Merry Matilda… Maybe

Looking at her bright smile you would never know that 2-year-old Matilda Rose Ledger has been handed a fate most of us can only pray never befalls our own children.

The sweet-natured toddler is the daughter of actress Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger. Matilda’s name was splashed in the headlines a few weeks back when the actor’s will was made public. And just when that mini drama appeared to be fading from the front pages the little girl and her mom once again became fodder for the forums.

Lately, Internet forums dedicated to celebrity offspring have been buzzing with banter regarding the paparazzi’s needless intrusion into mother and daughter’s lives. The topic of pushy paps versus celebrity kids is not new, but for some reason ever since a picture showing Matilda munching on a bagel and Williams shielding her from what one can only assume is a photographer who got too close for comfort surfaced, several forums and online message boards have been bombarded with comments on how cruelly Matilda and her mom have been treated by overzealous photographers.

I’ve seen the picture and Williams does look annoyed and her hand is clearly placed in a way that indicates that she doesn’t want her photo snapped, but to me this would be a natural reaction from any parent (never mind one that gets paid for appearing on the big screen) who doesn’t want a private moment to be captured for the world to see (though, in the pap’s defense Matilda and Williams’ were strolling on a very public New York City sidewalk). Still, some of the Internet comments that were directed in the way of the photographs were so venomous that they even shocked me.

I should note that Matilda didn’t look distraught in any of the photos I viewed (of course, I don’t know what she looked like in the ones that didn’t get published). Still, with all the press Ledger’s depiction of the Joker is garnering now—-even though “The Dark Knight” is still months from being released–you have to know that photographers are aiming for that “money shot” of the deceased actor’s only offspring.

I can only imagine what Williams will do to shield Matilda from belligerent photographers once “The Dark Knight” is released in July.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.