In just a few days, Heath Ledger will be laid to rest in his native Australia, and his ex-girlfriend and mother of his beloved 2-year-old daughter Matilda, Michelle Williams, is grieving. Today, new details on the former couple’s love story have emerged.
What began as a storybook romance quickly unraveled according to a new story in People magazine.
"Well, certainly Heath Ledger was a partier," People Senior Editor JD Heyman told Access Hollywood. "He liked to go out, he was a known user of drugs, he used cocaine."
Creating an irreparable rift between Heath and Michelle, as Ledger was drawn deeply into a bi-coastal party scene, Williams was clear she did not want her 2-year-old daughter Matilda around it.
"He had a lifestyle that really wasn't — at least in Michelle William's eyes — compatible with raising a child and continuing in that relationship," Heyman said. "Even though their relationship did not work out, she did love Heath — she loved him very much."
Though her petite frame and quiet demeanor projects a sweet and subdued image, Michelle is an incredibly strong woman.
At just 15, she emancipated from her parents so she could work longer hours. And, like Heath, she was committed to her craft and uninterested in fame or the hype that surrounded "Brokeback Mountain."
"I don’t really have a sense of it," Michelle told Access as the film’s power grew. "I have to say that we live such an insular life in Brooklyn with the baby right now."
Heath and Michelle, described by friends as "kindred spirits," opted for a notably low-key lifestyle in a quiet Brooklyn neighborhood as opposed to Manhattan or Hollywood.
"Heath really did take this break up hard," Heyman said. "He loved the life that he had in Brooklyn, he loved being with Matilda. Particularly, whenever he was with Matilda people were blown away by his devotion to her."
Though Michelle ended their relationship in September 2007, after three years together, she is devastated by Heath’s death.
Heath’s other "Brokeback Mountain" co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal is also suffering, struggling to shoot his next film, "Brothers."
"Jake Gyllenhaal is the kind of a guy, when he's on a set, he's very friendly," Heyman said. "[He] likes to joke around. When he heard this news he went into another space and was clearly quite devastated."