Anne Heche revealed where she stands with her ex Ellen DeGeneres — whom she dated from 1997 to 2000 — amid allegations that The Ellen DeGeneres Show is a “toxic” place to work.
“I haven’t spoken to Ellen in years. I’d listen to the people who have,” the 51-year-old actress said in an interview with Mr. Warburton magazine for the September 2020 cover story. “If I’m standing someplace and I don’t like what’s going on there and I stay there, it’s my fault.”
Heche added, “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.”
Even though the former flames don’t speak anymore, the Psycho alum admitted their relationship was “a beautiful part of my life and one that I wear with honor.”
“I was a part of a revolution that created social change, and I could not have done that without falling in love with her,” Heche said, referring to the backlash she and DeGeneres received in the 1990s for being so public about their same-sex relationship. For instance, Heche recalled when she was asked to leave her own premiere for the 1997 action-thriller movie Volcano because she brought DeGeneres, who had just shocked the world when she came out as gay on her sitcom, Ellen.
“The difference between what would happen today and what happened then is that I would not have been ushered out of my own premiere and fired from a multi-million dollar picture deal with Fox for taking a girl as my date,” Heche continued.
Despite calling it quits with DeGeneres, Heche said she is “proud to have been part of a revolution that helped move equality forward.” However, the Ohio native noted “there is still more to do” when it comes to the equal treatment of LGBTQ people in the entertainment industry and in the world.
“I’ve paved this way for myself, and my honesty had every single thing to do with it,” the screenwriter continued. “I think every interaction we have should begin with whether or not we can look at and talk to other human beings with 100 percent respect. My answer will always be ‘yes.’ We have to agree that it’s a possibility and that we all deserve it.”
Meanwhile, Heche has been linked to her Hung co-star Thomas Jane in 2019, while DeGeneres is currently married to Portia de Rossi.
In July 2020, Buzzfeed News spoke with former staffers from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, who claimed the set was “toxic” and the “‘be kind’ bulls–t only happens when the cameras are on.”
In response, DeGeneres, 62, sent a memo to her staff where she addressed the allegations and issued an apology.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect,” she wrote.
“Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” she added. “And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.”
Meanwhile, a former assistant from the daytime talk show is pitching a tell-all book about their time behind the scenes, OK! previously reported.
“The only books that are selling at the moment are [Donald] Trump books, but the exception to that rule is a book on Ellen. This assistant kept a diary detailing all the shocking incidents that took place at the show and has turned those notes into a novel with the working title, The Devil Wears Covergirl, (a reference to Ellen’s cosmetic deal),” sources told OK!.
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