Just when you think things revolving around Heath Ledger’s estate have settled down, they heat back up again.
The trustee appointed to hold Heath’s $10 million life insurance policy money in trust for daughter Matilda is suing the life insurance company, ReliaStar Life Insurance Company, for claiming the actor’s death may have been a suicide, despite the fact the death was ruled accidental.
Instead of paying the $10 mil, ReliaStar instead decided to investigate whether Ledger committed suicide, which the trustee claims is a “transparent ploy to avoid paying the money.” Lawyers for the insurance company have claimed Ledger’s death was “suspicious” – and if it was a suicide, it would nullify the policy. The company alleges in its answer to the trustee’s lawsuit,
“ReliaStar is entitled to investigate Plaintiff’s claim to determine if the ‘Suicide’ provision is applicable.” That provision states, “If the Insured commits suicide … we will pay only the amount of premiums paid to us.”
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ReliaStar’s lawyers informed Matilda’s lawyers that they intend to take deposition from Mary-Kate Olsen, the masseuse who was in the apartment when Ledger died, Ledger’s co-stars on his last film, his agents, his doctors, psychologists, and others.
Matilda’s lawyers claim it’s just an attempt to drag the process out for what could be years in order to avoid paying the money.
As if that wasn’t enough, they are also trying to prove that Ledger lied on two applications questions: whether he was taking prescription drugs, and whether he was taking illegal drugs. They are investigating despite the California law that prohibits insurance companies from re-examining insurance applications after the policyholder dies. ReliaStar sent Matilda’s lawyers a letter demanding that they identify “all physicians who attended to [Ledger] and all hospitals or institutions where [he] was treated since 1996.” Matilda’s lawyers say the request blatantly violates the law.
ReliaStar released this statement to TMZ,
“No decision has been made on the claim.”
Photo: Pacific Coast News