Anne Heche has opened up about her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres while appearing on Dancing With The Stars – claiming she lost a million dollar movie deal because of it.
The 51-year-old actress was talking to her dance partner Keo Mostepe in the US version of Strictly Come Dancing, when she reflected on the influence talk show host Ellen had on her life.
Anne was in a relationship with Ellen, 62, for three years from 1997 and it had a profound effect on her view on life and the prejudices she would come up against.
Speaking on the ABC show, Anne said: “My story is a story that created change in the world, moved the needle for equal rights forward.”
Anne recalled meeting Ellen and then how she helped her challenge those who viewed same-sex relationships in a negative way.
She continued: “In 1997, I met Ellen DeGeneres at the Vanity Fair party and that was the night that changed my life forever.
“My movie premiere for Volcano, I had told them that I was taking Ellen as my date and I was told if I took Ellen I would lose my Fox contract.”
Anne continued to say what happened next.
She added: “At that moment, she took my hand and said, ‘Do what they say,’ and I said, ‘No thanks.’
“I took Ellen to the premiere and I was ushered out by security before the movie even ended and was told I was not allowed to go to my own after party for fear they would get pictures of me with a woman… she was warning me, ‘This is going to happen.'”
Anne continued: “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 multi-million-dollar picture deal and I did not work in a studio picture for 10 years.”
The pair split in 2000 with Anne going on to tie the knot with Coleman Laffoon the same year.
They divorced in 2007, with the finalisation eventually happening in 2009.
Anne has a 18-year-old son Homer with Coleman and an 11-year-old son, Atlas, with James Tupper, who she was with for a decade from 2008.
Ellen, for her part, met Portia de Rossi and married her in 2008 and are still together.
Anne recently pitched in with her thoughts as Ellen was hit by accusations of a toxic workplace on her show, in which employees had experienced ‘racism, fear and intimidation’.
Ellen came under fire in July after 10 former employees spilled the beans to Buzzfeed News, which led to WarnerMedia to launch an investigation and several high profile producers were removed from their roles on the show.
Ellen addressed the issues during an opening monologue when The Ellen DeGeneres Show returned in September and apologised to those “who are affected” on her team.
Anne, for her part, told Mr. Warburton magazine last month: “I haven’t spoken to Ellen in years. I’d listen to the people who have.
“If I’m standing someplace and I don’t like what’s going on there and I stay there, it’s my fault.”
She continued: “So what are the actions that got me there and why can’t I get out of it easily if that’s not something that I want to be engaged in?
“Ellen is standing where she walks, and that is hers to continue that journey.”
Anne still hails her time with Ellen as a “beautiful part” of her life, saying: “I was a part of a revolution that created social change, and I could not have done that without falling in love with her.
“I’m proud to have been part of a revolution that helped move equality forward, but there is still work to do.”
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