A ”Dancing with the Stars” judge is mourning the loss of a recent contestant who died following a violent accident in California.
On August 12, 2022, it was confirmed that actress Anne Heche died from a severe brain injury that was sustained following a fiery car accident on Friday, August 5, according to Fox News.
TMZ reported that Heche drove her car at a high rate of speed before chasing into a car and two buildings, with the final crash igniting a fire. Cocaine and fentanyl were found in Heche’s system when she was admitted to the hospital late last week, the outlet noted. Heche fell into a coma following the tragic accident and was pronounced brain dead.
In addition to her many acting credits, Heche was a contestant on the 29th season of DWTS in 2020. The 53-year-old actress was the third star eliminated from the competition that season, alongside pro partner Keo Motsepe, but she left a big impression on the cast of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition.
Carrie Ann Inaba Issued a Statement Following Anne Heche’s Death
After Heche’s death was confirmed, ”Dancing With the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba released a statement to People, describing the “Men in Trees” star as “a unique person” who was “so open and vulnerable, yet also so direct and courageous.”
“I believe she was someone who was often misunderstood … and like all humans, she made mistakes,” Inaba added. “But when I watched her perform up close, all I could feel from her was joy and an open heart. She loved to perform and she wasn’t afraid to fail.”
Inaba added that Heche “will always be a part of the DWTS family.”
Carrie Ann Inaba Wrote About Anne Heche on Her Social Media Pages
Just before Heche’s death was confirmed, Inaba took to Instagram to share a photo and tribute to her. Inaba wrote that she felt for Heche when she was a contestant on the ABC dancing show,
“Anne was one of the stars on @dancingwiththe stars that truly touched my heart,” Inaba wrote. “Her personal story was one that reached into my heart and squeezed it. I could feel the pain she felt, and I could also feel her resilient and courageous soul. And it was touching.”
“I had no idea all that she had gone through in this lifetime and I felt a connection to her and the struggles she faced in life,” the DWTS judge added. “Despite her trials and tribulations, she had a bright light when she came out on that stage to dance. Every time she performed, there was a sense of complete joy and a celebration of life. It was pure. And it was special.”
Inaba also wrote that she was saddened to think of what Heche went through during her final moments before the car crash.
Later in the day, Inaba posted to Twitter to say goodbye to Heche.
“May your soul be at peace,” she wrote of the late actress. “We will miss your beautiful, unique and free spirited energy. I will always remember your performance on @officialdwts in that [rainbow] costume, dancing with all your heart. Thank you for being you.”