Seven years after his death, Heath Ledger’s sister Kate Ledger is keeping her brother’s legacy alive. The author and stylist told the Sunday Telegraph she makes a point to tell his daughter Matilda Rose stories about Heath regularly. According to the interview, Kate believes knowing details about her father will help her better understand herself as she learns and grows through life.
“I love telling [Matilda] stories about her daddy and how he grew up. I think it’s so important for her to have a good sense of where she comes from in order for her to get to know herself,” she said.
Kate told the Australian paper that at just 9 years old Matilda is “an expressive, creative, beautiful girl.” She credits the pre-teen’s mother, Michelle Williams, with providing her with “great grounding.” Williams has been raising Matilda on her own since Heath’s death, which was ruled an accidental overdose, in 2008. According to Kate, the 34-year-old has made sure to provide her daughter with a relatively normal upbringing for someone who is growing up in the public eye.
“Michelle really does keep things ‘real’ for her,” she said. “And her existence, although different from most, is as normal as possible in an abnormal world.”
Matilda is the only child of Ledger and Williams. According to Fox News, the pair became a couple in 2004 after meeting on the set of “Brokeback Mountain.” Not long after they began dating, Williams got pregnant with her daughter. Matilda was born in October 2005, just three years before her father's death.
Heath died suddenly in January 2008. His body was found in his New York City apartment. After conducting an autopsy, the chief medical examiner at the time ruled his death an accidental overdose. According to a statement released in February 2008, Ledger had six different prescription drugs in his system at the time of his death. It was widely believed that he had been abusing the medications.