The body of Heath Ledger left the funeral home as the family prepared to bury the “Brokeback Mountain” actor Friday, the same day police insisted they have no interest in interviewing Mary-Kate Olsen.
Details about the Ledger’s funeral remained shrouded in secrecy. The body was moved from the police-barricaded funeral home at about 4 p.m. amid a swarm of cameras and reporters. Ledger’s publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said funeral arrangements “will continue to be kept private at the family’s request.”
Their immediate plans were not known, though Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said his government would do whatever is needed to help the family bring back his body to Australia.
Also Friday, Olsen said Ledger was a “friend” in a brief statement released Friday, her first word since the Australian-born actor’s death. In its entirety, it reads: “Heath was a friend. His death is a tragic loss. My thoughts are with his family during this very difficult time.”
Police said the masseuse who found Ledger’s body Tuesday spent nine minutes making three calls to the Olsen twin before dialing 911 for help, then called Olsen a fourth time after paramedics arrived. At some point during the flurry of calls, Olsen, who was in California, summoned her personal security guards to the apartment to help, police said.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said investigators have no interest in talking to Olsen. They interviewed everyone at the scene, each of whom was cooperative. That eliminated “any need to interview Miss Olsen,” he said.
Olsen’s whereabouts were unknown Friday. A private was scheduled held for Ledger on Friday at the Frank E. Campbell funeral home in Manhattan.
Ledger’s family placed a death notice in The West Australian, a newspaper based in his hometown of Perth, remembering him as “the most amazing ’old soul’ in a young man’s body.”
“As a close knit and very private family we have observed you so determined yet quietly traveling in your self-styled path in life, nothing would get in your way ... no mountain too tall, no river too wide,” said the notice, which the newspaper said had been submitted by Ledger’s relatives. “.... Our hearts are broken.”
The actor’s sister, Kate, said she could “hardly breathe” as she tried to write her tribute. “We were the ultimate soul mates,” she said.
“You were so many things to so many people, but to me you were just my little brother.”
The cause of Ledger’s death will not be known for at least a week, after medical examiners complete toxicology tests. Authorities suspect a possible overdose, but nothing conclusive has been determined. Several prescription drugs were found in the Manhattan apartment where Ledger’s body was found.