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03/28/2008 02:46 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Esquire 's "Reported Fiction" Guesses What Heath Ledger's Last Days Were Like

To write a conceivable chronicle of Heath Ledger's final days, writer Lisa Taddeo visited the actor's neighborhood, talked to the store owners and bartenders who may have seen him during his last week, and read as many accounts and rumors about the events surrounding his death as possible. She filled in the rest with her imagination. The result is what we call reported fiction. Some of the elements are true. (Ledger was in London. He was a regular at the Beatrice Inn and the Mirö Cafe. And he was infatuated with Nick Drake.) Others are not.

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It becomes theatrically important, after you die, what your last few days are like.

For me, it was just like any other weekend in my life. I didn't eat a last meal, I didn't jerk off any more or any less, I didn't climb a mountain or end up swinging from a noose with Mozart's Requiem in the background. But suddenly it's important exactly what I did, because they are the last few days, and what you do in the last few days, down to your last lunch, becomes a fairy tale.

If you force me to make my last weekend a microcosm of my existence, and what my existence means to you, then I'll tell you how it went and who I played. But first things first: It was an accident. I'm not some fucked-up star who couldn't deal. I could deal; I just couldn't sleep.

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