Brutal fallout of Ellen relationship
Actress Anne Heche has revealed the "stigma" she faced during her three-year relationship with talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres in the late 90s, at the time one of Hollywood's few public same-sex relationships.
Heche says the fallout from their relationship was so severe, she did not work on a "studio picture" for a decade.
Heche made the rare public comments about her controversial ex in the latest episode of the US Dancing With the Stars, where she performed a pride-themed dance and reflected upon her own very public journey as a member of the LGBT community.
Heche and DeGeneres had started dating in 1997, the same year DeGeneres came out as gay. Heche, however, had never been in a relationship with a woman before. The couple made frequent red carpet appearances at award shows throughout their three-year relationship - and Heche, whose star was on the rise in films like Volcano and Wag The Dog, says that visibility cost her career dearly.
"In 1997, I met Ellen DeGeneres at the Vanity Fair party, and that was the night that changed my life forever," Heche said on DWTS.
"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 claimed, as per People. "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 by security 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."
"It was unbelievable. Part of my naivety was that I had no idea what was going to happen - (Ellen) was warning me," she said.
And Ellen would know - her own coming out was met with a fierce backlash that saw her hit sitcom cancelled.
"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 multimillion-dollar picture deal and I did not work in a studio picture for 10 years," said Heche.
This isn't the first time Heche has publicly spoken about her very famous ex recently: Back in August, she weighed in on the daytime talk show host's toxic workplace scandal with some cryptic comments.
"I haven't spoken to Ellen in years. I'd listen to the people who have," Heche, 51, told Mr. Warburton magazine.
"If I'm standing someplace and I don't like what's going on there and I stay there, it's my fault," she continued.
"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?"
She added: "Ellen is standing where she walks, and that is hers to continue that journey."
Originally published as Brutal fallout of Ellen relationship