Rosie O’Donnell Speaks Out About Claims She Was ‘Evil’ to Anne Heche

by Alex Falls

The world still reels from the news that Anne Heche lost her life after being removed from life support in the aftermath of a horrific car crash. In the wake of her passing, many are looking back on the memorable moments in the actor’s life.

Heche was no stranger to facing controversy. Her relationship with Ellen Degeneres in the late 90s caused a major backlash in a mainstream culture that wasn’t accustomed to seeing same-sex relationships. Including an alleged incident with the former co-host of The View, Rosie O’Donnell.

O’Donnell responded to the allegations in a TikTok video where she denied ever being “evil” to Heche when she hosted her own daytime talk show. “I would say not true and not likely. I can’t imagine ever saying anything like that to anyone, never mind a guest about to appear on my show.”

@rosie Replying to @jamieeigsti ♬ original sound – Rosie ODonnell

“So no, that was not accurate, and kind of shocking to hear it, truthfully,” O’Donnell continued. “And no, I wasn’t participating in Ellen’s trying to blacklist her, or whatever. No way in God’s green hell. So I’m sorry that we never got to talk about that. But I never said that to anyone in my life.”

The Story from Anne Heche’s Side

Heche discussed the alleged incident during an episode of her Better Together podcast in 2021. The actress said she was appearing on The Rosie O’Donnell Show to promote her performance in the film Donnie Brasko just after she and Degeneres had broken up.

“So when I was in my dressing room,” Heche said. “I got a knock on the door and Rosie comes in and sets herself down uncomfortably in front of me and basically states, ‘Let me cut to the point. If you bring up the fact that you and Ellen are a couple, I will not promote you. We will erase this episode. If you bring her up, if you bring up gay love, if you bring up love, if you bring up anything to do with the movement that you feel that you’re a part of, you will not have your film promoted.'”

At the time, O’Donnell had yet to come out as gay herself. Plus, her daytime talk show was a major attraction on TV. O’Donnell wielded a lot of Hollywood power in those days. And Heche was already facing a mountain of adversity for her very public relationship with Degeneres.

“Now, that was a long time ago and that was Rosie O’Donnell,” Heche said, who pointed out that O’Donnell is “openly gay now; she was not then. And I do have to say, no one at that time stood by Ellen’s side. I’m proud to have been the person to do it, because she certainly didn’t have support. And for that I feel compassion.”