The Reason Anne Heche Gave Portia De Rossi A Stark Warning

Before there was Portia de Rossi, there was Anne Heche. Ellen DeGeneres dated Heche for over three years, and she was the comedian's first public girlfriend after coming out. They'd sent the gossip mill spinning after being spotted looking cozy at Hollywood events. But, neither confirmed nor denied they were dating until they sat down with Oprah Winfrey in 1997. Heche shared that her dad, a church choir director, was gay but kept his sexuality secret until just weeks before he died from AIDS in 1983. She said the experience made her determined to live her life authentically and openly. "Live and love and enjoy yourself," Heche told Winfrey she'd vowed.

Heche said the promise she'd made to herself was at the front of her mind when she first locked eyes "across a crowded room" with DeGeneres. Heche hadn't been attracted to women before and only dated men, but she was immediately smitten with DeGeneres. The couple quickly fell for each other, moving into a swanky LA mansion and engaging in PDA.

"We're very happy and in love," DeGeneres told reporters in early 2000, per ABC News. "It's a celebration every single day," she claimed. However, the party ended following DeGeneres and Heche's break-up in August. "It was the first time I'd ever had my heart broken," DeGeneres told the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, Heche was hospitalized after suffering an emotional breakdown. And, when DeGeneres fell in love again, Heche gave de Rossi a stark warning about her future wife-to-be.

Anne Heche's experience dating Ellen wasn't the best

Anne Heche's life fell apart following her split from Ellen DeGeneres. InStyle reported that she suffered an emotional breakdown and was hospitalized after knocking on a stranger's door and "declaring herself God." Heche wrote about her battle with mental illness and childhood sexual abuse in her memoir, "Call Me Crazy."

Dating DeGeneres had pushed Heche's mental health to the limit. As soon as the couple went public, they came under fire from the media. Per Rolling Stone, DeGeneres and Heche were accused of staging a fake relationship for publicity and were slammed for their public displays of affection and expressing their love. However, Heche bore the brunt of the bile. "Ellen is dating a hideously dressed conehead," the Toronto National Post wrote.

DeGeneres claimed she was shocked by the breakup. "She walked out the door, and I haven't spoken to her since," she told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm left with everybody else wondering what happened. I don't know," she continued. Heche answered the question on her podcast in 2021. She explained that she ended things because DeGeneres was way more focused on her career and building a fortune than on nurturing a healthy and happy relationship. Heche shared that she'd warned Portia De Rossi about the pitfalls of dating DeGeneres and told her to take heed of all the "red flags" that she had ignored.

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Anne Heche didn't hold back when warning Portia about Ellen

Anne Heche didn't hold back with her criticism of Ellen DeGeneres. She accused the comedian of being controlling and dictating how she should dress because she didn't want her girlfriend to flash any flesh. "Why do I look like a hippie? It's because Ellen didn't want me to dress sexy," Heche said in a TikTok video about a red carpet pic of her from 1998.

She also accused DeGeneres of being a money-obsessed "b***h" and alleged that she attempted to ruin her acting career after they split. "I broke up with her because her goal was to have a lot of money," Heche claimed during her podcast in 2021. "Mine was to find love, and hers was, 'I want $60 billion.'"

According to ABC News, Heche left DeGeneres for cameraman Coley Laffoon, who reportedly met Heche while he was filming DeGeneres for HBO. Heche shared on her podcast that when she married the cameraman in 2001, Portia de Rossi was among the guests. De Rossi told Heche that she'd set her sights on DeGeneres and asked if the new bride had any advice. Heche said she made it clear to de Rossi that she'd been there, done that, and warned her that it wasn't worth the effort. "You won't be the poster child, girl, because guess what, that poster child has already been taken," Heche told her. "And by the way, it wasn't a great spot."

Portia clearly ignored Anne Heche's warning

Portia de Rossi clearly wasn't deterred by Anne Heche's stark warning about Ellen DeGeneres. Per Insider, the actor and comedian started getting close in 2004, and a year later, in January 2005, DeGeneres and de Rossi made their red carpet debut as a couple. In August 2008, the couple made their union legally binding by saying "I do." DeGeneres and de Rossi's marriage is still going strong 14 years later.

"We've grown together as a couple, and we really consider each other and put our relationship first," de Rossi told People in 2021. She admitted she couldn't "imagine spending time with anyone but her." DeGeneres said they were grateful and "lucky to have each other." She joked that they're so simpatico that they "finish each other's sandwiches — no, sentences."

DeGeneres and Anne Heche didn't speak following their nasty breakup in 2000 and eventually lost contact. However, after the news of her heartbreaking death, DeGeneres paid her respects to Heche. "This is a sad day. I'm sending Anne's children, family, and friends all of my love," she tweeted.