It's been two months since Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose in his Soho apartment, and despite the salacious details of his death, everyone involved has remained somewhat tasteful about it. Memorial services in Australia and Los Angeles were tasteful, low-key affairs, and family members and friends (and Mary-Kate Olsen) have all kept their mouths shut about it for the most part. Until now. Ledger's family (not including Michelle Williams, the mother of his daughter Matilda) has exploded into squabbling over the management of his estate.
Cecilia Sarkozy, the ex-wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, is set to get married to PR exec Richard Attias in New York on March 22. (Friends say it's a "revenge" wedding.) Shelley Ross was so hated in her capacity as executive producer of CBS' The Early Show that CBS News president Sean McManus didn't even wait to find a replacement before firing her. Colin Farrell tried hitting on model Meghan Lowther at the Rose Bar, but found out the hard way that she has a boyfriend. The April issue of Elle features an interview given by Michelle Williams right after she broke up with Heath Ledger. New York real-estate giant Steven Fisher, best known for turning the aircraft carrier Intrepid into a museum, is trying to get his own TV show. Gossip Girl's Conor Paolo wants, uh, Daniel Day-Lewis to join the cast.
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• Esquire reports on how Heath Ledger spent his last days... except the story is not exactly true. Or, um, tasteful. [Vulture]
• Let the deluge begin! Media companies line up to bid for Weather Channel, which is up for auction. [DealBook/NYT]
• Wal-Mart appears to be irritated by Meredith Corporation's creative tactic of selling its magazines, which include Better Homes and Garden and Ladies' Home Journal, at the Dollar Tree store. [Folio]
• We see that the boys over at our brother blog Grub Street have picked out their future wives' clothing. Alas, we only hope their tastes improve a bit: A burger dress just doesn't look great on everyone. And we all know that drawing that much attention to your midriff is a no-no, especially if you eat as much meat as our co-workers do. Keep on trying, boys. [Grub Street]
Aussie supermodel Gemma Ward was one of many pretty faces romantically linked to Heath Ledger after his split from Michelle Williams in 2007. Though the 20-year-old runway star hasn't confirmed rumors she dated Ledger in the months leading up to his death, she has broken her silence about the late actor.
An autopsy on the body of real-estate broker Linda Stein, who was allegedly killed by her assistant Natavia Lowery at the end of October, has revealed that there was no marijuana in her system at the time of her death. This rips a hole in Lowery's defense strategy, as she has claimed she was driven into a rage after Stein yelled at her and repeatedly blew marijuana smoke into her face. It was that incensed rage, Lowery said, that led her to shatter Stein's skull with a yoga bar. But police sources told the Post that even a small amount of marijuana would have showed up in her system, and the toxicological tests on Stein's body, completed last week, revealed nothing. (Lawyers for Lowery say that she "made things up to get out of the interrogation room," including the marijuana-smoke story, and even the murder confession.) This is good news for prosecutors, who are trying to build up a narrative that Lowery had been using her boss' credit cards and bank accounts and killed her when she was caught. But it raises the question: Why did it take over three months for toxicology reports to come in on her death and just ten days for Heath Ledger's? Not that we're surprised that his got rushed through after all the public scrutiny, but that's an awfully big time difference. We fully expect an offensive Sean Delonas cartoon about this matter in "Page Six" tomorrow, most likely involving some bodyguards pushing around some wimpy gay forensic scientists, at the orders of a skeletal Mary-Kate Olsen.
SLAY EXCUSE BLOWN [NYP]
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Amy Fisher is unbothered that the bullet she fired into the head of Mary Joe Buttafuoco is still lodged in her brain. "I feel no sympathy for Mary Jo," she said. "I still have silicone in my boobs, and you don't hear me complaining. She can't feel her bullet, and I can't feel my silicone." Gwyneth Paltrow said that she and hubby Chris Martin are open to adopting a baby but that they'd likely get it from Brooklyn instead of Africa. Don't you know? It's CNN that is biased! They're the ones who have a problem with letting Fox News anchors appear on their shows, despite the fact that Fox News lets CNN anchors appear on its programs, the Rupert Murdoch–owned Post tells us. They're probably just scared. Pussies.
