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The True Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres And Anne Heche's Breakup


The following story contains discussion of abuse.

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Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi are an iconic couple, but the talk show megastar also dated actor Anne Heche starting in 1997 — in fact, Ellen came out mere days after the two got together. Unfortunately, they broke up in 2000, just weeks after they were seen house hunting in LA, so what went wrong?

Heche and DeGeneres' official breakup statement read, "Unfortunately, we have decided to end our relationship. It is an amicable parting, and we greatly value the 3 1/2 years we have spent together. We hope everyone will respect our privacy through this difficult time." However, things were not as calm as they seemed.

The day after the breakup, “Heche showed up at the door of a stranger's home [...] and had an emotional breakdown, requesting a shower and declaring herself God", per InStyle. Heche was hospitalized, and later told "20/20" that abuse from her father resulted in her mental health issues, no doubt exacerbated by the breakup.

Ellen also told the Los Angeles Times that she felt "betrayed" by the split. While this was the first time DeGeneres ever had her heart broken with no closure, it was Heche's first time dating a woman, and she's never put a label on her sexuality, telling Barbara Walters, "You fall in love with a person, not a sex."