Heath Ledger's accidental death

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 7 February 2008

Heath Ledger's accidental death

Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, autopsy results have revealed.

The 28-year-old actor, who was found dead in his New York apartment on January 22, was killed by "acute intoxication" involving a combination of six drugs, the New York City medical examiner's office reported on Wednesday (06.02.08).

Ellen Borakove, spokesperson for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, said: "Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine. We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications."

An initial autopsy, conducted just days after the actor's death, was deemed inconclusive.

The New York Police Department found six different medications in Ledger's apartment, including anti-anxiety medications Alprazolam (also known as Xanax), Diazepam (Valium) and Lorazepam (Ativan).

The 'Brokeback Mountain' actor was reportedly suffering from depression and insomnia in the months before his death.

Ledger's father Kim says the autopsy results helped put to rest rumours surrounding the star's death and hoped it would serve as a warning to prescription drug users.

He said: "These results put an end to speculation, but our son's beautiful spirit and enduring memory will forever remain in our hearts. We have learned the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath's accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.

"Our family enjoyed an extremely happy two-week visit with Heath just prior to the New Year. Those recent precious days will stay with us forever."

Meanwhile, Ledger's former fiancée Michelle Williams - who arrived in Perth, Australia, on Wednesday to attend the actor's funeral - is reportedly telling the couple's two-year-old daughter Matilda her daddy has "gone away".

A source said: "Matilda is too young to know why her father isn't around anymore. Michelle and the family are showering Matilda with love right now to cushion it so she isn't really aware. Michelle basically told Matilda, 'Daddy went away.' Matilda still doesn't grasp it."

Ledger is expected to be laid to rest in a family plot with his grandparents at Perth's Karrakatta Cemetery this week.

© BANG Media International

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