. So far this morning, we have learned that an autopsy performed on Ledger has been ruled inconclusive. The medical examiner's office also told reporters that the investigation into the death will take about ten days. Currently the actor's death is looking like an accident, and that is reportedly the "operating opinion" of the NYPD. Ledger apparently told the New York Times last fall that he had problems sleeping, which would explain any sleeping pills found on the scene. Some reports (such as those of rumormonger TMZ) claim Ledger had pneumonia, which could also have been a factor. But again, we may not have all the answers for at least a week.

Ledger's family is certain that his death was not a suicide, and have made their statements to the press:

"We, Heath's family, can confirm the very tragic, untimely and accidental passing of our dearly loved son, brother and doting father of Matilda," Ledger's father Kim told reporters. "He was found peacefully asleep in his New York apartment by his housekeeper at 3:30 p.m. U.S. time."

Kim Ledger remembered his 28-year-old son as a "down to earth, generous, kindhearted, life-loving, unselfish individual" who was "extremely inspirational" to those who knew him.

"Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life but few had the pleasure of truly knowing him," Kim Ledger said. "Please now respect our family's need to grieve and come to terms with our loss privately."

You can view the video of that statement here. As for Michelle Williams, Ledger's former partner and mother of his daughter Matilda, she has been cited as being "devastated," but hasn't yet given any sort of public statement. The only other closely tied statement comes from model Helena Christensen, who is believed to have been romantically linked to Ledger in the past year and who was reportedly on her way to Ledger's apartment when she heard the news.

You can read Cinematical's remembrances of Ledger here.

UPDATE: Reports were coming in this afternoon that a rolled up $20 bill was found on the scene, that it had drug residue on it and that there were drug packets also found in the room. According to the Associated Press, the police have now told reporters that the bill did not have any visible drug residue nor was there any illegal drug found, therefore they did not necessarily suspect the bill was used to snort drugs, though they do plan to test the bill to see if it features any substance.

UPDATE: The $20 bill tested clean.
categories Cinematical