Heche, who passed away on Friday from terrible injuries sustained in a violent vehicle crash, gained notoriety in 1997 for her friendship with DeGeneres, then 64. The two celebrities were among the first openly gay female lovers in Hollywood at the time.
When Heche and DeGeneres first met in the late 1990s, there was immediate chemistry between them.
“She and I met at the Vanity Fair event. And it was a connection thing that was difficult to explain. “In May 1998, DeGeneres spoke to the Tampa Bay Times. “It just took place. There was no doubt that I was drawn to her, but that wasn’t enough. There are many lovely folks around. She is extremely special.”
The couple would later struggle as the public focused heavily on their relationship. Despite criticism, Heche and DeGeneres made an effort to portray the LGBTQ community well.
DeGeneres stated to Teen People in 1998 that “[we] deal with homeless kids at the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center once a week.” “There is no hope for the children there. We make an effort to emphasize to them that everyone who has ever accomplished great things had to endure a significant obstacle.”
Additionally, the duo laid the groundwork for later LGBTQ+ relationships. Heche ignored advice not to go to the 1997 red carpet premiere of her movie Volcano with DeGeneres.
“We were informed that when I took Ellen, my contract with Fox would expire, and I would lose my job. And that I will not get hired by the film on which I had just seen Harrison Ford, “In a 2018 interview on the Irish Goodbye show, she added.
And we went to the premiere — these are the details I know people are unfamiliar with — we went to the premiere, we were touched on the shoulder, we were placed into her limousine in the third act, and we were told we couldn’t have our pictures taken during the press event.