Anne Heche, who was eliminated from Dancing With the Stars on October 5, dated television talk show host Ellen DeGeneres from 1997 to 2000. Heche recently opened up about her relationship with DeGeneres and how being a same-sex couple during a time it wasn’t that accepted affected her career. She told People that after she took DeGeneres to the premiere for her movie Volcano, her career was never the same.
“In 1997, I met Ellen DeGeneres at the Vanity Fair party and that was the night that changed my life forever. My movie premiere for Volcano, I had told them that I was taking Ellen as my date and I was told if I took Ellen I would lose my Fox contract. At that moment, she took my hand and said, ‘Do what they say,’ and I said, ‘No thanks.’ I took Ellen to the premiere and I was ushered out by security before the movie even ended and was told I was not allowed to go to my own after party for fear they would get pictures of me with a woman. … She was warning me, ‘This is going to happen.’”
Due to this, she said she didn’t work in film for a decade.
“I was in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres for three-and-a-half years and the stigma attached to that relationship was so bad that I was fired from my multimillion-dollar picture deal and I did not work in a studio picture for 10 years.”
Heche Said She Hasn’t “Spoken to Ellen in Years”
DeGeneres was hit with allegations that her talk show had a toxic work environment where employees faced “racism, fear, and intimidation” according to Buzzfeed. Heche said that she hasn’t spoken to DeGeneres during this scandal but shared her opinion of the situation with Mr. Warburton Magazine for a September 2020 cover story.
I haven’t spoken to Ellen in years. I’d listen to the people who have. If I’m standing someplace and I don’t like what’s going on there and I stay there, it’s my fault. So what are the actions that got me there and why can’t I get out of it easily if that’s not something that I want to be engaged in? Ellen is standing where she walks, and that is hers to continue that journey.”
Heche added that their union is still a cherished memory for her and she is proud of the impact that it had.
“Our time was a beautiful part of my life and one that I wear with honor,” she said. “I was a part of a revolution that created social change, and I could not have done that without falling in love with her.”
Heche also said that was she is “proud to have been part of a revolution that helped move equality forward.”
After her breakup with DeGeneres, she married Coleman Laffoon, who she has an 18-year-old son with, US Weekly noted. She and Laffoon married in 2000 and their divorce was finalized in 2009. In 2018, she ended her decade-long relationship with James Tupper, the father of her 11-year-old son Atlas, People reported.