The N.Y. Medical Examiner’s report on the cause of Heath Ledger’s death has been released. No medications were taken in excess, but a combination of the prescribed drugs Heath was taking appears to have resulted in his tragic death.
Officially, the 28-year-old Australian “died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine,” according to the examiner’s autopsy findings.
The late actor’s father, Kim Ledger, issued the following statement:
We remain humble as parents and a family, among millions 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. We hope Heath Ledger’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.
Heath Ledger (1979-2008) passed away January 22.
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 Williams) 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.