NEW YORK – In a memoir Anne Heche worked on over the past year, the actor shared candid thoughts on her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s, when they were among Hollywood's first openly gay couples.
"I was labeled ‘outrageous’ because I fell in love with a woman. I had never been with a woman before I dated Ellen," Heche wrote in “Call Me Anne,” which Start Publishing has scheduled for January. Heche, whose films included “Donnie Brasco” and “Wag the Dog,” died Aug. 14 at age 53 after a car crash in Los Angeles.
In her lifetime, Heche said that Hollywood effectively blacklisted her because of her being with DeGeneres, who around the same time made television history by having her character in the sitcom “Ellen” come out as gay.
“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," Heche wrote in her book, a sequel to the memoir “Call Me Crazy,” published in 2001. "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.”
Start, an independent publisher based in Hoboken, New Jersey, shared the excerpt this week with The Associated Press. The book's publisher, Jarred Weisfeld, says that he signed a deal with Heche in May and that she had turned in a manuscript shortly before she died. She will also write about having Harrison Ford as a mentor, along with stories about Alec Baldwin, Ivan Reitman and Oliver Stone, among others.
The book's release was first announced by Publishers Weekly. Heche had mentioned writing a memoir during a podcast earlier this year, in which she promised that “some of the truths” about her and DeGeneres would be included.