Heath Ledger’s family responds to autopsy

February 6th, 2008 // 64 Comments

Heath Ledger’s family issued the following statement in response to the final autopsy report:

We remain humble as parents and a family, among millions of people worldwide who may have suffered the tragic loss of a child. Few can understand the hollow, wrenching, and enduring agony parents silently suffer when a child predeceases them. Today’s results put an end to speculation, but our son’s beautiful spirit and enduring memory will forever remain in our hearts.

While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.

Our family enjoyed an extremely happy two week visit with Heath just prior to the New Year. Those recent precious days will stay with us forever. We as a family feel privileged to have some of his amazing magic moments captured in film. To most of the world Heath was an actor of immeasurable talent and promise. To those who knew him personally, Heath was a consummate artist whose passions also included photography, music, chess and directing. We knew Heath as a loving father, as our devoted son, and as a loyal and generous brother and friend.

We treasure our beautiful granddaughter Matilda (to our dear Michelle) as well as an unbelievably wonderful network of close friends, forever, around the world. Families rarely experience the uplifting, warm and massive outpouring of grief and support as have we, from every corner of the planet. This has deeply and profoundly touched our hearts and lives. We are eternally grateful.

At this moment we respectfully request the worldwide media allow us time to grieve privately, without the intrusions associated with press and photography.

Wait. Is he talking about me? He couldn’t be. I’m never considered press. No matter how many times I wear one of those little cards that says “Press” in my hat. Then again, maybe a beer can hat isn’t exactly journalistic. Or maybe it’s the most journalistic…

Photo: INFdaily.com
superficial

  1. Willy Wonka's Wonkeye Factory

    You know what else will stay with you forever? Herpes.

  2. Willy Wonka's Wonkeye Factory

    To those who knew him personally, Heath was a consummate artist whose passions also included photography, music, chess and directing, and doing meth. and blow and heroin. and prescription drugs. And shots of tequila and Jake Gyllenhall.

  3. noneyobeezwax

    is accidentally killing yourself still considered suicide? just curious.

  4. The White Urkle

    I dont think I ever saw one of his movies.

  5. Carmen

    Rest In Peace, Heath Ledger. You were amazing, and no one can ever replace you. The world was lucky to have you, but Heaven is the lucky one now. God Bless you, your family and friends. We love you, and We will always love you.

  6. havoc

    He was a good actor.
    It was a tragedy.
    Remember him fondly.

    Now let’s move on….

    .

  7. The Beer Baron

    Lightweight.

  8. Reportedly, he has been invited to online talk show this weekend on a big site called (MillMatch.com) or something else. Some of his fans have gotten together there with waiting for him. Who knows his screen name on that site?

  9. Spazz

    Seems nice a nice normal family – what a shame.
    Why couldnt it have been one of the Spears kids?

  10. Ted from LA

    That is a well-written statement from the family. Now please let this man rest in peace and go back to haunting the living.

  11. D. Richards (Sadist.)

    Right. Like we’re supposed to believe Heath Ledger wasn’t abusing drugs. It wasn’t Heath’s fault, no. How could it be his fault? He was just obeying doctors orders (to mix fistfuls of downers).

    Way to go, family.

  12. FRIST!!!

    #8 I do, his screen name is “imdeadsostopbuggingme”

  13. tanya

    #2, lmao

  14. nipolian

    Come on Fish……give us something we can be really mean spirited about…..bring on the Brit!

  15. tanya

    “even at low doses” LMAO

  16. Dick Richards

    #8. Heath’s s-name at MillMatch.com is ‘ButtFishermansWarf’.

    Wrong again, Frist.

  17. OlderMom_1959

    by predeceased, do they mean died before?

  18. That was a really well written press release. That picture of Michelle and Heath makes me so sad. Poor Michelle and their daughter.

  19. Gerald_Tarrant

    Fuck, try to push the accidental death a little harder. He accidentally didn’t have the common sense of a rock and took too much medication. He was a moron that should win a Darwin award this year.

  20. Halverage

    It is complete denial and terribly irresponsible for his family to call Oxycontin “doctor-prescribed.” Oxy is a street drug unless you are suffering from terminal cancer or crippling pain

  21. Ted from LA

    #20,
    Tell that to Rush Blimbaugh.

  22. FRIST!!!

    How do you know he didn’t have cancer? Look at his thinning hair!!!

  23. The Beer Baron

    #22- or AIDS?

  24. I read the headline wrong… I though it said “Heath Ledger’s family responds to autoSPY” and I’m thinking, who the fuck is watching his car, and why the fuck would the family care? I swear, these fucking junkies never cease to amaze me.

