Ellen DeGeneres’ ex Anne Heche says romance with the TV host was ‘a beautiful part of my life’

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.

35 PHOTOSEllen DeGeneres through the yearsSee GalleryEllen DeGeneres through the years399574 88: Actress Ellen DeGeneres speaks during the 28th Annual Peoples Choice Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center January 13, 2002 in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)If These Walls Could Talk 2, An Hbo Films Trilogy Examining The Lesbian Experience In America In Three Different Decades, Debuts Sunday, March 5 At 9:00 P.M. (Et). Pictured: Ellen Degeneres (Who Also Executive Produces) In The Story Entitled ‘2000.’(Photo By Getty Images)PASADENA, :Ellen DeGeneres (C), a nominee for an Emmy in the category of Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in ‘Ellen,’ stands with her mother (R) and her girlfriend Ann Hache as they arrive at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, CA, 14 September. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is organizing the 49th Emmys Award. AFP PHOTO/Kim KULISH (Photo credit should read KIM KULISH/AFP/Getty Images)If These Walls Could Talk 2, An Hbo Films Trilogy Examining The Lesbian Experience In America In Three Different Decades, Debuts Sunday, March 5 At 9:00 P.M. (Et). Pictured, From Left: Sharon Stone And Ellen Degeneres (Who Also Executive Produces) With Anne Heche, Writer And Director Of The Story Entitled ‘2000.’(Photo By Getty Images)Anne Heche, Sharon Stone and Ellen DeGeneres in ‘If These Walls Could Talk 2.’ Anne Heche wrote and directed the story entitled ‘2000.’ Photo credit: Lorey Sebastian HBOHost Ellen Degeneres at the 53rd Annual Prime-Time Emmy Awards held at the Shubert Theatre, Los Angeles, CA., Nov. 4, 2001.(photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)BURBANK, CA – SEPTEMBER 2:Talk show host Ellen Degeneres appears on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ at the NBC Studios on September 2, 2003 in Burbank, California.(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES – SEPTEMBER 21:Actress Ellen DeGeneres and guest attend the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium September 21, 2003 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)WESTWOOD, CA – APRIL 3:Actor David Spade and comedian Ellen DeGeneres pose backstage during Nickelodeon’s 17th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards at Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA, April 3, 2004 in Westwood, California.(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES – JUNE 16:Television show host Ellen Degeneres runs with the Olympic Torch in Los Angeles during U.S. segment of the ATHENS 2004 Olypic Torch Relay June 16, 2004 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 5:Actress Ellen DeGeneres arrives at the 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Exposition Center on February 5, 2005 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)NEW YORK – MAY 20:Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres (L) and actress Portia De Rossi arrive at the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Radio City Music Hall May 20, 2005 in New York City.(Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)NEW YORK – MAY 20:Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres accepts an award for best talk show at the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Radio City Music Hall May 20, 2005 in New York City.(Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)HOLLYWOOD , CA – APRIL 28:Actress Portia de Rossi and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres arrive at the 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on April 28, 2006 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)NEW YORK – AUGUST 26:TV personality Ellen Degeneres participates in a charity tennis shoot out on Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on August 26, 2006 in New York City.(Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)HOLLYWOOD – FEBRUARY 25:Host Ellen DeGeneres wears an oscar onstage during the 79th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on February 25, 2007 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)LAS VEGAS – NOVEMBER 20: Talk show host/comedian Ellen DeGeneres (C) performs with dancers during a taping of ‘Ellen’s Even Bigger Really Big Show’ during The Comedy Festival at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace November 20, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 06:Ellen Degeneres (R) reads to Venus Williams (L) at Venus Williams’ book signing during day eight of the 2010 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA)NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 09:Ellen Degeneres walks the runway at the Richie Rich Spring 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on September 9, 2010 in New York City.(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for IMG)UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – JULY 22:TV Personality Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossiarrive at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheatre on July 22, 2012 in Universal City, California.(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 04:Comedienne/talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 4, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 10:TV personality Ellen DeGeneres (L) and singer Beyonce speak onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 22:American TV personality Ellen DeGeneres arrives at Sydney Airport on March 22, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. DeGeneres is in Australia to film segments for her TV show, ‘Ellen’.(Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)VAN NUYS, CA – NOVEMBER 22:Television personality and comedian Ellen DeGeneres (L) launches the ‘Duracell Power a Smile Program’ at the Van Nuys Airport on November 22, 2013 in Van Nuys, California.(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 08:TV personality Ellen DeGeneres (R) and actor/singer Justin Timberlake attend The 40th Annual People’s Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The People’s Choice Awards)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 08:TV personality Ellen DeGeneres (L) and Actress Drew Barrymoreattend The 40th Annual People’s Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for The People’s Choice Awards)HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 02:Host Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)‘JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: AFTER THE OSCARS(r)’ SPECIAL – The 9th annual ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars(r)’ Special airs Sunday, March 2 after the late local news ET/CT and at 10:00 p.m., PT on ABC. Broadcasting from Disney’s El Capitan Theater located on Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of L.A.’s star-studded Walk of Fame, the studio is just steps away from Dolby Theater, home to the Academy Awards(r). (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images)PORTIA DE ROSSI, ELLEN DEGENERES, JIMMY KIMMELHOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 02:Host Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 02:Host Ellen DeGeneres onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 02: HANDOUT – EDITORIAL USE ONLY – In this handout photo provided by Ellen DeGeneres, host Ellen DeGeneres poses for a selfie taken by Bradley Cooper with (clockwise from L-R) Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie, Peter Nyong’o Jr. and Bradley Cooper during the 86th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.(Photo credit Ellen DeGeneres/Twitter via Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 14: Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres are seen on February 14, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 02:Actors Portia de Rossi (L) and Ellen DeGeneres attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.(Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)NEW YORK NY – JUNE 19:Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi sighting on June 19, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 07:TV personality Ellen DeGeneres (L) and actress Portia de Rossiattend The 41st Annual People’s Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre LA Live on January 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The People’s Choice Awards)Up Next

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“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 previously reported that 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.

 

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