TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Heath's Death Could Be Natural Causes

1/27/2008 12:59 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Heath LedgerIt sounds strange, but sources intimately connected with the Heath Ledger investigation tell TMZ it's possible the actor died of natural causes.

The reason they think that -- it's now appearing that the level of toxicity (from medication) in Ledger's system was low enough that it may not have caused his death. These sources say Heath's heart stopped. It could have been a heart attack but it's not certain, at least not yet. Although it's bizarre that a 28-year-old could die of natural causes, it happens.

We've also learned authorities do not believe the housekeeper heard Ledger snoring when she walked in his bedroom at around 1:00 PM. Sources tell us, a fireman observed rigor mortis in Ledger's jaw shortly after arriving on scene at around 3:30 PM. Sources say they now believe Ledger was dead for around three hours prior to their arrival, so they don't believe the housekeeper could have heard snoring.

Authorities are also annoyed at news reports that there may have been a sinister plot to remove illegal drugs from Ledger's apartment before cops and firemen arrived. There are reports out there that the masseuse called Mary-Kate Olsen and a plot was hatched to have her bodyguard remove certain drugs. Authorities tell us that's impossible, because the cops were there the entire time the bodyguard was present and there would have been no opportunity to carry out such a plan. They say it's a made up story.

As we first reported, the masseuse contacted the bodyguard because she knew he was a licensed EMT.

573 COMMENTS

No Avatar

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments
1.

Phineas T. Thunderballs    

The housekeeper said she heard him snoring at 1:00PM, she could have been in the same room as him and poisined him with drugs, therefore she is a suspect.

2455 days ago
2.

maysunshines    

actually it is possible to stop breathing / heart stop beating just by taking the wrong combination of prescribition drugs such as sleeping pills like Ambien, and anti-anxiety drugs like Valium when you have pnuemonia or acute bronchitis and dont have an albuterol inhaler to open up your bronchioles, more likely to happen in your sleep. Technically it wouldnt be an overdose tho the prescribed meds in the wrong combo definitely contribute, and would technically be "natural causes"...I bet you more than anything that is what happened. Probably would have never happened if he hadnt had the pneumonia / respiratory condition to start with.

2455 days ago
3.

Esther    

According to the previous comments by T123Sparky as follows,

511. "All I know is my husband went to bed, I heard him suddenly start to snore, rather loudly and then it stopped so I decided to go to bed and found him already dead of sudden cardiac arrest and he was only 40. It was a complete shock and we did not even know (married over 20 years) he had 2 forms of hereditary heart disease. The coroner told me that it appeared to be heart related but could not list the cause of death on the death certificate until the toxicology reports came back to make sure it was not brought on or escalated by any drugs in his system. He also told me the snoring I heard was probably his final aspirations which is common upon death. So the story sounds all too possible and familiar to me. R.I.P. Heath!"

Posted at 6:54AM on Jan 28th 2008 by T123Sparky

Heath probably was already suffered by a sudden cardiac arrest and followed by a loud snoring as reported by the housekeeper. If the housekeeper had enough healthcare experience, she would have noticed the abnormal symptom and called 911.

However, such type of sudden death as the case of the Olympic gold-medalist ice skater Sergei Grinkov heart arrest problem, was a unforeseen tragic loss.

http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1997/397_hart.html

2455 days ago
4.

tacoma    

your a sick one cartman!

2455 days ago
5.

Lana DeFiorantino    

To Drug Danger!

I take about 7 different drugs a day. Otherwise, I'd be dead. I also exercise, eat healthfully, wear a hat in the sun, floss my teeth twice a day, and get a yearly check-up. I'm 34, but most people take me for 16. I once drank a cup of St. John's wort tea and was sick for two days. So, you think I ought to give up the drugs? I think my boss, my clients, my husband, and my son would heartily disagree.

2454 days ago
6.

j    

FINALLY LET HIM REST IN PEACE.AND THE FAMILY EVERY TIME A STAR DIES THEY TRY TO PULL THEM DOWN WHY TO SELL PAPERS.SAY NICE THINGS THAT SELLS TO.

2454 days ago
7.

CB    

Gee, Image. A celebrity actually having the audacity to die of natural causes so that the vultures that are papparazzi can't cash in on it. Rest in Peace Heath.

2454 days ago
8.

Phineas T. Thunderballs    

His girlfriend and daughter looked so nice its a shame that the daughter could not experience her real father.

