Michelle Williams feuding with Heath Ledger’s family

Michelle Williams will be boycotting the upcoming premiere of the new Batman movie Dark Knight. Heath Ledger’s family will be flying in from Australia to attend, representing Heath. However according to the New York Post, the Ledgers and Williams are feuding over Heath’s will.

Part of the problem is that Ledger never updated it after he and Williams had daughter Matilda, now 2. His old will, written in 2003, had his father as the main beneficiary. However Matilda is supposed to be the beneficiary now, and the Ledgers have publicly stated that she will be taken care of. But Michelle has supposedly not gotten anything from the family yet, and is pretty upset.

HEATH Ledger’s father, Kim, mother, Emma, and other family members are flying in for the “Dark Knight” premiere on July 14 for what some are calling a “sort of tribute” to him – but don’t expect to see his ex, Michelle Williams, or daughter, Matilda. An insider said, “Michelle is furious with Heath’s family and threatening to boycott the premiere. Matilda is supposed to be the beneficiary of the will, but Michelle has seen nothing from them. Heath didn’t have much in cash, but there was a big house in LA and a back-end deal for ‘Dark Knight’ [that] could reap millions.”

Ledger’s will, made out in 2003 before Matilda was born, left everything to his father, mother and sisters. But Matilda is now considered the beneficiary, and Kim is the executor. Williams fears that by the time Matilda reaches 18 and can cash in on her inheritance, nothing will be left. Years ago, Kim’s brothers charged that he mismanaged their father’s estate, losing millions. A rep for Williams didn’t return repeated calls.

[From Page Six]

The issue of Kim Ledger’s mismanagement of his late father’s estate does appear to be a pretty legitimate concern, as all the money was lost and the estate ended up in debt. My first thought was that as an actress, you’d think Michelle Williams could afford to take care of Matilda just fine. But that’s really not the issue – Heath’s daughter has a right to what her father presumably would have left her.

Page Six doesn’t make it clear if Matilda is now supposed to be the beneficiary of the will legally or if it’s just that the Ledgers promised she would be. All of that said, it seems like the mature thing would be for Michelle to go to the premiere and try to keep relations friendly. It’s likely that Matilda will want to have a good relationship with Heath’s family as a way of staying connected to her dad. Hopefully both sides will work through their issues for that reason alone.

Here’s Michelle Williams and Matilda taking a walk for coffee in sunny NYC on June 8th. Images thanks to Splash.

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29 Responses to “Michelle Williams feuding with Heath Ledger’s family”

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  1. devilgirl says:

    The child is entitled to the fathers assests. Why should his father piss away another inheritence?

  2. Because I say So says:

    It’s sad how money can damage families. Poor kid

  3. Kayla says:

    Heath would have wanted his daughter to have these things! Isn’t his father afraid Heath may come back to haunt him?? He should be! That is a terrible thing to do to Heath’s only child who looks so much like him!

  4. Codzilla says:

    Well, I suppose if Matilda doesn’t inherit millions on her 18th birthday, she’ll just have to get a real job like the rest of us.

  5. Banana Boat says:

    @ Kayla’s comment- haha! I thought I was the only one who thought of that. I would be scared of his ghost coming after me! I can see this getting ugly fast. Michelle seems reasonable and like she has a good head on her shoulders, not like she’d spend the money for Matilda. We don’t see pictures of her gallivanting around to boutiques all the time (Lindsay Lohan! Paris!) so she’s not being greedy.

    This serves as a reminder to make wills especially if you have kids. Even without as much money as he has, it’s important.
    Matilda is adorable and looks eerily like heath, esp. here.

  6. Jess says:

    I believe that most states in the US have laws so that, if a child is born after a will is drawn up, the child is legally provided for (e.g., she’s entitled to a certain share of the estate, regardless of what the will said). It sounds like Australia does not have such a provision, and that the Ledger family has just said she would be provided for. This is a prime example of why everyone needs to keep their wills up-to-date – just to prevent such nasty fights from breaking out (family members should also not be put in charge of family estates).

  7. elisha says:

    Heath probably wrote his will in Australia… but here in the states I believe it’s true that when the parent dies the child automatically gets everything. This is clearly a special cicumstance since Mathilda was born afterwards, but I do believe she deserves everything. Maybe the HK Stern vs Dannielyn has some some precedence.

  8. mollination says:

    @Codzilla- Yes, and Matilda can tragically lose her father to drugs before she walks down the aisle like the rest of us too— OH WAIT, nope, that’s just Matilda and a few others who have to reconcile that at age 3.

  9. geekazoid says:

    teh little one looks EXACTLY like her father…

  10. CB Rawks says:

    It makes me absolutely sick when a family member dies and others move in like locusts, trying to take everything. It’s so obvious what they *love*, and it’s not the dead person.

    I agree, Matilda should absolutely inherit everything her dad had. She’s the only one deserving, as she is his offspring, and a tiny innocent child. Heath’s family must be deeply twisted to even think of taking anything away from her.

  11. Silly Lilly says:

    Heath was not obligated to take care of his father, HE WAS obligated to take care of his child in life. Therefore, Matilda would be the beneficiary unless just cause was established.

