Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Ledger insurance lawsuit settled

Heath Ledger
Ledger's daughter is the main beneficiary on the star's policy

An out-of-court deal has been reached in a lawsuit over Heath Ledger's $10m (7m) life insurance policy.

A lawyer for the actor sued US firm ReliaStar Life Insurance claiming it was refusing to pay death benefits to his 3-year-old daughter Matilda.

He claimed the insurer refused to pay as it wanted to investigate whether Ledger's death was a suicide. Details of the settlement were confidential.

The actor died last January from an accidental prescription drug overdose.

If the star's death had been suicide, it would have nullified the policy.

"The parties are pleased that they were able to reach an amicable settlement and solve the dispute," Ledger's lawyer William Shernoff said.

Ledger's lawyers are now seeking a closed hearing next month to establish a court guardian to represent the actor's daughter.

The actor won a posthumous Golden Globe earlier this month for his role as The Joker in Batman film The Dark Knight. His father Kim said the trophy would be given to Matilda.

He is also nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for the same part.

Matilda is the daughter of Ledger and actress Michelle Williams.

The couple separated a few months before his death and she is being raised by Williams.

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