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People Are Reflecting on the Impact of Anne Heche and Ellen Degeneres’ Relationship

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Following Anne Heche’s tragic death last week, her fans have been reflecting on her relationship with ex-girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres.

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Heche and DeGeneres were one of the first openly gay couples in Hollywood.

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And the news that Heche had passed away last week left DeGeneres understandably heartbroken.

Scroll on for the full story…

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Heche, fifty-three, was taken to hospital in “a critical condition” following a car crash last Friday…

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According to Sky News, the actress had been “driving at speed down an LA street” before she crashed into a house.

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The Los Angeles Fire Department noted that the crash “sparked a heavy fire” which left the actress with burns…

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That requires “surgical intervention.”

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In the video taken just after the brutal accident, the actress’ behavior was rather erratic, according to TMZ.

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Apparently, Heche was “acting erratically” soon after she lost consciousness.

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Sources told the media outlet that the “law enforcement were able to get a warrant.”

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So that officials could determine whether the actress “was under the influence” with a sample of her blood.

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And that’s not all…

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According to reports, police believe Heche was indeed “under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

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Heche committed “at least 2 hit-and-runs” before she drove through a home…

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When her car was set ablaze and she faced “significant injuries.”

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A representative for the actress told TMZ, that Heche is currently “fighting for her life” in hospital…

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As well as being in a critical condition with “pulmonary injuries” in which she requires “mechanical ventilation.”

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“Shortly after the accident, Anne Heche became unconscious, slipping into a coma, and is in critical condition. She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention,” concluded the rep.

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Heche is currently in a coma and dealing with her significant injuries.

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The rep told PEOPLE that “she is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident.”

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Since the incident, investigators have called the case a “felony.”

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According to the Daily Mail, Heche was “having a bad day” in the run-up to the accident…

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In Friday’s episode of Heche’s Better Together podcast, she appears to “slur her words” as she and co-host Heather Duffy tell the “audience they are drinking vodka with wine chasers.”

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As “a vodka distillery which sponsored one of their shows gave them free alcohol.”

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However, it is not clear whether the podcast was filmed on the Friday of the accident.

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“Dr. Rahm said that we should be drinking vodka instead of wine,” Duffy said, while Heche added that “we listened and we are drinking it.”

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And it’s the next revelation that’s got fans talking after the actress revealed she was having a “bad day.”

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“I don’t know what happened, sometimes days just suck and I don’t know if you ever have them [but] some days, those no good, very bad days, and some days, days just end up like this.

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“Sometimes days just suck and I don’t know if you ever have them, but you know some days, Mama says just gonna be like this. Some days there are those no good, very bad days,” said Heche.

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“And I don’t know why some days just end up like this, and things don’t really rock me like that,” continued the actress.

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Heche later revealed how she has “had a tough week,” and explained, “how people interrupted her meditating at her apartment.”

So does that mean Heche was indeed having a bad day on Friday? Well, we don’t for sure…

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Before the accident, the actress was seen “speeding down an alleyway and narrowly missing the pedestrian as she walked along the sidewalk in the Mar Vista area of the city.”

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The newly released footage shows a woman who has not been identified, looking astonished as the Heche’s Mini Clubman raced past just before 11 am on Friday.

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TMZ reports that Heche “may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

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When she plowed into the home of Lynne Mishele.

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According to TMZ, the police are “treating the incident as a potential felony investigation because the woman inside the home, Lynne Mishele, suffered.”

While Heche is believed to still be in a critical condition, it seems the case will still be ongoing…

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Lynne Bernstein, a neighbor of Mishele, told PEOPLE the tenant was “extremely fortunate to have survived the accident.”

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She further added, “that she was in shock before she even noticed the vehicle as she saw him and two other neighbors inside her house trying to help everyone get out safely.”

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According to Bernstein, the vehicle drove all the way into the house.

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The Los Angeles Fire Department said that the damage was severe and caused heavy fire to the one-story home.

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The Fire Department even red-tagged the house, which means the building is not safe for occupancy in its current state.

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Though she managed to survive the wreckage, Mishele has lost a lifetime of possession and equipment for her online business. Many have donated to her GoFundMe page here.

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And now, Heche’s family has revealed she’s been declared brain dead.

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Announcing she will be taken off life support.

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It has been announced that she will stay on a ventilator so that doctors can check her organs to see if they are able to be donated before they turn off the life support.  

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It has been shared that Heche suffered “severe anoxic brain injury” due to the crash according to a statement made by her family.

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This means her brain was starved of oxygen for a significant amount of time.

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A rep for her family said: “We want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers for Anne’s recovery and thank the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses that cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital.”

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“Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive.”

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The statement continued: “Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit.

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“More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work – especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love. She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light.”

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Heche’s rep then revealed even more details after it was disclosed the actress is not expected to survive…

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The rep went explained that the Donnie Brasco actress chose to be an organ donor long ago and, according to reports, will be alive until the check is done.

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“It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable,” the statement read.

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Authorities are still gathering evidence from the crash.

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And are expected to present a case to prosecutors once the investigation is complete.

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However, it has now been announced that the actress has passed away.

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A rep for Anne’s family told TMZ: “We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend.

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They continued: “Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy.

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“Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”

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Many tributes have since come pouring in online for the star…

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But 1 message, in particular, has left everyone feeling emotional.

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Heche’s ex-girlfriend, Ellen DeGeneres, shared a heartfelt message online after learning about Heche’s condition.

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DeGeneres and Heche famously got together in 1997, just 4 months after the TV host came out.

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They reportedly met at a Vanity Fair Oscar party and hit it off straight away…

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The pair subsequently embarked on a secret relationship until finally going public 6 months later.

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They were so serious that in 1999, the pair admitted they would tie the knot if Vermont legalized same-s*x marriage.

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Sadly, a year later they broke up. According to a statement by PEOPLE, the couple said: “It is an amicable parting and we greatly value the 3 1/2 years we have spent together.”

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And although they went their separate ways, it’s clear DeGeneres has always held Heche in high regard.

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After hearing the tragic news, she tweeted: “This is a sad day. I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.”

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Since then, many fans are reflecting on what a huge impact their relationship had on thousands of queer fans in the ’90s.

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Some have taken to Twitter to share how much they respect Heche for being so open back in a time when there was little representation.

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“Kids today don’t know what it was like, but I vividly recall when Anne Heche and Ellen Degeneres came out about their relationship back in 1997.

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“I was in awe, and remember thinking, ‘This could really change things for people.’ Thank you for so bravely taking that step, Anne,” one fan wrote.

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Another shared how Heche impacted their own experience: “When I decided to come out at 16 in 1998 I cannot overstate how much Ellen and Anne’s public relationship pushed me in my decision. While I saw the media backlash I also saw their strength.”

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“I don’t think people understand how much Anne sacrificed to be visibly queer. She went from starring in blockbuster films with the likes of Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford to being blacklisted over her relationship with Ellen Degeneres,” a third highlighted.

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What an incredible legacy she has left behind.

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Rest in peace, Anne Heche.

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