Ellen DeGeneres paid tribute to former girlfriend Anne Heche on Friday with a short but heartfelt message for the actor’s family and loved ones.
The former talk show host’s statement came after Heche’s family and friends said the actor was brain dead from injuries sustained in a car crash last week. Heche remained on life support while her family determined if she was suitable for organ donation, according to a statement from family and friends provided to Les actualites and NBC News.
“It’s a sad day,” DeGeneres wrote on Twitter. “I send Anne’s children, family and friends all my love.”
On Monday, DeGeneres was approached in Los Angeles by a photographer from — who asked for comment on Heche’s medical condition at the time.
After noting that she and her ex were “not in touch,” DeGeneres added, “I don’t want anyone getting hurt.”
Heche had been hospitalized since August 5, when her car crashed into a house in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles. Initially listed in critical condition, she reportedly fell into a coma three days later and never regained consciousness.
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that Heche had cocaine in his system at the time of the accident.
DeGeneres and Heche dated from 1997 to 2000. The two women were among Hollywood’s hottest couples at a time when mainstream culture was considerably less inclusive of the LGBTQ community.
In a 2020 interview with Mr. Warburton magazine, Heche recalled the backlash she received when she brought DeGeneres to the premiere of her 1997 film “Volcano.”
“Fox Studio executives told me that if I brought Ellen to the premiere, my contract would be terminated,” she told the publication. “I brought Ellen in despite those threats, and we were escorted out of the theater before the lights were turned on by security and we weren’t allowed to attend the premiere because they didn’t want to photos of us together.”
She continued, “Our era has been a beautiful part of my life and one that I carry with honor. I was part of a revolution that created social change, and I couldn’t have done it without falling in love with her.