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Heath Ledger's Death Was an Accidental Overdose

Heath Ledger's Death Was an Accident

We've tried to stay away from all of the rumors and speculation about the events that led to Heath Ledger's sudden and tragic passing two weeks ago, but the results from the the toxicology report came in today and the New York medical examiner has ruled that his death was an accident. A statement was released saying, "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.” In response to this news, Heath's family released the following statement:

“We remain humble as parents and a family, among millions of people worldwide who may have suffered the tragic loss of a child. Few can understand the hollow, wrenching, and enduring agony parents silently suffer when a child predeceases them. Today's results put an end to speculation, but our son's beautiful spirit and enduring memory will forever remain in our hearts. While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today 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. We as a family feel privileged to have some of his amazing magic moments captured in film. To most of the world Heath was an actor of immeasurable talent and promise. To those who knew him personally, Heath was a consummate artist whose passions also included photography, music, chess and directing. We knew Heath as a loving father, as our devoted son, and as a loyal and generous brother and friend.

“We treasure our beautiful granddaughter Matilda (to our dear Michelle) as well as an unbelievably wonderful network of close friends, forever, around the world. Families rarely experience the uplifting, warm and massive outpouring of grief and support as have we, from every corner of the planet. This has deeply and profoundly touched our hearts and lives. We are eternally grateful.

“At this moment we respectfully request the worldwide media allow us time to grieve privately, without the intrusions associated with press and photography.”

Heath's closest family and friends, including Michelle and Matilda who arrived today will gather in his hometown of Perth, Australia, for the upcoming funeral and burial of the beloved actor. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Heath's loved ones. May he rest in peace.


Join The Conversation
spicey123 spicey123 9 years
i was sad when i heard that he died. ihope he rest's in peace.
Ginger Ginger 9 years
xena wrote :I said the autopsy would have shown up also with Guaifenesin if the case was he got it for a cough and Guaifenesin DID NOT show up. Since Guaifenesin doesn't require a prescription and isn't an intoxicant, it might not be mentioned in the report, which specifically lists intoxicants, but could still be present.
kaenai kaenai 9 years
I don't know... I mean, it's most possible that the meds were given by separate doctors, but there are any number of reasons why he was taking them. Heath Ledger was not a stupid man, so I'm sure he knew that taking them the way he did was a bad idea. Accidental or not, there's more to this story. I'm just glad they're willing to drop it (at least long enough to let his family chill out). As for the meds and all the commentary about what they're good for, people have different tolerances for pain and the medications that regulate it. What is good enough for one person might not be good enough for someone else, and what one person reacts badly to may not even cause another person to blink. Medications are only harmful when you take more than your body can handle.
wicca_08 wicca_08 9 years
This is so sad - a 'lethal concoction.' My heart goes out to Matilda and Michelle.
pink_magnetism pink_magnetism 9 years
RIP Heath.
evermore evermore 9 years
Welcome home to Perth, Heath. I know the family has decided to do a private funeral here in Perth, but i plan on visiting his grave. Place some flowers and have a few words with him, that way i know it's just me and Heath alone. Instead of 20,000 people at a public funeral. RIP, you were so warm and comforting to a person you didn't even know, and i'll never forget that day, thank you for everything you did Heath. Goodbye.
aoitenshi aoitenshi 9 years
I'm glad this finally came out. It should put an end to all the talk. It's all so sad, and speculations just don't help at all.
Miss-Delicious Miss-Delicious 9 years
sooo sad! I'm relieved to know it was an accident, though I never really had any doubts. RIP!
thoroughlymodern thoroughlymodern 9 years
Thank you very much for the update Hopefully this will help give his family and friends some closure. Poor, poor Matilda. But it really is special that, because Heath was in the public eye, she'll be able to see so much of his work. It's probably even kind of nice that the paparazzi captured all those pictures of her and her dad together, however strange that may sound.
do-it do-it 9 years
popculture-whore popculture-whore 9 years
you're in the arms of the angel may you find some comfort there rest in peace
whatever100 whatever100 9 years
ombined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine. OOOOKKKKK. I'm sure gonna keep my comments to myself.
anabj anabj 9 years
beautiful words. I´m glad they love Michelle
machula machula 9 years
so long, heath
Xena Xena 9 years
katt09 me too. Ibuprophen was all I got. I'm looking at the ones getting percocets and such and it's hard to believe unless they had some really jacked up teeth and MAJOR sh*t done to them.. LOL
Xena Xena 9 years
no one is saying he was an addict, but he was abusing the drugs he had in his possession or else he would not be dead. It's not showing disrespect to the family, it's just the facts.
katt0911 katt0911 9 years
xena - i believe it was stated that he was abusing them in the statement "We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications.” They also ruled out pneumonia during the autopsy so he wasn't taken medicine for that. i think this guy was sleep deprived, probably depressed because he couldn't see his little girl enough and he was on these drugs to help him out, when they didn't work with the correct amount he should have taken he upped it himself, becoming his own 'docotor'. It's not right by any means to take so many pills, to us it's pretty obvious, but if this guy was that desperate for some sleep it has to make you wonder what he was really going through. People who are desperate for results will do anything to get them. In this case he took too many that day and he fell asleep. OH - and when i got my wisdom tooth out, i didn't get ANY pain medication!! what's up with that? lol... the dentist did tell me to take Advil or something though.
jc jc 9 years
Heath's death is definitly sad but.... isn't it common sense that you shouldn't mix all those drugs?
katt0911 katt0911 9 years
i'm so happy that all the ppl thinking it was illegal drugs were proved wrong. it's still so sad that it could have easily been prevented and in this we lost a great actor. but it also brings awareness that it can happen and it does happen.... still so unfortunate... RIP
Re88 Re88 9 years
How about just being sad that someone so young is dead. Why do some people keep insisting he was an addict? Guess what..we'll never know cause he's dead. Really, have some respect and let Heath rest in peace. Some people just love to make all celebs to be junkies and quite frankly, I find that sad. Can't we just stop speculation and mourn his death.At this point, I think the ones who keep saying he was an addict are just being disrespectful to his family.
HipMom HipMom 9 years
This is so so sad. I can only hope that this will at least raise a red flag about how dependent on medicaments America has become! It's sad that people onlt think about that after a tragedy like this :-(
browneyedchica browneyedchica 9 years
Thank you, Xena! I mean I liked him too, but he wasn't a god. If we were discussing Britney Spears everyone would instantly say "overdose."
ktseyf ktseyf 9 years
I'm just thankful that the results are out in the open so now the media can be done with all the ridiculous speculation. May Heath's family and close friends continue their grieving process in peace. RIP Heath.. we'll miss you.
Xena Xena 9 years
I agree Browneyed, no one wants to say YES he was abusing them, instead they want to say he was taking the meds because of pneumonia or sleep deprivation. You don't get prescribed those kinds of meds for pneumonia (where was the antibiotic he should have been on if he had pneumonia) And only one sleep med at a time, not 2 with 2 anti anxiety meds on top of that. That's just playing Russian Roulette with your life.
Xena Xena 9 years
Ginger I don't get why you just repeated what I said. Maybe you read my comment wrong. You said the Hydrocodone could have shown up because it in cough syrup. ------->I said that couldn't have been the case and that I'm sure he took the Vicodin ALONE (not for a cough). I said Hydrocodone wouldn't be prescribed alone for a cough. I said the autopsy would have shown up also with Guaifenesin if the case was he got it for a cough and Guaifenesin DID NOT show up.
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