Michelle Williams Breaks Silence on Heath's Death

02/01/2008 at 02:20 PM EST

Michelle Williams Breaks Silence on Heath's Death
Michelle Williams and daughter Matilda in October
Tom Vickers/Splash News Online
Michelle Williams has broken her silence following the death of Heath Ledger, saying in a statement, "My heart is broken."

"Please respect our need to grieve privately," Williams says in the statement released by her rep Friday. "My heart is broken."

Adds Williams, mother of Ledger's 2-year-old daughter Matilda: "I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father. All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day.

"His family and I watch Matilda as she whispers to trees, hugs animals, and takes steps two at a time, and we know that he is with us still. She will be brought up in the best memories of him."

Heath Ledger: Life in Photos: See all the actor's most recent photos – from life as a dad to being an Oscar nominee

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