    Ted from LA, YOU TAKE THAT BACK! Rash Limpugg had a problem… the 17 doctors that gave him prescriptions obviously agreed. Are you gonna argue with 17 doctors???

  25. Tits McCholo

    I can only hope he was really just f’d up and trying to sleep. I don’t want to believe he intentionally started taking all those downers for weeks in advance, just to have his cleaning lady and some “massage therapist” find his naked ass at home the day after returning from filming will Terry Gilliam…Seems a little far-fetched for a suicide.

    Finally, a word out there to everyone with a drug problem. ACUTE TOXICITY. Look it up. Toxicity is the ability of a chemical or physical agent to induce detrimental temporary or permanent tissue change or to detrimentally interfere with normal biochemical processing. Don’t do too much shit at the same time, even if “at the same time” was 3, 6, 12, or 24 hours ago. Know your drugs before you do them.

  26. D. Richards (Ugly.)

    #20? The previous Ledger post said ‘Oxycodone’, not ‘Oxycontin’.

    Oxycodone is the generic version of Percocet.

  27. shanipie

    I feel really bad for his family, I really do, truely.

    But WTF man, he was really fucking stupid for abusing those drugs. And the doctors should also be held accountable for prescribing all that shit. He was not SICK he didn’t need all those drugs. Maybe some helped him but that many drugs is rediculously harmful. The pharmacy who filled them should have also had record of what other drugs he had been prescribed so they’d be able to see interactions.

  28. shanipie

    I feel really bad for his family, I really do, truely.

    But WTF man, he was really fucking stupid for abusing those drugs. And the doctors should also be held accountable for prescribing all that shit. He was not SICK he didn’t need all those drugs. Maybe some helped him but that many drugs is rediculously harmful. The pharmacy who filled them should have also had record of what other drugs he had been prescribed so they’d be able to see interactions.

  29. angie

    I guess in this family, the baby stays up and the dad gets put down. For good.

  30. Rick

    Oxy and hydro both make your dick hard. I bet there was a hole the size of Jake’s mouth on that mattress.

  31. Matilda

    Well I certainly hope Daddy enjoyed getting high on all his pills. Hope it was worth it, Dad. Asshole.

  32. Chauncey Gardner

    Oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine. You know who mixes all these drugs at once? Drug addicts! This is the kind of shit junkies go to ERs and pretend to be in deathly pain to get their hands on. I’m pretty sure the ‘doctor’ who ‘prescribed’ this stuff for Heath goes by the name of ‘Feelgood’.

  33. satan's assistant

    so what did we learn? just because pills are prescribed doesn’t mean you can stuff your face with them like skittles. looks like the pill buffet was too much for the junkie. and he was a junkie and junkie’s typically die, go to jail or get their shit together…..so there is no shock here at his passing. the shock comes from the fact that people thinking he’s an amazing actor. i bet the same would be sad for pauly shore if he killed over from an overdose tomorrow.

  34. The Laughing God

    @8 the man is dead, dead you hear me!!

    @19 no he beat Darwin, we know of at least one legit daughter. Heath 1, Darwin 0

    The fact that there is no malpractice lawsuit leads me to believe that his “accidental death” due to “a prescribed combinations of legal drugs, in prescribed amounts” has all the validity of a Lee getting shot with a real bullet from a fake gun.

    I like how his parents address their love for their extended family, include their granddaughter, [and the world!] and leave the mother of the daughter in parenthesis. Classy!

  35. Doomhammer

    Im no Doctor, but I did stay at a LaQuinta last night and I can tell you right now that all the drugs found in his system were absolutely a sign that he used them in excess. No doctor prescribes diazepam, alprazolam, temazapam and doxylamine all at once, and on top of two different types of opiates like oxycodone and hydrocodone It certainly was used in excess and if a single doctor gave it to him (which I strongly dounbt) he deserves to have his license pulled.

    But again, to say this wasnt excessive use? Give me a fucking break. Of course it was. Heath was an ADDICT!! Why dont famalies get that denying that only hurts the addict. Thats why he is dead because his family didnt want to own up to the fact that thier son was an addict. Sad waste of life.

  36. The Medic

    Attn dumbasses:

    First, oxycodone, oxycontin, percodan, percocet are all the same drug in different formats. Period.

    hydrocodone is very similar to oxycodone, just a bit weaker opiate, thats all.

    And Heath didnt die from toxicity from these drugs, or poisoning or organ failure. He died from CNS depression. He took so many cns depressants at once that his brain stopped sending signals to his diaghram muscle (the one that makes you breath in air) which resulted in hypoxia followed quickly by cardiac arrest and death. Period.

