Supermodel makes her first public appearance since the Brokeback Mountain star died

Helena Christensen says her son Mingus is helping her to deal with the death of Hollywood star Heath Ledger.

The model, who was on her way to visit the actor when his body was discovered, says her 8-year-old son is a great comfort.

‘Time passes. It’s doesn’t make it easier, but you try to do the best you can,’ Helena explains.

‘When you have a child, they kind of bring you back to the moment in a really comforting way.’

Helena, who attended Sunday’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, couldn’t join Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes at the weekend’s memorial ceremony, but describes the service as ‘beautiful’.

‘Because I had my son, I couldn’t leave,’ she tells People.com. ‘But everyone said it was very moving and it was an amazing way to say goodbye to him.

‘Losing any friend is horrific, but he just has this thing about him – this special, enigmatic thing that I have never met in anyone before.

‘That’s what all of his friends are saying. They are totally devastated by losing someone who gave them so much. He gave everyone so much.’

Gemma Stephenson