Heath Ledger's father says he is saddened by the news of rising actor Ryan Corr's heroin charge but had little empathy for people who choose to take illegal drugs.
Kim Ledger awarded Corr the Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship in 2011, a prestigious annual award for an emerging actor established in 2008 in memory of his late son, who died from an accidental overdose of prescription medication.
No sympathy from Kim Ledger for actor Ryan Corr, pictured, who has been charged over drug use. Photo: Sahlan Hayes
Corr also received $10,000 cash – funded by several benefactors including Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman – to help pursue his dreams and develop his craft.
The 25-year-old's profile has sky-rocketed since and he has earned two Logie nominations, a starring role alongside Russell Crowe in the upcoming film The Water Diviner and regular roles on Packed to the Rafters and Underbelly: The Golden Mile.
A drugs charge, however, threatens to derail his career, which includes upcoming roles in the Sydney Theatre Company's production of Cyrano de Bergerac and a seven-part BBC series, Banished.
Heath Ledger's mother Sally Bell, father Kim Ledger, and sister Kate Ledger hold Heath's Oscar from 2009. Photo: AP
Police arrested Corr in a Bondi laneway at 1.10pm on May 27, where they allegedly found him smoking heroin and in possession of a freezer bag full of the drug.
Corr did not front the Waverley Local Court for his first appearance on Tuesday because he was in Manchester filming the second half of Banished.
Court documents state that he is likely to enter a guilty plea on his return.
Heath Ledger died from an accidental drug overdose.
Mr Ledger, who is on the management committee of a West Australian drug rehabilitation organisation, personally mentors the winner each year, which includes a small amount of guidance about heading into a "rough era" of their lives.
He says he has had little contact with Corr since his win and was not aware of the drugs charge.
"It does make me sad to hear that because we have enough problems with alcohol and drugs," he told Fairfax Media.
Mr Ledger says he sits on the board of the Cyrenian House drug and alcohol rehabilitation service and is passionate about helping families of drug addicts who are seeking help.
"I have some empathy for what happens around that situation with families but very little empathy for people that put it in their own mouth," he said. "We do what we can to help people but we're not involved in the pro-active side of it."
The Heath Ledger Scholarship also includes mentoring from acting professionals, return flights to Los Angelos, a two-year scholarship at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre in LA, a 10-day California trip and $5000 worth of visa and immigration services.
On Thursday, a spokeswoman from Corr's Melbourne-based management company, Catherine Poulton Management, reiterated her statement that there would be "absolutely no comment whatsoever".
Corr locked his Twitter profile after the news broke and BBC Worldwide spokeswoman Sue Affleck would not comment on whether Corr was still working on Banished.