'I did not identify as a lesbian': Anne Heche opens up about Ellen DeGeneres romance in upcoming memoir

The pair were among Hollywood’s first openly gay couples, before parting ways in 2000

'I did not identify as a lesbian': Anne Heche opens up about Ellen DeGeneres romance in upcoming memoir
Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres met at the Vanity Fair Oscars party in 1997 (Amy Sussman/Getty Images/Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
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Anne Heche's memoir will shed light on her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s, when being gay was less welcomed than today. The pair were among Hollywood’s first openly gay couples, before parting ways in 2000.

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According to the Guardian, Start Publishing will release Heche's memoir 'Call Me Anne' in January. The 53-year-old star writes in the memoir, “I was labeled [sic] outrageous because I fell in love with a woman. I had never been with a woman before I dated Ellen.”

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Heche, whose acting credits include 'Donnie Brasco' and 'Wag the Dog', died August 5 aged 53, a week after crashing her car into a house in Los Angeles. Heche suffered multiple burns in the accident and had to be taken away on a stretcher.

As per the outlet, Heche said that Hollywood effectively blacklisted her due to her relationship with the talk show host. At the same time, Ellen sent shockwaves around the industry by having her character in the sitcom 'Ellen' come out as gay. The couple dated between 1997 and 2000.

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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.
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 (Brenda Chase/Online USA-Getty Images)

In the upcoming book, Heche wrote, “I did not, personally, identify as a lesbian. I simply fell in love! It was, to be clear, as odd to me as anyone else. There were no words to describe how I felt.” The book is a sequel to her 2001 memoir 'Call Me Crazy'.

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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 instead of their gender, I would have loved to have answered if anyone had asked, but as I said earlier, no one ever did. I am happy that I was able to tell you in this book – once and for all.”

The book will be brought out by Start, an independent publisher based in Hoboken, New Jersey, who shared the excerpt with the Associated Press.

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Meanwhile, the book’s publisher, Jarred Weisfeld, told Guardian that he had signed a deal with Heche in May 2022 and that she had turned in a manuscript shortly before she passed away. The book will contain tidbits about having 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’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.”

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In a podcast, Heche had talked about writing a memoir, in which she promised that “some of the truths” about her and DeGeneres would be included.

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