Lawsuit filed in Heath Ledger cocaine video case
A woman is suing a media agency for fraud after her professional reputation was allegedly smeared. It stems from her part in filming a video showing Heath Ledger using drugs -- and joking about it on camera.
A lawsuit filed by an unnamed woman against a paparazzi agency that took the unauthorized video in a Hollywood hotel room, claims Heath Ledger was using cocaine that night.
The suit alleges that two paparazzi, including one whom the woman dated, lured Ledger up to her room at the Chateau Marmont in January 2006 and secretly videotaped the actor using cocaine supplied by them -- and some of his own.
The woman was freelancing for People magazine at the time of the incident, but did not agree with the photographers' methods and tried to throw them out of the room, which was rented in her name. "She was deceived and doesn't feel too good about it," said her lawyer, Douglas L. Johnson. "She tried to physically throw them out of the room."
The woman's claims include fraud, negligence, trespassing, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among others.
In the lawsuit, the woman claims Ledger realized he was being taped and became upset about it throughout the evening. But the photographers supposedly calmed him down by supplying him with more drugs and promising the tape would be destroyed.
The tape was later sold to "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider," who decided not to air it after public outcry following an on-air preview after the actor's death.
The woman has requested anonymity in the suit because she fears the "consequences and repercussions" if the "public were made aware of her true identity," the papers state.
Ledger died on January 22, 2008 after ingesting six kinds of sedatives and painkillers.