Holding out hope. Busy Philipps opened up about Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger’s split in her new memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, and revealed she thought they’d give their relationship a second chance.
“[Heath] and Michelle were in the process of separating at that point,” Philipps, 39, began in an excerpt about her surprise wedding to husband Marc Silverstein in 2007. “I felt sad for both of them but weirdly like something would be figured out and it wasn’t the end of the story for them.”
The Cougar Town alum continued: “They were so young and that baby [their daughter Matilda] was the light of both of their lives. They were just working all the time and it was complicated. S–t is always complicated. Especially when you’re twenty-eight. And movie stars. With a baby.”
Ledger died of an accidental overdose in 2008 at age 28, just after his separation from Williams, 38. The exes met on set of 2005’s Brokeback Mountain. (Philipps is the godmother of the former couple’s now 12-year-old daughter Matilda.)
Silverstein was the one to tell Philipps about Ledgers death. “I could not process what he was saying to me. I had talked to Heath on the phone a few months earlier, on Michelle’s birthday, when they were really breaking up, and it had been awful,” she recalled. “I sat there, trying to breathe through sobs, and then I called Michelle, who answered immediately. I don’t know who called her to tell her. She already knew. I told her I loved her.”
Following the news, Silverstein booked a flight for Philipps to see Williams. “I understand the public’s fascination with Heath’s death, with him in general, as a cultural icon or as the greatest actor of a generation or whatever,” the Dawson’s Creek alum recalled. “But you know, for me it was really simple. He was my best friend’s love and the father of her child. My beautiful magical goddaughter. A child we all love so dearly, who has so much of him in her, without even trying. He was my friend and I loved him.”
Last month, Ledger’s parents, Kim and Sally Ledger, reunited with Williams to meet her husband, Phil Elverum, whom the Greatest Showman actress secretly wed earlier this year. “We’re going to see [Matilda] in New York next week. So we’ll be there a few days and see how she’s grown,” Kim told Us at the time. “She seems to have grown pretty tall.”
As for meeting Elverum, Sally chimed in: “We get to meet him as well. Michelle’s very low-key.”
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Busy Philipps’ memoir, This Will Only Hurt, is in bookstores now.
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