At the end of 2009, model Gemma Ward stepped out of the spotlight after being scrutinized for her weight, but apparently it was more than that.
In a recent interview, the Aussie says Heath Ledger's death was the real reason behind her decision to leave..
"I have taken a break from the media spotlight for the past few years and it was something spurred by Heath's death. (Heath and I) first met in New York and we were both struggling with things that I won't get into, and we bonded over that.
I kind of met him at first and said, 'Listen my mum's living with me right now and I'm kind of going through a hard time and I'm not interested in having a serious relationship with somebody right now' and he was like, 'You know, um, let's just be there for each other through these hard times we're both going through'. And we developed a relationship and we started seeing each other."
Once they became official, the two spent the Christmas of 2007 together in Perth.
"The time we spent in Perth was incredible because we were both from Perth and it was also a time when it was beautiful in Perth and both our families were there and we met each other's families. We were able to not be in any kind of a spotlight and not have to be meeting with people or be hounded by press or anything. We lived in a magical kind of world where we weren't intruded upon."
Less than a month later, Heath was found dead in his New York City apartment.
Tags: gemma ward, matilda, perth