More than eight years after Heath Ledger’s death, his father is speaking out and saying that the actor’s tragic 2008 passing was entirely his own doing.
“It was totally his fault,” Kim Ledger told the Daily Mail Australia. “It was no one else’s. He reached for [the pills]. 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.”
Kim added that the night before Heath’s January death, the late Oscar-winning star’s sister Kate actually warned Heath about the lethal combination of pills that led to his accidental overdose.
“His sister was on the phone with him the night before telling him not to take the prescription medications with the sleeping tablets,” the elder Ledger continued. “He said, ‘Katie, Katie, I’m fine now. I know what I’m doing.’ [Heath] would have had no idea.”
Heath was later found to have died from “acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine,” according to the toxicology report that was released following an autopsy.
Since the Dark Knight actor’s death, Kim has been working to raise awareness about prescription medication misuse, especially in the Ledgers’ native Australia. A United Nations 2014 World Drug Report revealed that Australians are among the world’s biggest recreational drug users.
“Heath mixed a couple of drugs together with sleeping tablets and he’s gone forever,” Kim said. “That’s something we [himself, wife Sally and Kate] just have to deal with.”
“He was a young guy that traveled all the time for work,” Heath’s father said. “Even as a 2-year-old, he hardly ever slept. He was trying to work and travel and do everything in a short space of time.”
The actor is survived by his 10-year-old daughter Matilda, whom he shared with girlfriend Michelle Williams.