    Watching ER or House or Intervention, or having an aunt who is a pill popper, doesnt make you a fucking expert. Im the expert, ok. Lets keep that clear.

  37. Dr AreUStupid

    #36, Close, but not quite. Oxycontin doesn’t have the same “buffer” that Perc does, so it’s MUCH more addictive.

    Of course, once you’re hooked on any one of these, any one of them will keep you from freaking out. Percs will work fine if you’re on an Oxy jag.

    Which, btw, pretty much proves that Heath was completely addicted to this stuff.

    I’m guessing that he was using a few different doctors to write him scripts, probably without even asking him any questions (not that THAT ever happens, particularly in NYC or Hollywood, where “movie stars” are f’ing worshipped).

    Was he stupid? Of course. Did he kid himself into thinking that they were safe because they were “prescription?” Stupid people often do.

    Oh, one other thing that people using opiates do: not shit. He must have been constipated like nobody’s business. One of the reasons he couldn’t sleep – aside from being strung out on dope…

  38. Dr AreUStupid

    #36, Close. Oxycontin doesn’t have the same “buffer” as the other perc’s do, so it’s a lot more addictive. I don’t know why they ever prescribe that shit outside of a hospital, because virtually NOBODY can self-use it without getting completely hooked.

    And once you’re hooked, any of these opiates will keep you going. Oxycodone will “fix” an oxycontin jag, and vice-versa. Like our expert says, the active ingredients are basically the same.

    The fact that Ledger had all of these indicates that he was probably using several doctors. If there is one MD aligned with all of those different meds, the Ledger’s just one the lottery – that dr. is screwed for malpractice.

    No, instead I’m sure that Ledger was getting drugs from different sources, who didn’t even bother to ask him any questions. Not that THAT ever happens in NYC or Hollywood, particularly with a “star.”

    Ledger was an addict. Probably thought that doing it via prescription made it safe. Fortunately he was hanging out with Rhodes Scholars, like the Olsen twins, who set him straight.

    One thing I can tell you he wasn’t doing: shitting. If you’re popping that many opiates, you’re packed like gunpowder in a cannon – which is about the only thing that will get you unplugged.

    Opiates are nasty shit. Pardon the pun…

  39. Anonymous

    Sissy,

    Can you please put me in touch with Jennifer? She won’t get back to me. I want to invite you and her to my wedding. I met a wonderful 78-year old widow with millions of dollars on your website, and I would like you two to share in my newfound joy. I owe it all to you and your wonderful website. Please have Jennifer get in touch with me. Thank you so much.

  40. CougarTexas

    i feel so badly for all of his family, and hope they can guard Mathilda from the remnants of all the nasty rumors that will always surround heath’s death. none of us, no one but heath and God, will ever know what really happened that afternoon.

    movin’ on…

  41. Fuckzilla

    Shit with that many drugs in your system Heidi Montag’s video might actually look good.

    But alas, we will never know….

  42. kellygrrrl

    every picture of Michelle and Heath she is staring at him with adoring worship. Things must have been pretty bad for her to feel she needed to get herself and her child away from his toxic habits.

  43. RENEE...

    That was a really beautiful statement issued by Heath’s family. It’s clear to see the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. RIP Heath.

  44. Skip Smith

    >>”It’s clear to see the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.”

    You mean his whole family are drug addicts?

  45. Princess

    talentless actor…good ridance.

  46. hm

    so, princess (#45), by your logic, all who are talentless should be done away with? nice. how about assholes like you who can’t spell?

  47. beejay

    #34 ,the darwin award #19 was talking about refers to an award for offing yourself in a ridiculously stupid way and thus removing yourself from the gene pool, alongst the lines of, a kid that is stupid enough to stuff marbles up his airway and suffocate , doesn’t get to breed more potentially dumb kids that might do the same, since this junky already has one kid I guess it raises the question does he still qualify, oh well I guess he can still get an honourable mention.(see darwinawards.com for more examples) I agree with the realists, people lets cut the crap , dude got high and “od”ed. this is what druggies do, and by the way, pushing a stroller around brooklyn a couple of times doesn’t automatically qualify you for father of the year, maybe he would have done better to check his ass in to rehab

  48. Skip Smith

    >>”#34 ,the darwin award #19 was talking about refers to an award for offing yourself in a ridiculously stupid way and thus removing yourself from the gene pool<<

    Yes, and what #34 is saying is Heath Ledger beat Darwin because he already reproduced, and thus his genes live on …

  49. Perth Girl

    RIP Heath – He is our town’s top export. You made us West Aussies proud. We have talent

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