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When Anne Heche was dating Ellen DeGeneres in 1997, the actor claims that their relationship negatively impacted her career. Heche explained how, after attending a movie premiere with DeGeneres, she found herself fired from a movie deal.

Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche attend the 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 14, 1997
Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Anne Heche said dating Ellen DeGeneres got her fired

During a 2018 episode of the Irish Goodbye podcast, Heche explained how the two met at a Vanity Fair party and hit it off. “Tuesday was her coming out episode of the Ellen show, Wednesday was the press junket for Volcano, Thursday was the opening of Volcano. I took Ellen,” she said.

Heche continued, “We were told that my contract for Fox would be extinguished and I would be fired. And that the movie that I had just met Harrison Ford on wouldn’t hire me. And we went to the premiere — these are the stories that I know people don’t know.”

When the couple attended Heche’s Volcano movie premiere, she and DeGeneres were removed from the event. “We went to the premiere, we were tapped on the shoulder, put into our limo in the third act and told that we couldn’t have pictures taken of us at the press junket — and both she and I were fired that week,” she explained.

She admitted that DeGeneres warned her not to bring her as a date to the premiere, speaking from her experience.

Anne Heche called their relationship ‘beautiful’

Heche and DeGeneres dated for three years, with the actor recalling their time together as “beautiful.”

“When I met Ellen … she was beaming light,” Heche shared during the podcast. “There was nothing that could have shone brighter than who she was in the center of that room. I’ll never forget.”

Heche explained in a 2020 interview with Mr. Warburton magazine, “Our time 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 shared her story on ‘DWTS’

Heche gave more details about that experience during the Oct. 5 Dancing With the Stars. “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,” she explained.

She continued, “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 before the movie even ended and was told I was not allowed to go to my own after party for fear that they would get pictures of me with a woman.”

“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,” she added.


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Heche appreciated doing ‘DWTS’

In speaking with Good Morning America following her DWTS elimination, Heche said she was happy to be part of the dance competition. “Listen, I live in love, I live in truth and I stood up for it 10 years ago, 20 years ago and I stand up for this very same thing today,” Heche explained.

She added, “It’s been a blessing to be on this show. And to be able to tell my story. And to be able to have a partner to tell the truth with and to learn with.”