Ledger Daughter Inherits Estate, Launches Lawsuit

Just days after the late actor’s father confirmed that the whole of Ledger’s estate would be going, without challenge, to 2-year-old daughter Matilda Rose comes word that the ReliaStar Life Insurance Company is doing everything it can to make said estate worth $10 million less.

The company is allegedly refusing to pay out Ledger’s eight-figure life insurance policy on the grounds that his death could have been a suicide.

This, of course, despite the fact that the New York Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death accidental in an official report released in February. Read the rest of this entry »

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Daughter Matilda Was Heath’s Focus on The Dark Knight Set

Heath Ledger‘s maniacal twist on the Joker in The Dark Knight in no way resembled his true character off set – that of a proud father to his 2-year-old daughter, Matilda, his costars say.

“Because he died people want a dark story [that] he was so obsessed with the character, he was so contaminated by the Joker and he couldn’t sleep and all of that stuff,” said costar Gary Oldman, who plays Lt. Jim Gordon in the film, adding that wasn’t the case.

“In between takes he would sit on the curbside and smoke a cigarette and laugh and talk about his daughter Matilda,” added Oldman Sunday at the press day for the film. “I thought he was just a beautiful kid. I thought he was just wonderful. I had a real affection for him.

Ledger, who died in January, gushed about his daughter with actress Michelle Williams to costars on set.

“Heath showed me pictures of [Matilda] … [he] would come in and say she did this and she did that,” recalled Aaron Eckhart, who plays District Attorney Harvey Dent in the sequel out July 18.

But Ledger’s other love on set was for his character, the Joker. Eckhart added: “He really created his look. That character — Heath loved so much. He really cared about the Joker.”

Director Christopher Nolan said he needed an actor who would be “truly fearless” for the role and Ledger was up for the challenge.

“[For] those who knew him and those who had the privilege of working with him, it’s pretty amazing the disparity between the person he was and the monster that he created for us,” Nolan said. “To see that being created from this very gentle person is a real testament to his skill as an actor.”

Heath May Have Fathered a Love Child|Celebrity News

One of Heath Ledger’s estranged uncles claims that the late actor may have fathered a love child when he was a teenager, according to a report in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

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When he was just 17 years old, Ledger reportedly dated a 25-year-old woman – who discovered she was pregnant after the relationship ended and later gave birth to baby girl. Although the woman was living with another man at the time, Ledger’s uncle Hadyn claimed to the paper, “There is a very real possibility that Heath was the father.”

But in a television interview, Hadyn called this possibility only a rumor.

“It is a rumor and it is one that has been out there for sometime, not only within our family but certainly in the wider community of Perth and it’s certainly a rumor that I’m aware of and other people have certainly been aware of it,” he told Australia’s Channel Nine News. “It is only a rumor and I simply answered by saying yes it’s a possibility.”

The actor – who died in January at the age of 28, following an accidental overdose of prescription drugs – has a daughter, Matilda, with actress Michelle Williams.

His will, written before Matilda’s birth, left his entire estate to his parents and three sisters. Although his father, Kim, has promised Williams and the 2-year-old “will be taken care of,” the uncertainty surrounding the will has reignited a family feud between Kim and his three estranged brothers.

The long-simmering tensions date back more than 15 years, when Kim was made executor of his grandfather Sir Frank Ledger’s $2-million estate. “It plunged into enormous debt,” Mike Ledger, one of Kim’s brothers, said (According to Australia’s The Sunday Times, a Supreme Court judge eventually removed Kim from overseeing the estate.)

The brothers now claim Kim is not capable of managing the late Oscar nominee’s considerable assets. source
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Heath Ledger’s Family Feuds Over His Estate|Celebrity News

Heath Ledger’s uncles are speaking out against his father Kim’s handling of the actor’s assets, saying Kim has a bad track record of estate management.

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Ledger’s father so mishandled the management of their grandfather’s estate 15 years ago in Australia that Kim was removed as executor, the uncles claim.

