Michelle Williams Opens Up About Heath Ledger, Raising Their Daughter And Recent Marriage to Musician Phil Elverum

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Michelle Williams gets candid in the September cover story of Vanity Fair. The often private actress reveals the struggles of being a single parent to 12-year-old daughter, Matilda, following the death of Heath Ledger in 2008.

“When you’re a single parent, and that element of provider and protection is missing, it’s scary,” she admits.

She also opens up about what she tells her daughter about her late father: “I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes,’” she says.

Following Heath’s death, Michelle and her daughter were often stalked by the paparazzi and she decided to leave Brooklyn for rural upstate New York where she could raise their daughter safely.

“It was unmanageable to be stalked like that, every moment of the day. So I left, in a desire to create a sane home environment,” she explains. “I’ll never forget going to the post office and seeing a sign hung on the wall for anyone with information about myself and my daughter, to please call this number.”

In the cover story, it is revealed that the actress recently wed musician Phil Elverum during a secret ceremony in the Adirondacks. While she is hesitant in discussing their relationship, she says this time it’s worth talking about.

“Obviously I’ve never once in my life talked about a relationship,” she says, “but Phil isn’t anyone else. And that’s worth something. Ultimately the way he loves me is the way I want to live my life on the whole. I work to be free inside of the moment. I parent to let Matilda feel free to be herself, and I am finally loved by someone who makes me feel free.”

She adds, “I don’t really want to talk about any of it. But there’s that tease, that lure, that’s like, ‘What if this helps somebody? What if somebody who has always journeyed in this way, who has struggled as much as I struggled, and looked as much as I looked, finds something that helps them?’ Don’t settle. Don’t settle for something that feels like a prison, or is hard, or hurts you. If it doesn’t feel like love, it’s not love.”

Annie Reuter
Annie Reuter is a freelance journalist based in Nashville. When she's not covering the latest music news or interviewing countless country artists, she can be found at a writers round listening to the best up-and-coming songwriting talent Music City has to offer.

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