In a shocking development in the Heath Ledger tragedy, the NY Post is reporting that an unidentified con man has been making calls pretending to be Heath's father. Not only did he convince the Manhattan funeral home that held Ledger's body to book him multiple rooms at the Carlysle hotel for him and his "family," he also took advantage of grieving A-list movie stars Tom Cruise and John Travolta. From their report:
By the [day after Ledger's death], a man claiming to be Kim Ledger managed to get Cruise on the phone, a source said.
Over the next few days, he "had had a couple of conversations with" Cruise, asking for emotional support, said the source. But Cruise abruptly cut him off when he learned "he was an impostor," the source said. "Heath's reps found out there was this hoaxer and they called various celebs." Sources close to Cruise confirmed the impostor contacted him.
Travolta publicist Samantha Mast said, "John spoke with the guy briefly before he realized he was an impostor. He did not make arrangements to buy him a plane ticket." But a source said Travolta, who had been "making arrangements to buy [the impostor] a plane ticket from Australia to LA and subsequently to New York."
Realizing the death of a fellow A-lister was the tragic-accident equivalent of a 28-car pileup on a rain-slicked freeway, the cruel impostor's grift was slyly calculated to take full advantage of Cruise and Travolta's lifelong pledge to good Scientological samaritanism. It's to their credit that both actors lept to his aid, erring on the side of gullibility, rather than first insisting the voice on the other end of the line be subjected to a personality test intake exam and e-meter reading, just to verify his stress-levels matched those of an authentically grieving parent.
- SICKO POSES AS HEATH'S FATHER [NY Post]