Heche was something of a rising star when she hooked up with Ellen DeGeneres at a Vanity Fair Oscar party in 1997. Heche, then 28 and more than a decade younger than DeGeneres, claimed she had never before been involved with a woman before. Her relationship with DeGeneres lasted less than three years and, while it didn’t exactly end Heche’s career — she continued acting in movies and television up until her death — certainly it dimmed her star power in Hollywood:“It changed my life forever,” Heche admitted to Page Six in 2020. “The stigma attached to that relationship was so bad … I didn’t do a studio picture for 10 years. I was fired from a $10 million picture deal.”
Oh, it was the “stigma” that did the damage, was it? Never mind what the people who buy movie tickets think — “Damn those homophobes!” — and never mind, of course, that Heche’s status as “bisexual” seemed rather transient. She left DeGeneres for a man, and then left him for another man, and if she ever had any further involvement in what the media call “the LGBTQ community,” she never mentioned it publicly.
Toxicology reportedly found cocaine and fentanyl in her blood after she rammed her car into a home in L.A. in the middle of the afternoon last week, and she died after being removed from life support Friday.
Just for the record, I don’t approve of cocaine or fentanyl, either, and if any dopeheads feel stigmatized because of my disapproval, tough luck.
She claimed to have been abused as a child, and led a rather tumultuous life. Craziness, drugs and driving do not mix. Yes, it is a tragedy.
But it will make a great movie!