Michelle Williams on Heath Ledger's death: 'My heart is broken'

Last updated at 17:50 03 February 2008

Heath Ledger's ex fiancée and mother of his 2-year-old daughter has ended her silence - saying her "heart is broken" over his death.

The 27-year-old actress and the Australian-born Ledger became a couple during filming of 2005's Brokeback Mountain in which they co-starred as husband and wife.

They later moved to New York, and had daughter Matilda who was born in October 2005.

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Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams

"Please respect our need to grieve privately," Williams said in a statement. "My heart is broken. I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father.

All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day."

Before they split last year, Ledger and Williams lived together in Brooklyn's quiet, tree-lined Boerum Hill neighborhood.

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Heath and Matilda

Last week, well-wishers left bouquets of flowers outside the four-story, sage-green brownstone with a black wrought-iron fence.

"His family and I watch Matilda as she whispers to trees, hugs animals, and takes steps two at a time, and we know that he is with us still," Williams said.

"She will be brought up in the best memories of him." Ledger, 28, died in his Manhattan apartment January 22.

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Michelle Williams

Authorities suspect a possible drug overdose, but the cause of his death is still pending the outcome of toxicology tests.

Police said several prescription drugs were found in the Manhattan apartment where the actor's body was found.

Michelle 27, has since been under intense speculation as to the cause of their split - most centered on reports that she kicked Heath out because of drug use.

Despite releasing a statement, Michelle made it clear she has no plans to speak out more.

'Please respect our need to grieve privately,' Williams said.

Williams, who also played Jen Lindley on TV's Dawson's Creek, was nominated for a supporting-actress Oscar for her Brokeback role.

When Ledger died, Williams and Matilda were in Trollhattan, Sweden, where she had been shooting scenes for the upcoming film Mammoth.

Though she was soon spotted returning to the Brooklyn home where the couple once lived together, she managed to dodge reporters and steer mostly clear of camera crews, and chose to stay silent until Friday's statement.

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