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article imageWho Gets The Statue If Heath Ledger Wins At the Oscars?

By KJ Mullins     Feb 18, 2009 in Entertainment
On Sunday Heath Ledger could win the Oscar for his role of the Joker in "The Dark Knight." If he wins the legalities of the statue will be stretched to the limits. When Ledger died last year he was unmarried and his oldest child is now three.
Matilda Ledger is the legal heir of the statue if her father's name is called Sunday night. Because of her age, though, the statue will not be released to her for 15 years until she's of legal age.
The Associated Press reports of what the academy has to deal with if Ledger's the winner of this year's Supporting male lead category.
"It's complicated, because there are two different questions that have to be answered," says Bruce Davis, executive director of the academy. "First, we have to decide who gets the job of accepting the award onstage on the night of the ceremony. And then there's the question of the eventual disposition of the posthumous statuette, which may not stay with the person who accepts it."
To accept the Oscar one has to sign a winner's agreement. That agreement says that a person will not resell the statue without first offering it back to the Academy for a dollar. Matilda Ledger at three can not sign that document. Her mother, Michelle Williams also can't sign the document in her behalf because it would obligate Matilda to the agreement without her consent.
After discussions with the Ledger family and Michelle Williams an agreement has been reached that for the time period will take care of the problem. If Ledger wins the statue will go to Matilda under her mother's trust. Williams will sign the document that will end in 15 years and be the legal custodian of the Oscar. If in 15 years Matilda refuses to sign the document the statue will be returned to the Academy at no cost.
As for who will make the acceptance speech? That one is a guarded answer that will come if Ledger wins on Sunday night. That secret and more will be broadcast as they happen Sunday night on Digital Journal.
More about Heath ledger, Academy awards, Statue
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