The Real Reason You Don't Hear From Anne Heche Anymore

Anne Heche went from being one of Hollywood's most talked about and sought-after stars in the early 2000s to falling out of the spotlight. It almost seems as if she may have disappeared altogether. But in reality, she's just kept a low profile while quietly building a body of acting work as well as handling a number of personal issues: ex-husband drama, disturbing accusations against her father, and being a mom to two boys. 

She's also reflected on a high-profile romance from her past and found the time to display some fancy footwork on a popular dance competition show. Although she might not be as ubiquitous as she was nearly 20 years ago, the actor hasn't hung up her acting credentials for good — not by a long shot. We'll go into what she's been up to, so find out why you haven't heard from Anne Heche in a long time.

A costly divorce

Everybody knows that a nasty break up or divorce can send a person into hiding. Just ask Anne Heche, who in 2007 split from Coley Laffoon, her husband of five years. According to People, their divorce turned nasty when Laffoon charged that Heche was maybe incapable of caring for their son, Homer. She had previously documented her mental instability in her memoir "Call Me Crazy." To make matters worse, he demanded cash to accommodate his already plush lifestyle. Among his requests were $28,000 a month in spousal support, nearly $10,000 in mortgage money, and of course, primary custody.

"It is disappointing that Coley Laffoon has resorted to filing lies with the court because Anne would not cave in to his astronomical monetary demands," a rep for Heche said. "For the past several years the child's father has refused to get a job in order to contribute financially to the child's care."

Their jabs and insults toward each other came to an end in 2009 when the couple reached a settlement. Heche agreed to pay $3,700 a month in child support. She and her ex-husband also agreed to split both physical and legal custody of their son. Although Laffoon did not receive any spousal support, he got a $515,000 lump sum from Heche and half of their community property. This was one nasty breakup.

Her romance with James Tupper

Since her first marriage ended with so much public drama, it seemed that Anne Heche took a very quiet approach to love the second time around when she maintained a long-term relationship with a man named James Tupper, with whom she had a son in 2009. As Closer reported in 2017, they had been together for nearly 10 years and were in no rush to jump the broom. Instead, they preferred having a long-term engagement. "Eternally engaged is fantastic," Heche quipped. "Every year I get a new ring, and I am not kidding." 

She dished to the The Telegraph, "I have quite a collection [of rings] ... Besides, I've been married before and so has he. I don't know what either of us would gain or what would change that would benefit us." Not too long after that, however, Heche and Tupper called it quits in early 2018. What followed for the next couple of years was a very heated child support battle and putting their Lake Arrowhead home up for sale.

What Anne Heche said about Ellen DeGeneres

At one point and time, Anne Heche was best known for dating comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. They met at a Vanity Fair Oscar party in 1997 and dated for three years. But when they split, the breakup reportedly left DeGeneres sulking while Heche moved on to Laffoon. DeGeneres told the Los Angeles Times it was "the first time I ever had my heart broken." 

In later years, Heche seemed to be embarrassed by the topic of DeGeneres, even though the relationship was part of her claim to fame. In 2014, Maximo TV interviewed Heche on the red carpet. Things seemed to be going fine until the reporter asked what she thought of DeGeneres hosting the event. Heche deflected to then-partner James Tupper, who asked simply, "Who?" 

By 2020, Heche seemed to be more willing to discuss her past with DeGeneres, telling outlet Mr. Warburton, "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." And in 2021, Heche was even more candid, saying to Page Six that the same-sex relationship led to her being "canceled" in Hollywood, when Heche didn't act in a studio film for 10 years as a consequence for taking DeGeneres to a film premiere as her date. 

Motherhood is demanding

Having kids is a full-time job that can often pull parents away from busy careers and projects. "It's a bit like having an unreasonable employer," Tupper quipped to People about having a baby, son Atlas in 2009. "He doesn't give breaks." Although, she says Atlas was a decent kid. "I always imagine babies crying. He doesn't really. He's very sweet. He's in a warm bath of love and attention."

While parenthood was going well for Heche and James Tupper, he returned to work on his TV show "Mercy," which filmed in New York. That meant Tupper became bicoastal, with Heche caring for two kids while her partner worked across the country. When the magazine asked about Heche's feelings about that, he said, "She's taking it a day at a time."

Her career certainly reflected her lack of participation in Hollywood during that time. Her IMDb resume shows she took on one project in 2009 and another project in 2010, for which she was uncredited. Her career resumed in 2011 with a 30-episode run in "Hung."

Anne Heche faced financial troubles

Back in 2016, Anne Heche filed papers suggesting she could no longer afford the agreed-upon child support payments to ex-husband Coley Laffoon of $3,700 a month. According to the Daily Mail, she asked a judge to reduce that amount based on her new income level, impacted by the fact that she was not working as often. Her support payments were lowered to $1,175 a month, while documents also showed her income dropped down to $34,000 a month.