2454 days ago
9.

Baseball Junkie    

Phineas T. Thunderballs, While your scenario is technically possible, I'd like to know how she got the drugs into him, esp. since they didn't show up on the preliminary tox. panel. I mean, have you ever tried to give pills to an uunconscious person? And unless she was very careful an injection site would have shown up on the autopsy. I'm sure they were looking to see if he was using injected drugs since he had been a drug user before. Also how would she benefit? She lost her job when he died. If someone paid her to kill him (which would have been physically difficult), who was it? Who benefits from his death? Who are his heirs? I assume most of it will go to his daughter in which case the question becomes how is the money administered? And who is in charge of it?

Sorry if I sound morbid but I'm a mystery writer. I always consider these scenarios. Force of habit I guess.

2454 days ago
10.

Baseball Junkie    

Thank you, Lana. I take 18 different medications, vitamins, minerals and other supplements all prescribed by my doctors. I make sure that my doctors know what I'm taking, I talk to the pharmacist where I get them filled and I check the PDR myself for interactions. A couple of times a doctor has prescribed a drug which would interact badly with the others and I didn't go back to that doctor. Like you, all of my medical conditions are controlled by my medications and I live a full productive life. Like you, most people think I'm younger than I am (50 but thought to be 35-40). And. like you, everyone around me is much happier if I stay on my meds. Getting old is a bitch. I didn't take this many when I was your age.

2454 days ago
11.

toomanydoggies    

Where is the Chateau Marmont drug party video TMZ? What are you afraid of? The celebrities who signed the petition to block the airing of the video on ET don't work for you. Your paparazi can stalk whoever they choose regardless of the content of the videos that you show on your website.

2454 days ago
12.

Ilona    

I think it's safe to say that he died of "natural causes," i.e., his heart stopped, but that the drugs were the reason his heart stopped.

And now, all of a sudden his caring and concerned public relations people and his agents are jumping over barrels demanding that the Ledger family receive the privacy and respect they so deserve at a time such as this. And if that means demanding - in writing - that Entertainment Tonight and the Insider pull from their lineups a scandalous video they'd planned to air of Heath in party mode, then so be it.

It should not have gotten this far, in the first place. These agents and P.R. people who now endeavor to bury Heath's addiction baggage along with his body should be ashamed. Where were these people when Heath was fighting a losing battle aginst the twin foes of drugs and depression? Why weren't these personal Ambassadors of Damage Control expressing their concern for the LIVING Heath Ledger? Even if they could not force him into substance abuse treatment or into a mental health worker's office, there are other ways they might have prodded Heath to get help. Surely they could see their client was losing his grip and would soon be thrown from the saddle.

These agents and public image specialists sought to keep Heath Ledger the Actor trotting along the trail of celebrity, fame and riches for as long as possible. A potential fortune was riding on this "illusory knight on a white horse." Surely this was a much more lucrative image to hock than that of Heath Ledger the Addict.

But now we are to find out that Heath Ledger's reputation is still being protected, still being coaxed down that path that is most likely paved with gold. And before any of us buys into Heath's agents and P.R. peoples' pretense of honoring and protecting this young man's memory, has anyone cared to ask them why they failed to protect and help this young man when he was alive?

Sadly enough, we don't really have to ask that question.

2454 days ago
13.

Amanda    

Although many of you close minded people dont see that he was a PERSON, he was. Just because he PLAYED someone gay in a movie doesnt mean he was gay, and if he was, WHO CARES. A person is a person. So i think people should stop saying that he died of AIDS. Do you not see how awful you are being? He was an amazing actor and seemed to be an amazing person. So get your head out of your asses, and just be respectful.

2454 days ago
14.

MK    

It is so tragic. Amazing asset to the acting community. So believable and prepared in his roles that some people really thought he was gay. Isn't that what makes a great performance for the audience. We have lost a giant in the making.

2453 days ago
15.

sadinmichigan    

pain killers and other meds can cause damage to the heart and there could have been an unknown condition, it happens all the time. I just hate all the it was this, it was that. Leave the man alone, he was a decent person, no matter what drugs he may or may not done it his past. Leave it all in the past. Why must buttheads continually try to find the worst in people. The world would be a much better place if everyone looked at the good in people. That is so contatious. Try it watch it catch on, people will get along so much better

2453 days ago
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web