“I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes,’ ” Williams revealed.
The actor and Williams had dated for three years after meeting on the set of their 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, though had separated five months earlier.
“When you’re a single parent, and that element of provider and protection is missing, it’s scary,” Williams said of raising their daughter after Ledger’s death.
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The mother of one is most proud of being able to provide Matilda a stable environment as she grows up.
“She hasn’t had her routine disrupted and hasn’t missed class,” Williams said, adding that the ability to have summers as “undone time” with her daughter.
“[I’m] less scheduled, less regulated, less hustle, less go go go,” she explained.
“I parent to let Matilda feel free to be herself, and I am finally loved by someone who makes me feel free,” Williams said of new husband Elverum, who also suffered a tragic loss.
The indie singer’s daughter Agathe was just 1½ when his wife, Geneviève Castrée, died in their home in his hometown of Anacortes, Washington, in July 2015 after a battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer. She had been diagnosed when Agathe was just 4 months old.
“She died at home with me and her parents holding her, hopefully having reached some last minute peace,” Elverum wrote on a GoFundMe page set up at the time, according to Pitchfork.
Williams and Elverum got married in a secret ceremony in the Adirondacks with a few friends and their daughters present.
“Obviously I’ve never once in my life talked about a relationship,” she told Vanity Fair. “But Phil isn’t anyone else. And that’s worth something. Ultimately the way he loves me is the way I want to live my life on the whole. I work to be free inside of the moment. I parent to let Matilda feel free to be herself, and I am finally loved by someone who makes me feel free.”