How did Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres meet? Actress called TV host 'the only woman she loved' in memoir

How did Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres meet? Actress called TV host 'the only woman she loved' in memoir
3/01/00. Westwood, CA. Anne Heche & Ellen DeGeneres attending the Los Angeles Premiere of their new HBO Film "If these walls could talk 2." Photo by Brenda Chase Online USA Inc.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Late actress Anne Heche disclosed her feelings for popular television host Ellen DeGeneres in her autobiography, 'Call Me Anne'. In her memoir, Heche wrote that Ellen was the "first and only woman that I ever fell in love with" and added that she was "mesmerized" by how open the comedian was about her sexuality. Heche and Ellen were famously one of Hollywood's first openly lesbian couples, as the duo dated each other between 1997 and 2000. 

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She also penned the fact that her father who was a Baptist choir minister, was a closeted homosexual. He died due to AIDS complications at 45 in 1983. "I think my father was a sexual addict. I think he saw everybody as a sexual being. But I think at that time he was living a very flamboyant homosexual lifestyle," she told Larry King in a 2001 interview, according to Daily Mail. "You know, at that time there were bath houses where the whole trick was how many can you do a night. You know, there is no question of what he was doing at that time."

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In August last year, Heche died in a fiery car crash at the age of 53. The medical reports later revealed that she had traces of cocaine and fentanyl in her system at the time. Heche accuses 'Six Days, Seven Nights' director Ivan Reitman in the book for telling her to be more like Jodie Foster and not talk publicly about her sexuality. She wrote, "Why, Ivan asked me, can't I just be like Jodie Foster? (I didn't know what that meant. 'Everybody knows it,' he explained, 'it' being her sexuality. 'She just doesn't talk about it.'"

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Actors Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres attend the 10th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Gala to honor Whoopi Goldberg, Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher April 17, 1999 in Los Angeles, CA. On August 19, 2000, the couple issued a joint statement to the New York Daily News that they have ended their 3 year relationship.
Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres attend the 10th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Gala to honor Whoopi Goldberg, Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher April 17, 1999 in Los Angeles, CA. On August 19, 2000, the couple issued a joint statement to the New York Daily News that they have ended their 3 year relationship. (Photo by Brenda Chase/Online USA via Getty Images)

Heche's memoir which is a follow-up to her 2001 book Call Me Crazy, will be released on January 24. Heche writes about sacrificing her Hollywood career over her relationship with Ellen in an excerpt from the book, published by People. The actress said no one asked at the time about why she was in a relationship with the comedian. 

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"Since nobody asked, I will tell you why. Because I had lived in a family that was built upon lies. My father hid his sexuality his entire life," Heche wrote. "When I met Ellen and she was open and honest about her sexuality, it was the most attractive and alluring quality in a person that I had ever seen. I was mesmerized by her honesty, and that is why she was the first and only woman that I ever fell in love with." She added, "I was in love with a person who had chosen to leverage her very public persona in support of the cause she was standing up for, which was LGBTQ+ rights for everybody on the planet who wanted them. Love became my destiny."

(Hbo Movie Stills) Anne Heche, Sharon Stone And Ellen Degeneres In
Anne Heche, Sharon Stone And Ellen Degeneres In "If These Walls Could Talk 2." Anne Heche Wrote And Directed The Story Entitled "2000." On August 19, 2000, Ellen Degeneres And Anne Heche Issued A Joint Statement To The New York Daily News That They Have Ended Their 3 Year Relationship. (Photo By Getty Images)

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Her father, Donald, became one of the first individuals in the US who was diagnosed with AIDS. It revealed that the Baptist minister and choir director had been living a secret homosexual life. According to Heche, her father admitted to being gay. He died from the disease at the age of 45.

Ellen released a brief statement on Twitter following her death. "This is a sad day. I'm sending Anne's children, family and friend all of my love", she wrote. Heche is survived by two sons, Atlas, whom she had with Tupper, and Homer, 20, whom she had with her ex-husband Coleman Laffoon. 

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Actress Ellen DeGeneres accompanies partner Anne Heche at the VH-1 Fashion Awards October 23, 1998 in New York, NY. On August 19, 2000, the couple issued a joint statement to the New York Daily News that they have ended their 3 year relationship.
Actress Ellen DeGeneres accompanies partner Anne Heche at the VH-1 Fashion Awards October 23, 1998 in New York, NY. On August 19, 2000, the couple issued a joint statement to the New York Daily News that they have ended their 3 year relationship. (Photo by Brenda Chase/Online USA)

Heche said that her co-star, Harrison Ford, and director, Ivan Reitman, catechized her about rumors that she and Ellen were having a child. She wrote, "Our 'pregnancy' was everywhere. They showed me this as proof of why this openness about my relationship was becoming a pain in the ass for them." In 1999, when the couple were very serious with their relationship, they declared that they would tie the knot if Vermont legalized same-sex marriage in a highly publicized case then before the state's supreme court. 

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Heche continued, "Why, Ivan asked me, can't I just be like Jodie Foster? (I didn't know what that meant. 'Everybody knows it,' he explained, 'it' being her sexuality. 'She just doesn't talk about it.'") In 2007, Foster first accepted her sexuality during a speech at the The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment breakfast. 

How did Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres meet?

In 1997, Heche and Ellen started their relationship when the duo came across each other at the Vanity Fair Oscars party in 1997 and quickly became the most famous openly LGBTQ couple in Hollywood at the time. "I saw Ellen across a crowded room, not knowing anything at all, except that I was just drawn to her," Heche once told Oprah Winfrey. In 2018, on the Irish Goodbye podcast Heche talked about their past relationship. She said, “Ellen and I met on a Sunday night at the Vanity Fair party".

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Heche said during the interview that things went "click" when she first laid eyes on DeGeneres. "Our souls connect[ed], and there's a time when souls come together and they're just meant to be... My soul was meant to be with hers and that's all that matters," she said. However, they shocked their fans when they ended their relationship. “Our time was a beautiful part of my life and one that I wear with honor,” she told Mr Warburton magazine in September 2020. “I was a part of a revolution that created social change, and I could not have done that without falling in love with her".

During an episode of 'Dancing with the Stars"\/ in October 2020, Heche disclosed that her relationship with Ellen also had a negative impact on her career. “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,” she claimed, adding that meeting DeGeneres at the 1997 party was “the night that changed my life forever.”

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