Melbourne (ANI): Heath Ledger has been described as a "drug addict" and a "known drug user" in a court filing in Los Angeles. It is part of a multi-million dollar lawsuit over a scandalous sting video showing the late Hollywood star snorting cocaine, and talking about his drug habits that has been filed against the LA-based paparazzi agency Splash News by an American magazine reporter.
The reporter who, for fear of a possible damage to her media career, is recognised only as Jane Doe in court documents, is claiming undisclosed compensation for the damage to her professional reputation as well as for the emotional distress she had had to face after being revealed in the footage.
The 34-page court document states that two of the agency's employees named Darren Banks and Eric Munn befriended Ledger in the hotel's lobby late at night, invited him to the woman's hotel room, plied him with drugs, and then secretly filmed part of the seven-hour cocaine binge through the open window. The filing even says that Ledger somehow got to know that he was being filmed.
"Mr Ledger became aware that he was being videotaped and became very upset. He realised the two men he had been befriending all evening were paparazzi," the Daily Telegraph quoted the filing as saying.
"Munn and Banks calmed Mr Ledger down, at which point Munn went out and bought Mr Ledger even more cocaine," it added. The court documents further revealed that the agency chose not to release the footage before Ledger's death because the actor could drag the reporters to court, on the ground of entrapment and defamation.
They did not run the risk of legal action from the actor after his death, the filing added. "Employees of Splashed drugged Mr Ledger, a known drug user, and then videotaped him without his consent for the purpose of damaging his reputation and to make money," the document said.
"Defendants supplied Mr Ledger, a drug addict, with drugs for the purpose of exploiting him and to make money off his illness as a drug abuser," it added. While the Oscar-nominee's family has repeatedly insisted that he was not a drug user, the video shows the actor confessing that he had regularly taken drugs every day for years. The case is due to be heard in August in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
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