Michelle Williams has never courted attention, says Andrew Anthony in the London Observer. But ever since former lover Heath Ledger died last year of a drug overdose, reporters and photographers have been stationed outside her home in Brooklyn. Williams initially responded by fleeing to the country with Matilda, her 3-year-old daughter with Ledger. But she’s concluded that hiding away wouldn’t dim the tabloids’ fascination with her. “It wouldn’t make them pause and think, Maybe we shouldn’t make people so miserable.”

Despite her situation, Williams fully understands the insatiable appetite for celebrity gossip. “It is really addictive. It makes you forget about yourself when you pick up those magazines and read about other people’s lives. And believe me, before this happened I was totally guilty of those moments. I’d sit there in the hair and makeup trailer and check out for a while.”

For now, Williams, 28, is just trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, even if that means turning down acting jobs. “I want it to get better as my daughter grows up, not worse. If doing smaller movies means less of that stuff, I’ll adjust my life so that we can still have a whole life in the city and not totally disappear. If not, I think they have laws in France—I’ll go there.”