Fresh off her critically acclaimed films ‘Walking and Talking,’ ‘Wag the Dog’ and ‘Donnie Brasco,’ Anne Heche was set to become Hollywood’s next big star – before her doomed relationship with stand-up comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres got her blacklisted from homophobic 1990s Hollywood.
Heche – who died Friday after nearly a week on life support following her fiery car crash in Los Angeles on August 5 – was 28-years-old in 1997, when she was first seen with DeGeneres at the premiere of her disaster flick ‘Volcano.’
The two were thrust into the spotlight, becoming tabloid fodder, much to the detriment of the budding actress. That relationship, Heche would admit to Page Six in 2020, ‘changed my life forever.’
She blamed it for causing her career to sputter.
Heche says her public relationship with Ellen was the reason she barely worked in Hollywood after going public with her relationship
‘The stigma attached to that relationship was so bad . . . I didn’t do a studio picture for 10 years. I was fired form a $10 million picture deal,’ the Emmy winner said.
The blue-eyed, blonde haired actress from Ohio had signed on to star opposite Harrison Ford in a rom-com and a remake of Gus Van Sant’s ‘Psycho.’
While DeGeneres on Friday expressed her sympathy on Twitter, calling Heche’s death a ‘sad day,’ the two were at odds with each other after their highly publicized relationship, which set their lives on vastly different tracks.
Heche lamented the shame attached to her relationship, saying ‘the stigma attached to that relationship was so bad … I didn’t do a studio picture for 10 years.’
Heche has ruthlessly called DeGeneres a ‘bitch’ and implied the talk-show star may have used her television success to ruin her acting career
Heche is seen here in her hit movie ‘Six Days Seven Nights’ with costar Harrison Ford, the last movie she did before her career flatlined
Heche starred in a remake of ‘Psycho’ before her career was derailed
While same-sex marriages have become the norm in Hollywood, Heche came out at a time where the country was less accepting – a 1996 Gallup poll found only 26% of Americans approved.
Their relationship was one of the only high-profile public displays of homosexuality at the time, and when she asked executives about it, they strictly warned her about the consequences.
‘I was told if I took Ellen [to her movie premiere], I would lose my Fox contract,’ Heche said. ‘I took Ellen to the premiere [anyway] and I was ushered out by security before the movie even ended and was told I was not allowed to go to my own afterparty for fear they would get pictures of me with a woman,’ she continued.
She had previously dated legendary comedian Steve Martin for three years and had a year-long fling with Fleetwood Mac singer Lindsey Buckingham, who wrote a song about her.
Heche’s last Instagram pictures were taken on the set of ‘Frankie Meets Jack,’ a movie she was filming with Joey and Andrew Lawrence in Braintree, Mass.
Heche has said she had never been with a woman before DeGeneres, but described sleeping with her on the first night they met as ‘the best sex I’d ever had.’
The pair became more comfortable in public and were seen holding hands on red carpets, but their relationship wasn’t as sweet as it seemed, and the late actress admitted the two had different goals in life.
‘I broke up with her because her goal was to have a lot of money. Mine was to find love, and hers was, “I want $60 billion,” ‘ Heche said. ‘Good, good luck; our forks are never going to meet.’
While she’s not quite that wealthy, DeGeneres is sitting on mountains of cash: Forbes estimates her worth to be close to $400 million, which Heche skewered her for.
‘I hope you like your money because that’s why I broke up with you! Do you like sitting on your piles of cash? Because guess what, it gets you exactly where you are,’ she said.
The late actress, in a 2021 TikTok video, implied that Ellen would control what she wore, and showed a photo of the two at the 1998 Golden Globes with the caption: ‘Why do I look like a hippie? It’s because Ellen didn’t want me to dress sexy.’
Heche also ruthlessly called DeGeneres a ‘b***h’ and implied the talk-show star may have used her subsequent television success to ruin Heche’s career.
The actress hosted a podcast before she tragically died called ‘Better Together w/ Anne Heche and Heather Duffy,’ and her cohost spilled the beans on Ellen’s efforts to sabotage her ex.
It was rumored that Heche had recorded an episode of the podcast ‘Better Together’ on the day of her car crash, during which she drank vodka – but the producer said it was done three days prior to the accident
‘We’re finding out information that [Ellen] blocked you in ways that we had no idea,’ Duffy said on the show. ‘What we’re finding is that show was held over apparently your head, as a tool, that if you’re on a show or in a film, they’ve got to go through the Ellen show to promote it — and guess what? Ellen blocked you from the show. And everybody knows that.’
