When Heath Ledger died earlier this year from an accidental overdose, his will left everything to this parents and three sisters. It was written, of course, before the birth of his daughter Matilda with Michelle Williams. Many believed Michelle would file a claim for the estate, but Heath’s family has given the entire thing over to Matilda, according to the AP:
“There is no claim,” the newspaper quoted Kim Ledger as saying in a report published Sunday. “Our family has gifted everything to Matilda.”
The actor signed the will on April 12, 2003. It lists assets and cash of just $118,000, but the actor’s estate is believed to be worth more than $16.3 million, the newspaper said.
This turn of events is fortuitous for Matilda because TMZ reports Heath Ledger’s life insurance company is ruling his death a suicide to avoid paying $10 million to a trustee for his daughter who has filed a lawsuit:
Sources say lawyers for the insurance company have claimed Ledger’s death was “suspicious” — possibly suicide, which would nullify the policy. The company alleges in its answer to the lawsuit, “ReliaStar is entitled to investigate Plaintiff’s claim to determine if the ‘Suicide’ provision is applicable.” That provision states, “If the Insured commits suicide … we will pay only the amount of premiums paid to us.”
ReliaStar’s lawyers have informed Matilda’s lawyers they intend to take the depositions of Mary-Kate Olsen, as well as the masseuse who was at Ledger’s home when he died, Ledger’s colleagues on his last film, his agents, doctors, psychologists and others. Lawyers for Matilda believe the insurance company is trying to scare and shame them into submission. They believe ReliaStar is trying to drag the process out, for what could be years, to avoid paying the money.
Hey, remember that part in The Dark Knight when the Joker slammed that guy’s head down on a pencil? That was awesome.