Anne Heche was destined to become Hollywood’s next great actress with highly praised films ‘Walking and Talking,’ ‘Wag the Dog,’ and ‘Donnie Brasco,’ but her fatal romance with stand-up comedian and talk-show presenter Ellen DeGeneres had her banned from homophobic 1990s Hollywood.
Heche, who died on Friday after being on life support for over a week after her catastrophic vehicle collision in Los Angeles on August 5, was 28 years old in 1997, when she was first seen with DeGeneres at the opening of her catastrophe film ‘Volcano.’
The two were propelled into the limelight, where they became tabloid fodder, much to the disadvantage of the aspiring actress. That connection ‘changed my life forever,’ Heche said to Page Six in 2020.
She held it responsible for her career stalling.
The stigma associated with such connection was so severe… I hadn’t done a studio shoot in ten years. ‘I was sacked from a $10 million film agreement,’ the Emmy winner said.
The blue-eyed, blonde-haired girl from Ohio had agreed to feature in a rom-com and a remake of Gus Van Sant’s ‘Psycho.
While DeGeneres shared her condolences on Twitter on Friday, calling Heche’s death a “sad day,” the two were at differences following their widely publicized romance, which placed their lives on dramatically divergent paths.
Heche has said that she had never been with a woman before to meeting DeGeneres, but that sleeping with her on the first night they met was “the finest sex I’d ever had.”
The couple grew more at ease in public and were spotted holding hands on red carpets, but their relationship wasn’t as lovely as it seemed, as the late actress revealed the two had distinct life objectives.
‘I ended my relationship with her because her ambition was to amass a large sum of money. My goal was to find love, whereas hers was “I want $60 billion.” Heche said. ‘Good luck with that; our forks will never meet.’
While she isn’t exactly that affluent, DeGeneres does have a lot of money: Forbes estimates her net worth to be close to $400 million, which Heche mocked.
‘I hope you enjoy your money since that’s why I ended my relationship with you!’ Do you like sitting on your cash piles? Because, guess what, it takes you precisely where you want to go,’ she said.
In a 2021 TikTok video, the late actress indicated that Ellen would dictate what she dressed, and she displayed a picture 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 wear anything seductive.’
Heche also referred to DeGeneres as a ‘b***h,’ implying that the talk-show host may have exploited her later television popularity to harm Heche’s career.
Before her sad death, the actress had a podcast called ‘Better Together w/ Anne Heche and Heather Duffy,’ and her cohost revealed Ellen’s attempts to undermine her former.
‘We’re learning that [Ellen] obstructed you in ways we had never known,’ Duffy remarked on the program. ‘What we’re discovering is that program was supposedly held over your head as a tool, that if you’re on a show or in a film, they had to market it via the Ellen show — and guess what? Ellen has removed you off the program. And everyone is aware of it.’
The podcast presenters also discussed Ellen’s subsequent crisis, in which she was accused by workers and guests of creating a “toxic” work atmosphere on set.
Heche claimed on the heated podcast discussion that Ellen had borrowed much of her public ‘be nice to one another’ attitude.
‘When you seek to borrow someone else’s language, you strike a wall,’ Heche said.
She also said on the podcast that Ellen attempted to “put me in an institution,” referring to her placement in a mental facility just one day after the pair divorced in August 2000.
While the two made a joint statement calling their split a “amicable separation,” Heche allegedly took ecstasy and drove into the desert.
She knocked on the door of student Araceli Campiz, who knew her from her role in the film ‘Seven Days, Seven Nights,’ starring Harrison Ford, and invited her in. She was then committed to a mental hospital but was discharged a few hours later.
The struggling actress then published a book the following year called ‘Call Me Crazy,’ in which she chronicled a traumatic life and how she was sexually molested by her openly homosexual father, who died of AIDS when Heche was 13 years old.
Soon after, her elder brother died after crashing his vehicle into a tree, which Heche suspected was a suicide attempt.
While promoting her book, Heche discussed some of her illusions, telling Barbara Walters, ‘I had a dream world that I retreated to.’ Celestia is the name I gave to my other personality.’
‘I thought I was from that planet.’ I thought I was from another world. ‘I guess I was mad,’ she said.
Ellen began her world-famous talk show a few years after the divorce and quickly rose to become one of Hollywood’s most influential women.
In the years that followed, Heche struggled to find parts and married cinematographer Coleman Laffoon only one year after her divorce from Ellen, but the straight engagement did nothing to bring her back into the limelight.
Her problems persisted in her marriage to Laffoon, who accused her of inadequate parenting abilities when they had a son, Homer, together and labeled the actress’mentally unstable.’
She replied by accusing him of laziness and addiction to pornography and online poker. She left Laffoon for Canadian actor James Tupper, with whom she had another son, Atlas, but the relationship was doomed as well, and the two divorced in 2018 after 11 years together.
She allegedly feuded with both men over child support payments for the kids she had with both of them, and even took Tupper to court and wanted to examine his tax returns to determine how much child support he should pay.
Ellen has been married to Australian actress Portia de Rossi since 2004, and the couple married in 2008 once the prohibition on same-sex marriage was lifted.
Heche’s most recent relationship was with former co-star Thomas Jane, and when they couldn’t make it work, she went on a downhill spiral that led to her death.
One acquaintance told DailyMail.com, ‘She was madly in love with him.’ ‘After so many unsuccessful romances, she felt she had finally met her person – the gentleman who would be in her life for the rest of her life.’
‘When they couldn’t make it work, she began to break apart.’
‘Anne has always had demons, and when they couldn’t make it work, she began coming apart, and she went to the things that had previously gotten her out of her melancholy – horrible things.’
Heche was admitted to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital in West Hills, California, after sustaining a’severe anoxic brain damage’ in the August 5 incident.
Following her death, it was believed that she had recorded a now-deleted episode of the podcast ‘Better Together’ on the day of the disaster, during which she drank vodka and wine on air – however producer Ryan Tillotson subsequently said that the episode had been recorded three days earlier.
During the broadcast, slurring Anne joked about drinking booze with co-host Heather Duffy, admitting she had a’very awful day.’
She claimed that they had received free drink from Refined, a vodka distillery that had sponsored one of their events.
Heather then confessed that they were drinking wine to counteract the vodka, before Anne said, ‘Today has been a really strange day.’ I’m not sure what happened, but some days just suck, and I’m not sure if you ever had them [but] certain days, those no good, very horrible days, and some days just end up like this.’