Though the two were rumored to be dating before his death in January of 2008, Gemma Ward has just now for the first time spoken publicly about her relationship with Heath Ledger.
“I have taken a break from the media spotlight for the past few years and it was something spurred by Heath’s death,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “(Heath and I) first met in New York and we were both struggling with things that I won’t get into, and we bonded over that.
“I kind of met him at first and said, ‘Listen my mum’s living with me right now and I’m kind of going through a hard time and I’m not interested in having a serious relationship with somebody right now’ and he was like, ‘You know, um, let’s just be there for each other through these hard times we’re both going through’. And we developed a relationship and we started seeing each other.
“There was no one like him – and no one will ever be like him. I’m just so grateful I got to meet him and get as close as I did with him.
“The time we spent in Perth was incredible because we were both from Perth and it was also a time when it was beautiful in Perth and both our families were there and we met each other’s families.
“We were able to not be in any kind of a spotlight and not have to be meeting with people or be hounded by press or anything. We lived in a magical kind of world where we weren’t intruded upon.”
Ward is set to make her theatrical debut in The Perth Theater Company’s production of The Ugly One, after which she plans to focus on her acting career and make a return to the runways.