A lawsuit filed Friday alleges that two celebrity news photographers set up Heath Ledger, who died of a lethal combination of drugs this winter, at a 2006 SAG after party, plying him with cocaine, then secretly videotaping him.
In the suit, the plaintiff, Jane Doe (a pseudonym), who was working as a freelance reporter for People magazine at the time, and recounts events that she says took place at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles.
She alleges that she and her boyfriend at the time, Darren Banks, one of the pair of photographers for celebrity photo agency Splash News named in the lawsuit, met Heath Ledger on the grounds of the hotel.
Her story is that Banks brought him, along with Splash photographer Eric Munn, to a room Doe booked for the evening assignment. Munn gave Ledger cocaine and the actor already had some of his own. Munn then left the room.
From the balcony, Munn secretly recorded everything. Doe claims she didn't know that she was starring in a celebrity video at the time. Once Ledger saw a camera, he demanded the tape be destroyed and the photographers agreed.
However, after his death, the tape somehow sold to Entertainment Tonight for $200,000. Entertainment Tonight and The Insider were hit with a storm of criticism after promoting their video exclusive about Heath's drug use.
The shows ultimately did not air the segment and issued an apology. This is one of several rumors that have followed Ledger's passing and cast a pall over the actor's legacy. He is also rumored to have fathered a second child out of wedlock.
Heath Ledger died January 22 alone in his New York apartment. He would have turned 29 this April 4, the same birthday as Jamie Lynn Spears.
The handsome, talented actor will be starring, posthumously, in his final movie role in The Dark Knight, scheduled for a July 2008 release.