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Gemma Ward reportedly had a relationship with Heath Ledger beginning shortly before his death and is just now speaking out about their “magical” life together.

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Model/actress Gemma reportedly began seeing Heath in November 2007 before he passed away on Jan. 22, 2008.

“I have taken a break from the media spotlight for the past few years and it was something spurred by Heath’s death,” Gemma told the Sunday Herald Sun (via Huffington Post). “(Heath and I) first met in New York and we were both struggling with things that I won’t get into, and we bonded over that.”

“I kind of met him at first and said, ‘Listen my mum’s living with me right now and I’m kind of going through a hard time and I’m not interested in having a serious relationship with somebody right now’ and he was like, ‘You know, um, let’s just be there for each other through these hard times we’re both going through,’ ” she recalled. “And we developed a relationship and we started seeing each other.”

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Gemma said she spent Christmas in Perth with Heath and that their families met each other.

“We were able to not be in any kind of a spotlight and not have to be meeting with people or be hounded by press or anything,” she explained. “We lived in a magical kind of world where we weren’t intruded upon.”

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