In her first public statement since his death, Heath Ledger's former partner, Michelle Williams, said her "heart is broken."

In a statement released to the AP, Williams also asked for privacy during this time, saying, "Please respect our need to grieve privately. My heart is broken." She continued, "I am the mother of the most tenderhearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father. All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day.

"His family and I watch Matilda as she whispers to trees, hugs animals, and takes steps two at a time, and we know that he is with us still," Williams added. "She will be brought up in the best memories of him."

Williams and Ledger, who met on the set of Brokeback Mountain in 2005, later lived together in a Brooklyn brownstone with their daughter until splitting up in 2007. - Anna Dimond

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