Ledger was also subject to criticism in the press following his performance on stage at the 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Ledger was seen giggling when presenting Brokeback Mountain as a nominee for Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The Los Angeles Times described his behavior as "some kind of gay spoof." Ledger later called the Times to explain that his actions were the result of stage fright, saying that he was only told he would be presenting the award minutes beforehand. "I am so sorry and I apologize for my nervousness," Ledger told the newspaper.
Heath Ledger came under fire after he was quoted in January 2006 in Australia's Herald Sun as saying that West Virginia had banned Brokeback Mountain (which it had not). He also referred to the state as having had lynchings as recently as the 1980s. These statements have been roundly disputed by archivists and historians, who state that the last extra-legal public hanging in West Virginia occurred in 1931.
From August 2002 to April 2004, Heath Ledger had a relationship with actress Naomi Watts, whom he met during the filming of Ned Kelly. Previously, he had dated actresses Lisa Zane and Heather Graham.
Ledger was engaged to actress Michelle Williams, whom he met on the set of Brokeback Mountain. Their daughter, Matilda Rose, was born on October 28, 2005 in New York City. The child's godparents are Ledger's Brokeback costar Jake Gyllenhaal and Williams' Dawson's Creek castmate Busy Phillips. Ledger and his family divided their time between Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Sydney. Ledger sold his Australian residence in Bronte, New South Wales, for A$7 million.