“It plunged into enormous debt,” Mike Ledger, one of Kim’s brothers, tells people. Heath died in January at age 28 of an accidental mixture of prescription drugs – leaving behind a daughter, Matilda, by his ex, actress Michelle Williams. His will, written before his relationship with Williams, leaves everything to his parents and sisters.

Ledger’s uncle Mike insists the family has nothing to gain by removing Kim: “Our only vested interest is to assure that Matilda is well looked after.”

Mike added that Kim’s recent statement that Matilda “will be taken care of” was not enough assurance. “When you are talking about large sums of money like this,” he says, “it should be an independent executor, but Kim hasn’t chosen that way.”

Williams’s Father Raises Questions
Another of Kim’s brothers, Hayden, tells people that Williams’s father, Larry, asked him if Kim was capable of managing the actor’s estate. “I just said, ‘No, not if he handles it like ours,’ ” he says.

The bitter dispute among the brothers dates back more than 15 years, when Kim became an executor of their grandfather Sir Frank Ledger’s estate, which they estimate was worth about $2 million in the mid 1980s. The family patriarch was a respected engineer in Perth.

According to the newspaper The Australian, Frank’s daughters filed a motion in Supreme Court asking to have Kim removed as the executor. The submission to the court stated that Kim’s handling of his grandfather’s estate “placed the assets at risk.” A report in Australia’s The Sunday Times says that a Supreme Court judge eventually removed Kim from overseeing the estate.

Ledger Family Friend Defends Kim
Robert John Collins – an Australian executor of Heath’s will who has known the Ledger family for 30 years – said last week that Mike and Hayden’s allegations about Kim were “rubbish.”

Kim and his brothers have remained estranged since the dispute. In fact, Mike says that 17 family members weren’t even invited to attend Heath’s memorial and funeral in Perth.

“I’m his godfather,” Mike says. “We didn’t even have the ability or the opportunity to pay our last respects to Heath. And I tell you, that is terrible – that is so sad.”

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Heath Ledger’s Dad: Michelle & Matilda Rose ‘Will Be Taken Care Of’|Celebrity News

Heath Ledger’s family moved quickly to speak out Saturday after details of the late actor’s will were released showing he had not updated it since his relationship with Michelle Williams and the 2005 birth of their daughter Matilda Rose.

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“Matilda is our absolute priority and Michelle is an integral part of our family,” Heath’s father Kim Ledger says in a statement. “They will be taken care of and that’s how Heath would want it to be.”

Ledger’s will – filed in Australia in April 2003, before Williams and before his Oscar nomination for Brokeback Mountain – left everything he owned to his parents and sister, New York’s Daily News reported Saturday. A series of documents filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court revealed that the actor had less than $145,000 in New York assets at the time, including a $25,000 Toyota Prius and $20,000 in furniture and fixtures.

Ledger’s rep quickly squashed any speculation that Williams and 2-year-old Matilda would not be provided for. “The story is getting taken out of context and media is speculating that this means Matilda and Michelle will not be taken care of. I want to make it very clear nothing could be farther from the truth.”

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Heath Ledger’s Will Revealed|Celebrity News

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Before his Oscar-nominated role in Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger Before his Oscar-nominated role in Brokeback Mountain, Daily News reported Saturday.

The 28-year-old actor, who died of an accidental prescription drug overdose earlier this year, filed a three-page will in his native Australia in April 2003. The will preceded Ledger’s relationship with Brokeback costar Michelle Williams and the 2005 birth of their daughter, Matilda Rose.

A series of documents filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court revealed that the actor had less than $145,000 in New York assets at the time, including a $25,000 Toyota Prius and $20,000 in furniture and fixtures. His greater wealth, including trust funds, Australian properties and the Brooklyn townhouse he once shared with Williams, is uncertain.

It’s unclear whether there will be any provisions for Williams or Matilda Rose, now 2. The bulk of Ledger’s estate will be handled in Australia, according to the report.

The actor’s lawyer has asked a judge to seal the documents for privacy. Ledger’s spokeswoman, Mara Buxbaum, declined to comment.

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