Wednesday, September 21, 2022

‘I didn’t identify as a lesbian’: Anne Heche opens up about Ellen DeGenere’s romance in upcoming memoir

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The pair were among Hollywood’s first openly gay couples before splitting in 2000

Anne Heche’s memoir explores her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s, when being gay was less welcome than it is today. The pair were among Hollywood’s first openly gay couples before splitting in 2000.

According to the Guardian, Start Publishing will publish Heche’s memoir Call Me Anne in January. In the memoir, the 53-year-old star wrote: “I got labeled [sic] outrageous because I fell in love with a woman. I’ve never been with a woman before I dated Ellen.”


Heche, whose acting credits include Donnie Brasco and Wag the Dog, died August 5 at the age of 53, a week after driving her car into a home in Los Angeles. Heche suffered multiple burns in the accident and had to be transported on a stretcher.

According to the outlet, Heche said Hollywood effectively blacklisted her because of her relationship with the talk show host. At the same time, Ellen shocked the industry by coming out as gay on her character on the sitcom Ellen. The couple were together between 1997 and 2000.

In the forthcoming book, Heche wrote, “Personally, I have not identified as a lesbian. I just fell in love! It was, to put it bluntly, just as weird to me as it was to anyone. There were no words to describe how I felt.” The book is a follow-up to her 2001 memoir Call Me Crazy.

Heche said: “Gay didn’t feel right, and neither did straight. Alien might be the best fit, I sometimes thought. What, why, and how I fell in love with a person, rather than their gender, I would have happily answered if anyone had asked, but like I said, no one ever has. I’m glad I was able to tell you in this book – once and for all.”

The book is being published by Start, an independent publisher based in Hoboken, New Jersey, which shared the excerpt with the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the book’s editor, Jarred Weisfeld, told the Guardian that he signed a contract with Heche in May 2022 and that she turned in a manuscript shortly before her death. The book will feature tidbits about Harrison Ford as a mentor, along with stories about Alec Baldwin, Ivan Reitman and Oliver Stone, among others.

When Heche died, DeGeneres wrote on Twitter, “This is a sad day. I send all my love to Anne’s children, family and friends.”

In a podcast, Heche discussed writing a memoir, promising it would contain “some of the truths” about her and DeGeneres.

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