In the wake of Anne Heche‘s passing, many are looking for answers. Her 2001 memoir, Call Me Crazy, is now selling for hundreds of dollars, as many try to gleam more about the late actress’ life and last days. ET is looking back at our 2001 interview with Heche, in which she shared why she wanted to tell her story, in her own words.
“Everything’s out, everybody knows everything. It feels good. You know, that’s one of the reasons why I did this: to put closure on a time of my life that was a crazy time in my life, and to be able to move on and start a new beginning and a fresh, wonderful life and that’s what I’ve done,” Heche explained when asked why she wrote the memoir.
Heche, who had a strained relationship with her parents and much of her family at the time, said she has closure on her relationship with them, but more than writing the book to explore the trauma she experienced within her family, the Six Days, Seven Nights actress said she penned the memoir to help explain some of her “crazy” behavior.
“I have closure on it. I’ve written my story, I’ve told my story and I don’t have an emotional connection right now with my parents,” she said. I understand they did the best they could, but sure, it hurts when — it hurt. That’s why I write about it.”
In addition to revealing that she was sexually abused by her father, Heche detailed her three-year relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, and its demise, which lead her to have a mental breakdown hours after they split in 2000.
According to reports at the time, following their breakup, Heche parked her car on a highway in central California and strolled down the road into a desert for a mile, before getting to a stranger’s home. By the time police arrived, Heche had claimed she was God and would take everyone back to heaven “in some sort of spaceship.” She later confessed to Larry King that she had had a “hit of ecstasy” when she got out of her SUV and was under the influence of the drug when making those statements.
“But also part of why I did it,” Heche continued, is because people watched me go through real crazy moments in my life in public and they didn’t know what was behind it, so I think it was my responsibility as a public figure — funnily enough, I only figured I was a public figure when people were making fun of me and calling me crazy. Maybe they need the whole story here. And then, sure, feel either way about it that you want to feel, but at least you know the story and I feel it is important.”
As for the title, Heche said she “believed” she had been “crazy” even though she “was not diagnosed as crazy.” It was also a bit tongue-in-cheek, serving as a message to everyone calling her crazy behind her back and in the headlines.
“The title of the book came, I believe I was doing yoga one day in December, and I went, ‘Oh! Call Me Crazy, that’s the name of the book.’ And the reason that set so well for me was because one, I believe I had been crazy even though I was not diagnosed as crazy,” she revealed. “I do have a sense of humor about my life, and there are some points in the book that I hope are funny and entertaining and not just about the tragedy of my life, because there are two sides to all things.”
Heche continued, “And I’m happy that I’m here where I am. And also, I wanted people to understand that I know what people say about me behind my back or even in the headlines, you know? There’s people who’ve called me crazy, so go ahead and call me crazy.”
In fact, Heche said she was fine with all the labels being put on her, because she said she was “thrilled” with where she was in life at the time after surviving what she had.
“People have wanted to call me gay. People have wanted to call me straight. People have wanted to call me bisexual. You wanna call me crazy? Call me crazy. I’m here. I’m thrilled with where I am in my life. I feel like I’ve survived something that some people don’t. I’ve done it in a way that certainly wasn’t perfect, but I’m here,” she added.
“I’m not out to justify my behavior, I’m out to fill in the story,” she maintained, before referencing her post-Ellen mental health struggles. “You know, a year ago was wandering in a desert looking for my spaceship. That was true. I mean, part of that is funny. You go, ‘Oh my god, you can’t believe it.’ I can’t believe that that was me.”
“But then, I truly, honestly believed. I was looking for my spaceship,” Heche added. “The reality that creates that world is the reality I write about in the book. I hope it answers those questions.”
On Aug. 5, Heche was rushed to the hospital with severe burns after she crashed her blue Mini Cooper into a home, shortly before 11 a.m. P.T. Heche was declared dead on Friday at the age of 53. On Sunday, a rep confirmed to ET that the actress was “peacefully” taken off life support, as her organs found recipients for transplants. Her official cause of death was ruled a result of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries due to the fiery car crash.