Ron Wolfson/Online USA
Anne Heche is looking back on her high-profile romance with Ellen DeGeneres.
In a new interview with Mr. Warburton magazine, the 51-year-old actress opens up about what it was like dating DeGeneres from 1997 to 2000.
“Our time was a beautiful part of my life and one that I wear with honor,” Heche says.
Back in the ’90s, DeGeneres and Heche were ridiculed for going public with their same-sex relationship. Recalling that moment in time, Heche tells the outlet, “I was a part of a revolution that created social change, and I could not have done that without falling in love with her.”
While the two faced plenty of backlash throughout their years as a couple together, Heche specifically recalls the day she was escorted out of the Volcano premiere for bringing DeGeneres along as her date.
“I was told by Fox Studio executives that if I brought Ellen to the premiere, my contract would be terminated,” she recalls. “I brought Ellen despite those threats, and we were escorted out of the theater before the lights came on by security and not allowed to attend the premiere party because they did not want any photos of us together.”
“The difference between what would happen today and what happened then is that I would not have been ushered out of my own premiere and fired from a multi-million dollar picture deal with Fox for taking a girl as my date,” she adds.
Later in the interview, Heche also addressed the current allegations of workplace toxicity surrounding The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“I haven’t spoken to Ellen in years,” she admitted. “I’d listen to the people who have.”
“If I’m standing someplace and I don’t like what’s going on there and I stay there, it’s my fault,” she continued. “So what are the actions that got me there and why can’t I get out of it easily if that’s not something that I want to be engaged in? Ellen is standing where she walks, and that is hers to continue that journey.”
DeGeneres, who has been married to Portia de Rossi since 2008, has received plenty of celebrity support amid the backlash, from stars like Katy Perry, Kevin Hart and Octavia Spencer. When photographers spotted de Rossi out and about in Santa Barbara, California, earlier this month, she claimed DeGeneres is “doing great” right now.
ET learned on Monday that Ellen is currently back in production remotely at this time, though there is no exact date as to when they will be back on stage. ET has also learned the investigation is still ongoing at the show. A source close to the team tells ET that the staff is DeGeneres’ priority right now.
As ET previously reported, Warner Bros. Television sent an internal memo to staffers last month, informing them that WarnerMedia would be seeking the services of an independent third-party firm to interview current and former employees about their experiences behind the scenes on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, after one current and 10 former employees anonymously spoke with BuzzFeed News about their negative experiences working on the program.
In an internal letter sent to show staff, which was obtained by ET, DeGeneres apologized and affirmed that she was committed to “having conversations about fairness and justice.”
ET learned that a virtual staff meeting was also recently held to update show employees on the investigation into alleged workplace misconduct. ET was told that there are staff who feel hopeful there will be positive change on the production side of the show and more involvement from DeGeneres herself. New episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show are slated to begin filming in September.
Hear more on DeGeneres’ ongoing workplace investigation in the video below.