    MONEY splits the closest families apart. Shame on the father who by the way has been making EVERY licensure decision for the Batman movie and has created a climate of a frenzy over what is actually available of “the Joker”.

    So he is really raking in the bucks on his son’s death.

    That baby needs to be taken care of. Its bad enough her father died senselessly.

  12. An Intelligent Woman says:

    Not being an expert and all, I believe this is how it would play out:

    In the U.S I don’t think the child (Matilda) automatically gets everything because, as is the case here, there is a will. Matilda would be protected under a state’s “pretermitted” statute which allows a child born after the drafting of will to inherit a certain determined amount.
    Without a will, Matilda indeed would have been the sole beneficiary.

  13. Mairead says:

    Interesting view AIW (above). The fact that the executors are in Austrailia, and it would seem the will was drafted and notorised in Oz, but that the property and major assests are in the US, and the child is a US citizen would make it a bit of a quagmire. In Ireland, and I’m pretty sure it’s the case in the UK, that each dependant (in this case child, as Michelle wasn’t married to him) is allowed a proportionate claim on any estate. In Mathilda’s case, that would be all. This provision should be respected in the will – so if a parent decided to leave one child with just a Euro, that child could challenge it in the court and get a more proportionate amount – maybe not exactly the same as the others, but proportionate. This is probably because in Ireland, the family unit is the core of our Constitution.

    If they’ve started to fall out, I’m surprised it happened so soon. However, perhaps she’s not attending the premiere with all of the family because she’s got work commitments? Or may attend a different premiere? That doesn’t sell as many copies though I suppose. 🙄

    I would like to point out that while Michelle can probably adequately provide for her daughter now, she seems smart enough to know that acting is not a guaranteed profession and who knows how investments will play out over the next 10-20 years. She’s very wise to be cautious.

  14. Bodhi says:

    I think boycotting the premiere would be a poor move, but I can certainly understand why Michelle would be upset.

    DAMN, if that girl isn’t the spitting image of her dad…

  15. olivia says:

    Matilda was named as co-trustee of both of his multi-million dollar homes in Heath’s trust, she’ll be fine. Google “Heath Ledger ‘Thank You for the Trust’ trust”.
    It doesn’t seem like a big deal if Michelle doesn’t go to the premier since she most likely would not have been invited if Heath were still alive considering they weren’t together anymore. Someone is just trying to create a story where there isn’t one.

  16. Bodhi says:

    And People is reporting that the families are a-ok

  17. Cinderella says:

    Matilda should received cash distributions from the estate to be managed by her mother. If Kim Ledger were a decent human being, he would see that this happens. Also, if properties are held in trust, I hope grandpa doesn’t have the authority to borrow against them based on his track record.

  18. Obvious says:

    But Michelle and Heath we’re still close even after the break up. There were rumors about them getting back together. And they also were rasing their daughter. By all accounts they were still friends, so she may have been invited.

  19. Sol says:

    Michelle was emancipated at 15 so she is capable of guarding her daughters money .I guess it might be hard for her or Mathilda to see Heath at the big screen so soon.

  20. gg says:

    I think olivia hit the nail on the head. I just don’t think the nature of the comments in the article involving the so-called feud sound realistic. The child will most likely have a nice trust in place, with a bank at least as a co-trustee. I would assume his earlier will makes at least a mention of future issue (children) in managing his estate after he is gone.

    It is not routine for a dead actor’s family member to be in sole control over a trust for a small child. They don’t just hand it over to somebody and go, ‘here you go, manage this’.
    And having learned their lesson earlier, I wouldn’t think the Ledgers would allow the same imbezzling to occur again.

  21. TERESA says:


  22. Mairead says:

    Teresa. If you’re going to suddenly appear and start libeling someone with no evidence to back it up, then at least have the goddam courtesy not to type in Block Capitals.

    Frankly you sound like an idiot and a daft fangirl who thinks that “their” celeb should only be with women they approve of; if they themselves can’t have their crush of course. 🙄

    What type of lawsuit would “straighten her out”? Certainly the grandparents won’t get anywhere if they try to sue for visitation – many grandparents in other countries have tried and failed. So in the long-term it’d just create more hurt for everyone involved and make life worse for Matilda.
    Oh nice one Teresa, you really want the poor little girl grow up in that atmosphere?

  23. lola says:

    This sucks. I feel for Michelle. She is strong and am sure she will bounce back from this. I don’t blame her because she has to look out for her daughter.

  24. gg says:

    Hmm, smells like the return of the farah, at 6:07. Somebody wake up the alligators and tell them they have got a visitor.

  25. Bodhi says:

    “Teresa”- Michelle is the farthest thing from a wild child. Dumbass

  26. countrybabe says:

    This is why getting married is not just a piece of paper. You can take it to court. Also there is supposed to be another child Heath had older than Matilda, so she would have to share anyway. Plus addinthe fact he’s from Austrailia. I knew there would be drama here.

  27. Issam says:

    damn… poor kid freakin money is breakin up familys round the world, maybe its a good thing te economy sux it makes people think more about it

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