Ellen DeGeneres: what did TV host say about Anne Heche car crash, when were they dating, who is her wife?

The Ellen DeGeneres Show host, who has been married to Portia de Rossi since 2008, started dating Anne Heche the same year she publicly came out

TV host Ellen DeGeneres responded to the news of her ex-girlfriend Anne Heche’s car crash - an accident that the actress is “not expected to survive” according to a statement from her family.

Heche was taken to hospital after her vehicle struck a two-story home in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles and “erupted in heavy fire” the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

When were Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche together?

Heche was DeGeneres’ first public female partner after the TV star came out in 1997 as a lesbian.

DeGeneres and Heche started dating in 1997, and they were together up until 2000.

Talking with the Tampa Bay Times in 1998, Heche said: “I met her at a Vanity Fair party. And it was a chemistry thing that you can’t really describe.

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“It just happened. Obviously, I was attracted to her, but that wasn’t enough. There are a lot of attractive people. She is so unique.”

Actress Ellen DeGeneres (L) and Anne Heche (R) smile as they arrive for the 50th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 13 September at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA (Photo by LUCY NICHOLOSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Whilst competing on Dancing with the Stars in October 2020, Heche said that prior to them making their red carpet debut at Heche’s film premier for Volcano in 1997, she was warned that her career could be in trouble if she went public with the relationship.

She said: “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.

“At that moment, [Ellen] took my hand and said, “Do what they say,” and I said, “No thanks”.”

Going against the studios wishes, Heche and DeGeneres attended the premiere together - however they were “ushered out by security before the movie even ended”. Heche was then told that she wasn’t permitted to go to her own after party, “for fear they would get pictures of me with a woman”.

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Chatting to Page Six last year, Heche claimed that her relationship with DeGeneres resulted in her being “blacklisted” by Hollywood.

Ellen DeGeneres (L) and actress Anne Heche arrive 19 February, 2000 at the annual Human Rights fundraising dinner in Los Angeles, CA (Photo by JIM RUYMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

She said: “I didn’t do a studio picture for 10 years.

“I was fired from a $10 million picture deal and did not see the light of day in a studio picture.”

Heche added that, at the time she went public with DeGeneres, she had been in talks to star in the big budget romcom Six Days, Seven Nights opposite Harrison Ford ().

She recalled that it seemed like the studio no longer wanted her for the role because of her relationship, but then one morning came home to an important message from Ford.

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She said: “He said, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn who you’re sleeping with. We have a romantic comedy to make. Let’s make it the best one that’s ever happened”.

“That is why Harrison Ford is my hero. To stand behind me at such a time when the force of what I was standing up for could have been toppled.”

When did they break up?

Heche and DeGeneres split up in August 2000. At the time, they released a joint statement which said: “It is an amicable parting and we greatly value the three and a half years we have spent together.”

The year after their breakup, DeGeneres told the Los Angeles Times that the split came as a surprise to her.

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Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres attend the 10th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Gala to honour Whoopi Goldberg, Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher April 17, 1999 in Los Angeles, CA (Photo by Brenda Chase/Online USA)

She said: “[Heche] walked out the door and I haven’t spoken to her since, I don’t have the answers. I would love to have them myself. I would ask all of the questions that everyone else wants to ask.

“I’m left with everybody else wondering what happened. I don’t know. I really don’t.... I feel betrayed.”

DeGeneres added that it was the “first time I’ve had my heart broken, and it was in a big way”.

Heche later married Coleman Laffoon, a cameraman she had met on DeGeneres’ stand up comedy tour, on 1 September 2001. In March 2002, she and Laffoon welcomed their son, Homer, into the world.

Actress Anne Heche and Coleman Laffoon arrive at a launch party for the Fifi and Romeo Boutique November 18, 2000 in Los Angeles, CA (Photo by Chris Weeks/Liaison)

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After five and a half years of marriage, Laffoon filed for divorce in February 2007, with the divorce finalised in March 2009.

Heche reportedly left Laffoon for James Tupper, her Men in Trees co-star, and together they had their son, Atlas, in March 2009. They then separated in 2018.

Following her relationship with Heche, DeGeneres dated photographer Alexandra Hedison from 2000 to 2004.

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres attend the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

She has since been in a relationship with actress Portia de Rossi since 2004. The two got married in 2008, after the same-sex marriage ban was overturned in California.

What has Ellen DeGeneres said about Anne Heche’s accident?

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In footage shared by ET Online, DeGeneres can be seen talking to a photographer about Heche.

When asked by the photographer if she’s spoken to Hench since the accident, DeGeneres replied: “We’re not in touch with each other, so I wouldn’t know.”

Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres attend the Los Angeles premiere of their new HBO Film “If These Walls Could Talk 2” March 1, 2000 in Westwood, CA (Photo by Brenda Chase/Online USA)

After being asked if she wanted to share her well wishes with Heche after the crash, she said: “Sure, I don’t want anyone to be hurt.”

After the photographer asked, “It was quite a dangerous accident that happened, wasn’t it?”, DeGeneres replied: “Sure was.”

What happened to Anne Heche?

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On Friday 5 August, Heche was involved in a severe car crash that left her in a coma. According to a statement from her family, Heche is “not expected to survive” the accident.

The actress suffered “severe anoxic brain injury” and remains in a coma in critical condition.

The 53-year-old was taken to hospital following the crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles.

US actress Anne Heche arrives for the premiere of Netflix’s “The Unforgivable” at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, California, November 30, 2021. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

The news comes shortly after the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) confirmed to the PA news agency the incident was being investigated as a felony driving-under-the-influence (DUI) traffic collision.

An LAPD spokesman said preliminary blood tests had revealed the presence of drugs in Heche’s system, but added that additional testing was required to rule out any substances that were administered in the hospital.

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Hours later, a statement shared with PA on behalf of her family said that Heche was being temporarily kept on life support.

“We want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers for Anne’s recovery and thank the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses that cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital,” the statement read.

“Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive,” the statement read.

Anne Heche attends the 2021 Breeders’ Cup VIP Event at Del Mar Race Track on November 06, 2021 in Del Mar, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

“It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable.”

The statement added: “Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit.

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“More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work – especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love.

“She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light.”

Pictures and video footage obtained by US media outlet TMZ following the incident showed Heche driving a blue Mini Cooper, which was later pictured severely damaged at the scene.

Anne Heche attends the 27th Annual Race To Erase MS: Drive-In To Erase MS at Rose Bowl on September 04, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Race to Erase MS)

The vehicle struck a two-storey home and “erupted in heavy fire” according to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).

Over 50 firefighters took 65 minutes to access, confine and fully extinguish the stubborn flames within the heavily damaged structure, according to an LAFD report.

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Heche sustained a “significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation” and “burns that require surgical intervention”, a spokeswoman for the actress previously confirmed to PA.