If the scenario rings a bell, it's because in 2008, before she reached a settlement with Laffoon, Heche begged the court to reduce her payments for the same reason. She was paying upwards of $15,000 a month to her ex-husband for various costs. "Since January 18, 2008, I have been unemployed and had no income from employment except for one very short-term contract for a movie role for which I received a total of $65,000, approximately the amount I received for one episode of Men In Trees," she told the court of her financial distress. "I do receive some residuals from previous acting work. However, the amounts are nominal and are offset by recurring business expenses that must be paid whether or not I am working."  

She pitched in for Puerto Rico hurricane relief

While fans may be looking for Anne Heche on the latest issue of People magazine or chatting with Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show," she spent time giving back to those less fortunate. In September 2017, after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, she and James Tupper launched a CrowdRise page called My Next Check to encourage everyone to donate money to relief.

Speaking to Albuquerque Journal (her series "The Brave" was filmed in Albuquerque), Heche said, "Seeing that I don't have a personal connection to Puerto Rico, we felt a mutual need to think globally and act locally. The devastation wasn't being addressed and I didn't know before how easy it was to ask for help when there is a need. When I set up the crowdrise account, within four hours we had raised over $5,000." She helped raise thousands of dollars in hurricane relief for the Caribbean island, even encouraging NBC (the network for "The Brave") to join in her efforts.

Her molestation took over the spotlight

When it comes to family issues from her childhood, Anne Heche has a lot to say. In fact, much of the focus in the past has been on her accusations against her father, and not her acting work. In a "20/20" interview, Heche claims her father sexually molested her. "I think it's always hard for children to talk about abuse because it is only memory," Heche said. "I didn't carry around a tape recorder ... I didn't chisel anything in stone ... Anybody can look and say, 'Well how do you know for sure?' And that's one of the most painful things about it. You don't."

To add fuel to the fire, Heche alleged that her father gave her herpes. Because of this trying time in her life, she believes it pushed the limits of her mental stability. She claims the abuse caused her to escape to a "fourth dimension" that gave her some sort of security. "I had a fantasy world that I escaped to. I called my other personality Celestia. I believed I was from that world. I believed I was from another planet. I think I was insane."  

Heche's mother has either denied the abuse happened or refused to address the subject.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

The actor did a lot of TV

Showbiz watchers expecting to see Anne Heche land on the silver screen with a big dramatic role may need to shift their focus. She took on TV movies in lieu of constant blockbuster hits. She appeared in the short-lived series "The Legend of Korra," as well as a Hallmark holiday film, "Looks Like Christmas." While it may seem Christmas and holiday movies are out of the ordinary for Heche, she's actually big fan of the red and green. "We rock it! We do. We go nuts," then-husband James Tupper told Us Weekly in 2014. "We have a giant tree and presents."

In 2017, Heche was cast as the lead in "The Brave." Reviews were mixed, and the New York Post predicted it would be canceled, which it was after one season. Heche even admitted in an interview with Backstage that the role was a tough one. "I do feel like I'm growing a lot as an actor. It's a very physical role, but the challenge of her is to get out my giddiness," she explained. 

Heche made appearances in "Chicago P.D." and "Quantico," while also starring in "All Rise" as Corrine Cuthbert. As of 2022, her filming schedule seems to be quite busy, as she has several projects in production, including films like "Wake" and TV shows like "The Idol."

Anne Heche danced on DWTS

In 2020, Anne Heche appeared in Season 29 of "Dancing With the Stars." She was partnered with Keo Motsepe, and the dancing duo enjoyed several stunning performances. It all ended in just four weeks, with a dramatic exit to top it all off. A glitch in the control room resulted in three couples up for elimination instead of two, and the confusion was obvious on live TV. After getting the boot, Heche immediately left the studio. She told ET, "That was all so confusing for us. It wasn't pleasant to be honest." Apparently, the star was upset after she related the story of her past relationship with Ellen DeGeneres as part of the show. "The honest truth is that it took 20 years to process and share that story, so finally, telling it and being voted off on the same night was not the best feeling," she told Page Six.

Heche seemed to cool off quickly, as she appeared in "Good Morning America" with Motsepe the next day. After host Michael Strahan noted Heche's high scores, she laughingly replied, "Was that a high note? I'm glad that I got to dance the dances that I did, and I've been through tougher, but this was not my finest moment."

Love and podcasts

Anne Heche and fellow actor Thomas Jane dated, starting in 2019. The two — who worked together on "Hung" — were spotted at various film festivals. A source told People, "They've been friends for so many years and they're so like-minded that it's an incredibly easy relationship. They're really supportive of each other and have a lot of fun — they're definitely in love." As much in love as they seemed to be, things didn't last, but exactly when the pair split up is a bit of a mystery.

The next thing we knew, in the fall of 2021, US Weekly reported that Anne Heche and skincare mogul Peter Thomas Roth were an item. They didn't make a huge announcement about being in a relationship but were spotted together, and the rumor mill kicked into high gear. Heche and Roth have appeared together at various functions, although Heche's social media feed gives very little hint to her relationship status (minus this one Instagram post from 2021).

The actor also co-hosts the "Better Together w/Anne Heche and Heather Duffy" podcast, which aims to promote positive and uplifting stories. Whether she's acting, socializing, or hosting a podcast, it seems that Heche is doing just fine these days.