Eight years after Heath Ledger’s tragic death caused by an overdose of prescription drugs in his New York apartment, his father Kim Ledger has opened up about the actor's last words - warning: this will break your heart.
Though many have speculated over the years that his death was suicide, marking him a tortured soul coping with the recent split from Brokeback Mountain co-star Michelle Williams, an autopsy report concluded that his death was indeed an accident.
“It was a one-off thing,” the Kim Ledger said in a recent interview for news.com.au. “That’s what killed us, because he was warned by his sister the night before: 'You shouldn’t mix what you’re taking for pneumonia with your Ambien.'" Ledger said his son had a very "cavalier boy's answer":
"He said, ‘Katie, Katie, I’ll be fine."
“Heath mixed a couple of drugs together with sleeping tablets and he’s gone forever. That’s something we [his relatives] just have to deal with.” He also opened up about the stress his son was under, "He was a young guy that travelled all the time for work. Even as a two-year-old, he hardly ever slept. He was trying to work and travel and do everything in a short space of time.”
"It just put his whole system to sleep I guess." Heath's death may not have been intentional, but in a separate interview with Daily Mail Australia, his father heartbreakingly puts full responsibility on his son.
“It was totally his fault. It was no one else’s. He reached for them. He put them in his system. You can’t blame anyone else in that situation. That’s hard to accept because I loved him so much and was so proud of him.”
Ledger is trying to spread awareness about the toxic effects of this type of lifestyle. Working with ScriptWise, a nonprofit that raises awareness about prescription-drug misuse in Australia, Ledger hopes that by telling his son's story he can help others who are struggling with addiction, and says that the best way to fight it is to reduce the stigma attached to prescription drug addictions.
Though his life was cut tragically short, Heath will always be remembered as one of the greatest actors of his generation. Hopefully his passing can be a tool for social progress and awareness.
We miss you, Heath.