Idol Chatter

marykateolsonpicforic.jpgIf you watch Law & Order, there’s a scene that you’re familiar with. The inadvertent accomplice in a crime is being interrogated by the detectives, and there’s a moment when they consider their options. Awareness flits across their faces, and they say (sometimes on their own, and other times through legal counsel) “I’ll tell you everything, but first I need immunity.”
Flash forward out of the TV into the reality of today. This month has seen rave reviews for “Batman: The Dark Knight,” and in particular for the performance of the late Heath Ledger–who died in January of an accidental drug overdose–as The Joker. But today’s news brings back that moment from the interrogation room, as reports that Mary-Kate Olsen is refusing to talk about Heath Ledger or the circumstances surrounding his death unless she is granted immunity.
The former child-star, famous for playing Michelle Tanner on “Full House,” was a close friend of Ledger’s and the first person called after her masseuse discovered Ledger’s body in his Soho apartment in January, The Post said. But federal officials could force the actress to tell them details on the “Dark Knight” star’s drug use and events leading up to his death if they obtain a grand-jury subpoena. One source told The Post that “everyone has been very eager to help, saying what a great guy Heath was, everyone except Mary-Kate, who has refused to speak.”

As for MK’s involvement in Heath Ledger’s life (and suspected involvement in his drug use), we won’t know unless she’s granted immunity. From the NY Post report on the immunity-deal-in-the-making:

Instead of calling emergency responders after getting the call from her masseuse, Olsen telephoned her bodyguards in the Big Apple, telling them to race to Ledger’s Broome Street home, where they arrived just as paramedics got to the scene. […] The feds contacted her lawyer, Michael Miller, several times recently seeking her cooperation, but Miller has told the feds Olsen won’t be interviewed unless she gets immunity, exercising her constitutional rights.

As half of the Olsen empire, Mary-Kate has spent her entire life in the public eye and building a business conglomerate that most business school grads will only ever dream of. As an actress, she’s managed to emerge from her little girl persona into riskier roles, like a Christian pot dealer who’s saving herself for marriage on Weeds. So I’m sure her managers and other handlers (and I’m sure there are many) are cautious about their prize client’s image and comments to the media. And even though it’s your constitutional right to demand it, nothing screams “guilty” more than asking for immunity, because it implies that there’s something serious that you need immunity from. Unfortunately, months after Ledger’s death, this already sad story just seems to be getting sadder. Here’s hoping for a speedy resolution to the legal matter and to closure for Ledger’s family.
MaryKate-Olsen at

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