Heche reintroduces herself posthumously in her new memoir, “Call Me Anne” (Viva Editions, 176 pp., out now).
Heche died in August at age 53, nine days after she was pulled from a burning car and hospitalized in critical condition following a crash into a Los Angeles house. The memoir – dedicated to her sons Homer Heche Laffoon and Atlas Heche Tupper, as well as her “Better Together” podcast co-host Heather Duffy – was completed shortly before her death.
The late actress spills details about her relationship in the late 1990s with a then newly out Ellen DeGeneres, alleged abuse by directors Harvey Weinstein and the late Donald Cammell, overcoming abuse as a child, and working with Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford.
It also doubles as a self-help book. “Every phase of life has had lessons for me, and my hope is that what I’ve learned might help ease the way for other people,” Heche writes in the forward.
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Continue reading for the biggest revelations from the late actress’ “Call Me Anne.”
Anne Heche says Ellen DeGeneres is the ‘first and only’ woman she loved
Heche and DeGeneres’ relationship in the late 1990s was a huge moment for LGBTQ+ culture, as they were one of the early queer couples in Hollywood to love each other openly. “Nothing in my life I am prouder to have participated in – other than childbirth, of course!” Heche writes.
“He or she didn’t matter to me. The first time I saw Ellen, I realized how true that was,” the actress recalls. “Simply put: exquisite doesn’t have gender. Neither does love.”
DeGeneres was the “first and only” woman with whom Heche fell in love. Heche, whose father hid his homosexuality until his death from AIDS in 1983, was drawn to the talk show host’s honesty about her sexuality. DeGeneres made a splash after coming out on the cover of Time in 1997, but there was still hesitancy from agents about being open as a couple. Heche recalls being told by reps ahead of the premiere of her 1997 film “Volcano” that it wasn’t a good idea for them to make a red carpet debut.
Heche fired the reps in protest. “The next day, I was fired from a multi-million-dollar-picture deal by Fox, then blacklisted. It would be ten years before I did another studio picture. I felt like patient zero in the cancel culture,” she writes.
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Anne Heche recalls telling LGBTQ crowd that sexuality is a choice
Because Heche didn’t label her sexuality, she writes she was “ostracized for being different from both the gay people and the straight people. I didn’t yet know that I would come to be a representative for the right to be different.”
Heche recalls being hired by DeGeneres to document her comedy tour after her sitcom “Ellen” was canceled in 1998. One of the stops was at the Millennium March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. The actress writes that at the time, she didn’t have the proper language to voice how she felt about their relationship and ended up offending the crowd.
“I disagreed that being gay was not a choice. After all, I think choice is power. I had chosen to fall in love with a woman, and I hadn’t been with the same sex before,” she writes. “I had negated their colossal, historic protest.”
Her intent was to say she felt like love was a choice – gay or straight.
Heche later writes about the importance of giving yourself grace and learning from your mistakes. “It’s far too easy to say something hurtful without meaning to – like telling an entire march of LGBTQ+ people that their sexuality is a choice. But once you learn why what you said or did is harmful, you have the choice of doubling down and insisting you are right no matter what anyone tells you – or listening to what other people say and considering their point of view.
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Harrison Ford supported Anne Heche while filming ‘Six Days, Seven Nights’
Heche and DeGeneres were plagued by rumors while Heche was filming the 1998 romantic-comedy “Six Days, Seven Nights” with co-star Harrison Ford. Heche writes that director Ivan Reitman once asked her, “Why can’t you just be like Jodie Foster?” When she wanted clarification, Reitman allegedly said, “Everybody knows it, she just doesn’t talk about it.” Foster, who’s married to Alexandra Hedison, came out at the 2013 Golden Globes during her speech.
DeGeneres’ show “Ellen” was coming to an end and her relationship with Heche seemed to be “proof as to why it was necessary and important for everyone to stay in the closet,” Heche writes with an air of sarcasm.
When Heche ignored Reitman’s call for her to be discreet about her love life, Ford assured her they would continue filming. “I still don’t know exactly why he chose to help me when it seemed like the entire film industry had decided I was box-office poison. But at the moment my career seemed to be at its lowest, and everything I had worked for was slipping out of my grasp, Harrison reached out and threw me a lifeline,” Heche writes. “He did me the courtesy of not caring who I was sleeping with. It did – and does – mean the world.”
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Anne Heche alleges sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein and Donald Cammell
Heche opens chapter nine with a bold statement: “I regret not kicking Harvey Weinstein in the (expletive) after he opened his hotel room robe to share his (penis) with me, as an offering: a present! For me? No, you shouldn’t have. You really shouldn’t have. I was as disgusted with his face as I was with him exposing himself to me.” She alleges Harvey Weinstein asked her to perform oral sex on him in the early 1990s. “He preyed on the weakest, most fragile group in Hollywood: the want-to-be-starlets who mostly come from nothing or very little. A good percentage are poor – or will be if they don’t get a job soon!” Heche writes of the disgraced movie mogul.
In December, Weinstein was found guilty of rape and sexual assault in his Los Angeles trial. In 2020, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for his New York sex crimes case, convicted of sexual assault and third-degree rape.
Heche also writes that she was sexually harassed by the late director Donald Cammell while filming the 1996 movie “Wild Side.” In the movie, Heche shares a sex scene with actress Joan Chen. Heche writes that Cammell asked her to perform a sex act on his wife China Kong to help Heche “get comfortable” with her sexuality. She declined and only completed the movie because the studio threatened to sue her, Heche writes.
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Anne Heche recalls getting her period during Alec Baldwin sex scene
Heche’s memoir is filled with words of encouragement, even at the expense of her own embarrassment. The actress writes about an incident while filming a sex scene for the 1996 movie “The Juror” with Alec Baldwin. Heche recalls having an intimacy cover over her genitals that she describes as “just shy of a Band-Aid” and running in circles with Baldwin to give the allusion that they had been sweating during a hot sex session.
The director cut the scene before it ended. Heche writes that an assistant asked her if she was on her period. Sure enough, Heche had gotten her period.
“Apparently I was bleeding buckets of blood, because in half a turn of my head, I saw the entire crew aiding and abetting the frantic de-sheeting of the bed I just bled on. There was no way it hadn’t gotten all over Alec. Blood was everywhere,” she writes. “This was my worst possible actor’s nightmare, because it was real! I had just menstruated all over Alec Baldwin and decimated the one set of sheets they had.”
Why did Heche share this moment? Baldwin got Heche a role in the 2004 Broadway show “Twentieth Century.” Years later Baldwin appeared on her podcast “Better Together” and he “did not even remember the mortifying details” that happened on the set of “The Juror.” In short, your most embarrassing moments will pass.
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When did Anne Heche write ‘Call Me Anne’?
Heche mentioned she was working on another book in a posthumously released episode of the podcast “Behind the Velvet Rope.” Heche told host David Yontef that her “next book” was the “flipside” to her first book, 2001’s “Call Me Crazy.”
“It’s the practice of how to get over abuse and how to start the process of living in love with yourself, that engages with others, and living in love with the kindness when you can bring yourself to others in the full capacity,” she said.
In the memoir, Heche writes, “I do not have all the answers, but I have found some through years of working to overcome the struggles I was born into.” “I am guided by both my higher power and by the importance of bringing more love and kindness into the world. … Love is all, and consciousness is the one and only guiding light.”
Contributing: Amy Haneline, Edward Segarra; Associated Press
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If you are a survivor of sexual assault, RAINN offers support through the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE and online.rainn.org).
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