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New York Post Article Trashes Ledger, Aussies Livid

Aussies enter Ledger 'selfish' debate


February 9, 2008 - 9:21AM

Angry Australians have bombarded a US newspaper's website after a columnist sledged Heath Ledger.

Andrea Peyser, in her scathing column in the New York Post, described the late Australian actor as "reckless and greedy" and "selfish".

Peyser also wrote Ledger chose to "self-destruct" with prescription drugs with little regard for his daughter, Matilda, ex-fiancee Michelle Williams and his parents.

The column was initially supported by bloggers on the New York Post website, with one applauding Peyser's view with: "How nice it is to finally see someone state the obvious."

Another blogger wrote: "That was the best article I have seen since this all started!"

When the content of Peyser's column was reported in Australia yesterday, it stirred up a wave of support for Ledger, with Australians posting angry responses on the website.

"Shame on you Andrea Peyser," Les from Sydney wrote. "You are disgusting and vile."

Other Australians compared Peyser to Australian writer Germaine Greer, who criticised Steve Irwin soon after his death.

"You and Germaine Greer should get together - you are well suited (she made badmouthing the dead an artform, too) - just stay away from Australia though!" Rhonda wrote.

Margaret from Sydney told Peyser: "He is dead now. Just let him rest in peace".

Another Australian, Tilda, wrote on the website: "Firstly can I say that as an Australian I am appalled by your so-called insight into the untimely death of an actor who was known for commitment and excellence."

The reaction was not all negative, with some Australians supporting Peyser's view, including one from Ledger's hometown of Perth.

"As someone who comes from Heath's hometown, I can say you're absolutely fundamentally right, and most people are simply swept up in the strange activity of caring way too much about a celebrity they've seen in a few movies but never met," Ben, from Perth, wrote.

Ledger, 28, an Oscar nominee in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on January 22.

The New York Medical Examiner's Office ruled Ledger died from an accidental overdose of prescription medications.

Toxicology tests revealed Ledger had consumed a powerful mix of five prescription painkillers and anti-anxiety pills and an over-the-counter antihistamine.

A funeral for Ledger is expected to be held in Perth tomorrow.

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I just think she's trying to make a name for herself.

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