Entertainment Tonight ditched plans to air a video that showed the late Heath Ledger partying at an alleged Hollywood drug party, after a lobby from fellow actors.
The celebrity show said in a statement on its website today that it was pulling the story. Out of respect for Heath Ledger's family, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider have decided not to run the Heath Ledger video which has been circulating in the world media, the statement said.
After phone calls from celebrities, including Natalie Portman and Sarah Jessica Parker, to the staff of Entertainment Tonight, the show decided to not air it during Friday's episode as previously planned.
The 28-year-old actor, star of Brokeback Mountain and the upcoming Batman Sequel Dark Knight, died on January 22 in his SoHo apartment. Authorities suspect a possible overdose, but details from the autopsy are yet to be reported. Police said six types of prescription drugs, including an antihistamine and pills to treat anxiety and insomnia, were found in the apartment.
His family is now preparing to farewell him at a funeral, expected to be held in home country Australia, in the next few days.
A preview of the video were shown in ET's syndicated sister magazine's sister show, The Insider. The video was allegedly made two years ago at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, while Ledger's girlfriend Michelle Williams and his daughter Matilda Rose were upstairs, according to Associated Press.
Ledger is shown standing in the doorway of a room at the party while drinking from a beer bottle. The actor is heard saying that he was going to get serious (word bleeped out) from my girlfriend for being at the party. When he is asked by someone why, he says: We had a baby three months ago.
He goes on to tell the person his daughter's name, and then says: I shouldn't be here at all.
New York-based publicist Mara Buxbaum, who represents both Ledger and Williams, lashed out at negative press from tabloids over Ledger's death and his life.
The speculation is heinous, she said, let this family grieve privately.