The podcast hosts also spoke about Ellen’s later scandal, when she was accused by employees and guests of enabling a ‘toxic’ work environment on set.
Heche implied Ellen had stolen much of her ‘be kind to one another’ public attitude, and said as much on the heated podcast segment.
‘When you want to steal someone else’s language, the problem is you hit a wall,’ said Heche.
She also mentioned in the podcast that Ellen tried to ‘put me in an institution,’ referencing her being placed in a psychiatric unit just one day after the couple split in August 2000.
While the two released a joint statement calling their break up an ‘amicable parting,’ Heche famously took it terribly, reportedly taking ecstasy and driving into the desert.
She knocked on the door of student Araceli Campiz, who immediately recognized her from watching her movie ‘Seven Days, Seven Nights’ with Harrison Ford, who let her in. She was subsequently admitted into a psychiatric facility but was released a couple of hours later.
The struggling movie star then released a book the following year titled ‘Call Me Crazy,’ where she detailed a troubled childhood and disclosed she was sexually abused by her closeted gay father who died from AIDS when Heche was 13.
Shortly after that, her older brother died after smashing his car into a tree, which Heche believed was a suicide.
While she promoted her book, Heche spoke about some of her delusions, and told Barbara Walters ‘I had a fantasy world that I escaped to. I called my other personality Celestia.’
‘I believed I was from that world. I believed I was from another planet. I think I was insane,’ she admitted.
A few years after the split, Ellen started her world-famous talk show and rapidly became one of the most powerful women in Hollywood.
Heche struggled to land roles in the following years and married cameraman Coleman Laffoon just one year after her split with Ellen, but the heterosexual relationship didn’t do much to bring her back into the spotlight.
Her issues carried into her relationship with Laffoon, who accused her of poor parenting skills after they had a son, Homer, together and called the actress ‘mentally unstable.’
She retaliated by saying he was lazy and addicted to pornography and online poker.
Anne Heche and Coleman Laffoon on their wedding day, September 1, 2001
James Tupper got close to Heche while filming ‘Men in Trees.’ While she was still married to Laffoon they were spotted cuddling on a flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles
Thomas Jane and Anne Heche made no attempt to hide their feelings for each other when they appeared at an Oscars after-party in 2020
She left Laffoon for Canadian actor James Tupper with whom she had another son, Atlas, but the relationship was also doomed and the pair split in 2018 after 11 years together.
She reportedly feuded with both men over child support payments for the sons she had with each of them, and even took Tupper to court and demanded to see his tax returns in order to figure out how much child support he should pay.
Meanwhile, Ellen has been with Australian actress Portia de Rossi since 2004, and the two were married in 2008 after the ban on same-sex marriage was overturned.
Heche’s most recent relationship was with former co-star Thomas Jane, and after being unable to make it work with the actor, she began a downward spiral that culminated in her death.
‘She was crazy in love with him,’ one friend told DailyMail.com. ‘After so many failed relationships she thought she finally found her person – the guy who would be in her life forever.’
‘And when they couldn’t make it work, she started falling apart.’
‘Anne has always had demons and in the end, when they couldn’t make it work, she started falling apart and she turned to the things that took her out of her funk before – bad things.’
The 53-year-old suffered horrific burns during the collision and was recorded being dragged out of the mangled wreck by firefighters after it burst into flames in Los Angeles around 11 a.m. She died a week later
Actress Anne Heche died a week after crashing her Mini into a garage before speeding off and smashing it into an apartment block where it exploded
Heche was hospitalized at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital north of Los Angeles, suffering from a ‘severe anoxic brain injury’ from the August 5 crash.
After her crash, it was rumored that she had recorded a since-deleted episode of the podcast ‘Better Together’ on the day of the crash, during which she drank vodka and wine on air – but producer Ryan Tillotson later said the episode had been recorded three days prior.
During the episode, slurring Anne joked about drinking alcohol with co-host Heather Duffy, as she admitted she had been having a ‘very bad day.’
She explained that Refined – a vodka distillery that sponsored one of their shows – had provided them with free alcohol.
Heather then revealed they were using wine to chase down the vodka, before Anne said: ‘Today’s been a very unique day. I don’t know what happened, sometimes days just suck and I don’t know if you ever have them [but] some days, those no good, very bad days, and some days days just end up like this.’