Health Ledger’s father Kim has spoken out on his son's tragic death.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, the 66-year-old recalled haunting details of the actor’s final hours, while warning others against the prescription painkillers that ultimately led to the beloved Aussie’s untimely end.
“It was totally his fault. It was no one else's - he reached for them. He put them in his system. You can't blame anyone else in that situation.”
“That's hard to accept because I loved him so much and was so proud of him,” he went on, revealing that Heath’s sister Kate had begged him not to mix opioids and sleeping pills just hours before his death in 2008.
“His sister was on the phone to him the night before telling him not to take the prescription medications with the sleeping tablets.”
“He said, ‘Katie, Katie, I'm fine. I know what I'm doing.’ He would have had no idea.”
At around 2:45pm on 22 January 2008, the Dark Knight star was found dead in his fourth-floor loft apartment in Manhattan, New York. He was just 28.
The beloved Aussie had overdosed on a fatal combination of painkillers, anti-anxiety medication and sleeping pills.
"Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine," the New York City medical examiner’s report read.
"We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescribed medications."
Kim believed that the pressures and demands of his son’s life in the spotlight played a role in his overdose.
The star had just concluded his iconic role as The Joker in The Dark Knight, and was in the midst of filming his last role as Tony in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
In a now-harrowing interview, Heath described this time as exhausting.
"Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night," he told The New York Times in November 2007. "I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going."
Kim Ledger says Heath's daughter Matilda is just like her daddy. Watch the sweet clip in the video below! Post continues...
Speaking of the fatigue that drove his son to self-medicate, the concerned father said, “In the case of someone with a higher profile it's often a case of ‘what do you want’ instead of ‘what do you need.’”
“There's so much pressure on them to perform so even though your body is telling you that it's not good and needs time, it's like ‘just take these painkillers and keep going’”.
“That was the case with Heath. He had to be back on set to finish (the next day).”
And eight years on, the world is still reeling from the loss of one of the greats.
Earlier this year, the father-of-one’s friend Jake Gyllenhaal opened up about the devastating impact the death of his fellow Brokeback Mountain star had on him.
"Personally, it affected me in ways I can't necessarily put in words or even would want to talk about publicly," he explained to Entertainment Weekly.
"In terms of professionally, I think I was at an age where mortality was not always clear to me."
Jake is the godfather of Heath’s 10-year-old daughter with Michelle Williams, Matilda.
Watch him talk about his pals death in the video player below.