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Looking for a spiffy new place? Corcoran has got just the thing! A three-bedroom, two-bath, 4,400-square-foot space with a gourmet kitchen, office, and balcony overlooking the heart of Soho. Amenities include fifteen-foot tin ceilings, cast-iron columns, exposed-brick walls, a wood-burning fireplace, and one unique feature that will really impress your friends and co-workers: It's the very apartment in which Heath Ledger died. Yes, a scant two weeks after Ledger overdosed in his apartment at 421 Broome Street, his place is apparently already on the market. This is New York, after all, and as one broker tells the Post, "You don't wait around in a hot rental market like this." The cocktail-party anecdote that living in the deceased actor's pad will provide is going to cost you, though: According to the Post, the place is going for $25,000 a month now, $3,000 up from what Ledger started renting it for back in September. But that’s nothing compared with what they're going to start asking for it once someone says it's haunted.
Life After Ledger [NYP via TMZ]
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The NYPD toxicology report on Heath Ledger's death was released this morning. The combination of drugs in his system that caused his death included oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam (Valium), temazepam (Restoril, a strong sedative), alprazolam (Xanax), and doxylamine (a sedative found in NyQuil), report Us Weekly and TMZ.com this morning. "We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications," the medical examiner, Charles Hirsch wrote in a brief release. At the time of his death, Ledger wasn't under the influence of any illegal substances.
Heath Ledger's Death Ruled an Accidental Overdose [Us Weekly]
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Hayden Panettiere dirty danced with guys while her mom sipped screwdrivers and watched over her at an Old Navy party. Prince refused to walk into the 50th birthday party of his buddy Benny Medina until Medina agreed to come out and personally walk him in. Kristen Dunst's "erratic" behavior has friends thinking she may or may not be "on the verge of a breakdown."
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Heath Ledger allegedly did so much coke and heroin that Michelle Williams kicked him out of their Brooklyn home. (His publicist denies that he opted not to check into rehab.) Farrah Fawcett got $500,000 for allowing The Insider to videotape her chemotherapy. Alan Cumming ripped the disco ball off the roof at Le Royale, and then sprayed partygoers with Champagne.
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A flurry of Heath Ledger stories last night and this morning have thrown the tabloids into a tizzy. After a report yesterday in Us Weekly that claimed Michelle Williams had driven Ledger all the way up to the door of Promises rehab facility in Los Angeles, only to have the Australian star refuse to get out of the car, today the Daily News spoke with Ledger's rep. Mara Buxbaum, the beleaguered publicist who has been slaving away over Ledger's affairs even after his death, claims the Us story is "just one lie among many." And that's not the only tale Buxbaum's been battling.
• After pressure from Buxbaum and her publicity company, ID PR, Entertainment Tonight and the Insider canceled plans to air a video of Heath doing cocaine at the Chateau Marmont last year. Moments from the video were teased on last night's episodes. [EW]
• The Post claims it wasn't just cocaine and pot that Heath used regularly. They spoke with a member of his posse who claimed to have done heroin with him regularly and have witnessed him on several-day benders. A friend in the Daily News disputes this, saying he only smoked pot. [NYP]
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• Britney Spears looks great on the new cover of Blender — too bad it's not her body. [Radar]
• Stephen Chao, the former News Corp. exec who lost his job after hiring a male stripper for a company party and almost drowning Rupert Murdoch's dog, announced a new Website for how-to videos. First video: how to get fired in two easy steps. [NYT]
• Now that Judith Regan's settled her suit with Murdoch, will she give her winnings — likely north of $6.5 million — to charity like she once promised? [Mixed Media/Portfolio]