Liam Neeson has been “inconsolable” since burying his wife Natasha Richardson at the weekend, his sister has revealed.
And it was reported last night that Ms Richardson’s organs have been donated to help save other lives.
Bernadette Sexton said her brother, Ballymena-born Hollywood star Liam (56), has been left “devastated” after the love of his life was taken from him following a freak skiing accident.
“We're completely bewildered and wish we could turn the clock back,” she said. “I've spoken to Liam but I'd rather not talk about it, it's too personal.”
Paying tribute to Natasha, Bernadette said: “We spent last Easter with her and my 17-year-old son Pascal, who has Down's syndrome, was much loved by Natasha.
“She went to great pains to include him in everything, even an Easter egg hunt. That just sums up the type of warm and caring person that she was.
“Natasha was a wonderful friend, sister-in-law and auntie to my kids. She was a warm, generous, lovely woman.”
The actress (45) died after she received a brain injury in a skiing fall in Canada. She passed away last Wednesday after the accident at the Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec on March 16.
Meanwhile, celebrity website People.com has reported that Natasha’s family donated the actress’s organs to save the lives of other patients.
Citing a “family friend” it did not name, the celebrity website said Richardson’s family had requested her organs be donated after she was taken off life support last week. The report did not say whether any patient had received them.
Alan Nierob, publicist for Liam Neeson, said he had no information on the matter.
Natasha's mother, Vanessa Redgrave, is still reeling from shock and cannot understand why her daughter went skiing.
Loretta Brennan Glucksman, chairman of the American Ireland Fund, revealed: “Vanessa told me, ‘Natasha is off skiing, I don't understand it — she doesn't even like to ski’. Vanessa is devastated.”
Actor Patrick Swayze, who is battling cancer, also paid tribute. The pair co-starred in Waking Up In Reno.
He said: “Gifts like her don't come along very often. It's a rare thing to have someone with so much talent, beauty and dedication — and yet such humility.”
Sam Mendes, who directed Natasha in the stage show Cabaret, said: “It defies belief that this brave, tenacious, wonderful woman is gone.”
Natasha is survived by Liam and their two sons, Micheal (12) and Daniel (13). The lights of Broadway's theatres were dimmed for a minute on the night of March 19 in her honour.