MICHELLE Williams has shocked Hollywood by revealing that she is now a married woman, saying she “never gave up on love” after losing Heath Ledger.

The actress, 37, told Vanity Fair that she married Phil Elverum of the indie rock groups The Microphones and Mount Eerie, in the Adirondacks in New York.

Williams’ 12-year-old daughter, Matilda, who she had with Ledger, and Elverum’s three-year-old daughter were present.

She called her bond with Elverum “very sacred and very special”.

“I never gave up on love. I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes’,” she said.

“Obviously I’ve never once in my life talked about a relationship,” she said. “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,” she said.

Williams said she was speaking out in the hope her experience would help others who are struggling to find love after losing a partner.

“I don’t really want to talk about any of it,’ she said. ‘But there’s that tease, that lure, that’s like, ‘What if this helps somebody? What if somebody who has always journeyed in this way, who has struggled as much as I struggled, and looked as much as I looked, finds something that helps them?’

“Don’t settle. Don’t settle for something that feels like a prison, or is hard, or hurts you. If it doesn’t feel like love, it’s not love,” she said.

Elverum has also suffered the loss of a partner. He was married to Canadian musician Geneviève Castrée for 13 years. Four months after they had their daughter she was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and died 13 months later in 2016.

Williams also opened up about her experience with income disparity in Hollywood and the Time’s Up movement.

In January, USA Today revealed Williams was paid less than one-tenth of 1 percent of her male co-star Mark Wahlberg’s fee for the re-shoots of Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World.

It was a disceprency so egregious it caused a massive outcry online and prompted Wahlberg to donate his entire re-shoot fee to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, and the agency represting both actors, William Morris Endeavor, to donate an additional $500,000.

Williams, who only learned about the extent of the disparity when she read it like everyone else in the paper, was suddenly thrust into the spotlight again.

“I’ve never really been at the center of something like that, of a news cycle like that—other than, you know, traumatic death,” she told Vanity Fair.

“You feel totally de-valued. But that also chimes in with pretty much every other experience you’ve had in your workplace, so you just learn to swallow it.”

However, she said the results motivated her to become a fierce advocate in the fight for change.

“A private humiliation became a public turning point,” she told the publication.

“I was one woman by myself and I couldn’t do anything about it. But in the wolf pack—the phrase Abby Wambach uses—things are possible. And that’s real-ly what it took: somebody who was at the head of the pack, Jessica Chastain, pulling me up with her, and then all these other women surrounding me, teaching me.”