This is just tragic.  Upon weight-gain rumors that flooded the internet, Gemma Ward has reportedly decided to retire from modeling.


The supermodel, who was romantically linked to Heath Ledger, disappeared from the fashion industry after his passing in January 2008.

Last week, The Sunday Telegraph reported that Ward was seen on the New York party circuit, celebrating her 22nd birthday with Sports Illustrated model Jessica Gomes.

One source told the publication:

"I was really surprised when I saw her, considering what she used to look like - I had to do a double-take after I saw how much weight she had put on."

Fashion fans and critics have been attacking the young model's weight for months now.  A spokeswoman for Viviens Modeling Agency announced that Gemma (who once was criticized for being too THIN) - has no immediate plans to return to the runway, saying:

"Gemma hasn't committed to returning to modeling at any time soon."

In 2007, Gemma raked in $3 million and was ranked the 11th highest-paid supermodel in the world by Forbes.

The runway will surely miss her.