Anne Heche Once Believed She Was Two People: ‘I Think I Was Insane’

Anne Heche once spoke about her traumatic childhood and how it impacted her mental health. The actor discussed some of the disturbing things she said happened to her that led to emotional instability. Here’s what Heche revealed about her mental health and how she once thought she was two different people.

Heche once thought she was two people

Anne Heche poses in a red suit.
Anne Heche | Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images

During a 2001 interview on the news program 20/20, Heche told Barbara Walters she had a traumatic childhood. According to her, she was sexually abused by her father when she was a child. Heche said she looked for ways to escape her pain.

“I drank. I smoked. I did drugs. I had sex with people. I did anything I could to get the shame out of my life,” said Heche.

Heche said she developed mental illness because of the abuse she endured during her childhood. She said at one point she believed she was two different people. Se would escape to a “fantasy world.” She said she named her other personality Celestia. “I believed I was from another planet,” Heche told Walters. “I think I was insane.”

Heche said she told her mother years later about her memories of being abused by her father. She said her mother didn’t take the revelation well and hung up on her.

Heche said she “split” from herself after that conversation. “To have gone through so much work to heal myself and have my mother not acknowledge in any way that she was sorry for what had happened to me broke my heart,” she said. “And in that moment, I split off from myself.”

Anne Heche’s motivation for becoming an actor

Heche said she wanted to become a famous actor so that her parents would love her. “I think everything I’ve done in all my insanity was to try to get my parents to love me,” said Heche. “My father loved movie stars. I decided I needed to become famous to get his love. My mother loved Jesus. That was her thing. So, I wanted to become Jesus Christ.”

Rosie O’Donnell regrets making fun of Anne Heche’s mental health

After Heche was critically injured in a car crash, Rosie O’Donnell expressed regret about mocking the actor’s mental health troubles. O’Donnell once made fun of Heche because of comments she made about space aliens.

“I can’t stop thinking about this Anne Heche accident and how horrifying the whole thing is and feeling bad that I made fun of her when she was talking to Barbara Walters about having a relationship with space aliens,” said O’Donnell in a TikTok video.

Fame is a strange thing,” says O’Donnell in separate video. “As Boy George says, fame is the impending, glittering disaster. It changes everything–that equilibrium, the balance in your life– forever, I think. May she find peace now.”

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How to get help: To connect with mental health resources near you, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website.