Anne Heche revealed that one of her proudest accomplishments was her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in her new, posthumously-released memoir Call Me Anne. The late actress said that along with the births of her children, she was most proud to get to stand up for LGBTQ+ equality through her relationship with the comedian, 64, from 1997 to 2000.
Anne, who died at 53 after suffering injuries in an August 2022 car crash, opened up about her relationship with Ellen, while saying that she was introduced during a podcast interview as “the first ‘sexually fluid’ person to go public,” and she explained how much has changed in the decades since she and Ellen’s relationship made headlines, most notably that same-sex marriage is now a protected law. “It evolved my understanding of the moment I had participated in with a woman named Ellen DeGeneres, with her leadership, that planted the seed that has now blossomed from thought into law,” she wrote.
The Donnie Brasco actress continued and said that, along with the births of her sons Homer and Atlas, getting to be a part of that moment with Ellen was one of her proudest moments. “There is nothing in my life I am prouder to have participated in — other than childbirth, of course!” she said. “This was a moment when I realized that I wanted to participate in demanding equality regardless of gender and making it law.”
Throughout the book, Anne includes many reflections on her relationship with Ellen, including being advised to not bring the comedian as her date for the premiere of her 1995 film Volcano. Anne claimed that she fired the “suits,” who told her not to bring Ellen, and their relationship became one of the most crucial moments of her career. “There’s not one moment that has defined my life more than that one,” she wrote. “I had no idea how much that one decision would impact my life and what I gave up for that decision.”
Anne wrote that the pair were escorted out of the premiere privately, and the following day, she was fired from a multi-movie deal with Fox, and blacklisted, not receiving another studio film for a decade. Despite the major impact on her film career, the actress wrote that seeing how empowered her relationship made others to come out, she still held it as one of her proudest accomplishments. “I also had no idea that it gave so many people the green light to come out of the closet. I am often asked if I regret that moment,” she wrote. “I do not.”
Besides her relationship with Ellen, Anne’s posthumous memoir also details her experiences working on movies like Six Days, Seven Nights with Harrison Ford, her experiences with sexual abuse, and her own prompts and exercises to help with self-acceptance.
After Anne’s death in the car accident, Anne’s exes, included Coley Laffoon and James Tupper, who she shared her children with, both shared remembrances of the actress. Ellen shared her condolences for her late ex and her family. “This is a sad day,” she wrote in a tweet. “I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.”
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