Kim Ledger addressed Heath’s accidental overdose in 2008 at the age of 28.
“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,” Kim said. “That’s hard to accept because I loved him so much and was so proud of him.”
Ledger died in New York City after production wrapped on “The Dark Knight,” for which he later won a posthumous Oscar. The actor was filming “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” at the time of his death, and Kim said the pressures of fame and work greatly affected his son.
“There’s so much pressure on them to perform so even though your body is telling you that it’s not good and needs time, it’s like ‘just take these painkillers and keep going,’” he said. “That was the case with Heath. He had to be back on set to finish [the next day]. They were doing night shoots in the freezing cold and he had a weak chest anyway. He’d caught this [cough] and just couldn’t shake it but he thought he had to because he wanted to get the movie done.”
Kim said that Ledger’s sister had warned her brother about the dangers of painkillers and sleeping pills, which Kim said he received by just “pop[ping] in to a doctor.”
“In the case of someone with a higher profile it’s often a case of ‘what do you want’ instead of ‘what do you need,’” he added.
Ledger’s sister spoke to her brother the night before his death, urging him not to mix medications.
“His sister was on the phone to him the night before telling him not to take the prescription medications with the sleeping tablets,” explained Kim. “He said, ‘Katie, Katie, I’m fine. I know what I’m doing.’ He would have had no idea.”
Ledger is survived by his 10-year-old daughter, Matilda, with Michelle Williams.