CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Anne Heche Discusses Her New Book, 'Call Me Crazy'
Aired September 6, 2001 - 21:00 ET
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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, she was half of the world's most famous lesbian couple ever. Anne Heche, tabloid target, survivor of unspeakable shame, and she says she's not crazy anymore. And she's the guest next on LARRY KING LIVE.
It's a great pleasure to welcome tonight a return visit. It's always nice to see her. Anne Heche, the author of one of the most honest, extraordinary, outspoken autobiographies ever written by anyone in show business, titled "Call Me Crazy." It's gotten tremendous reviews. It's going to climb to the best seller list.
How did you pick that title?
ANNE HECHE, ACTRESS: Well, thank you for that introduction.
KING: No, I meant it, Anne. Now, how did you pick that?
HECHE: Oh, I mean, for so many reasons. One, I wanted to beat everybody else to the punch. I certainly know what's been written about me in the press. I, although I was never diagnosed as being crazy, I went crazy. And I wanted to be honest about it and tell why and tell it how...
KING: Why did you want to write the book?
HECHE: Oh, wow, for a myriad of reasons. I mean, one, I wanted to tell my story and get to a place where I could move on from the darkness in my life and find light and joy and peace and balance in the now. So, that was mainly what it was for.
And of course, in the journey of writing a book, there are a million reasons why I realized I was writing it. One, I wanted people to be able to understand that once you talk about something you can get on the other side of it.
KING: To release it?
HECHE: I believe so, yes. You know, you say you're helping other people or you want to help other people and you honestly come to terms with the fact that you're only helping yourself, but at the same time, I wanted to talk about stuff that people don't talk about so that maybe they would talk about it. So as I say, they don't -- maybe they could save themselves from going crazy.
KING: So you get the feeling of helping people?
HECHE: Well, I don't know.
KING: You hope it does.
HECHE: I have in the past -- I have in the past understood that in being honest about certain things in my life, I've helped other people be honest, because they think that it's OK when somebody else admits what they've been doing. You know, it helps other people. It certainly helps me when other people are honest about the journey in their life. It inspires me.
KING: So when you write something like that, it's cathartic too.
HECHE: Oh, heck, yes. And I mean, difficult; it's cathartic, sure. But you have to relive -- you know, I relived a lot of stuff writing this book so that I could say goodbye to it.
KING: Were there times you said, "maybe I shouldn't be doing this?"
HECHE: Yes. I wrote the book in Italy with my now fiancee. And...
KING: He was with you while you were writing?
HECHE: He was with me, yes. And I was -- we stayed in a 400- year old farm house, and sure there were times when I would come up from downstairs and say, "I don't know if I can do this. I don't know. This part is too difficult."
There were times when, obviously -- the book is about the sexual abuse that I endured as a child and getting on the other side of that abuse. And there were some times when I relived things that I did not know I would be able to get out of if it weren't for Coley. I don't think I would have been able to.
KING: Coley, your fiancee?
HECHE: My fiancee, yes.
KING: Are there things -- and you don't have to tell us -- that didn't get in?
HECHE: Sure, oh, yes. There are some things that didn't get in because I didn't think they were anybody's business. I have had very public relationships in my life. I have had very unpublic relationships in my life. But I didn't think -- this was not a book about me telling the details and the nitty-gritties of my relationships that everybody wants to know about. It was about a journey of all of my relationships, the abusive patterns that I had in my life, the things that I encountered through different relationships and the journey of that.
KING: We will get into a lot of it. Do you take offense that people think that this was published to time with Ellen DeGeneres' television show?
HECHE: Oh, I don't even take offense because it's so ridiculous. The publishing world couldn't...
KING: They decide when they're going to publish, right?
HECHE: Yes, yes. I mean, I wrote the book very quickly, but -- and that's one of the reasons why it's coming out so soon. But we couldn't have known then when Ellen's show was coming out. And I want her show to do well. We're creative women. And she has so much, so much to give on television. I hope she does great.
And I think she would think the same about me in this book. She knew I was writing this book, and she was very supportive of that.
KING: And you think she would like reading it?
HECHE: I think that she would like that I told my story finally.
KING: Because you've kept it in all of these years?
KING: Now, let me quote something just from the flap. "I believe that many people may think I went insane. I do not believe I am insane. I believe I went through a period of my life that was insane, and it lasted 31 years."
Thirty-one year insanity trip?
HECHE: Sure. And when, you know, always going along with sanity too. Thank God I had the sanity going right along side the insanity. But sure, 31 years until I could say goodbye to it.
KING: Did you ever feel schizophrenic?
KING: Were you treated?
HECHE: No, I never told anybody. I was in therapy for years and I never told anybody.
HECHE: I was a perfect hider. I was raised to hide. I was raised to pretend. I was raised to always tell everybody that everything was fine, and even though I was in therapy for years I never told anybody that I had another personality. I never told anybody that I heard voices and spoke to God. I never told anybody any of it.
I thought it would have to be something I would have to keep secret forever.
KING: And even in therapy it didn't make you come out with it? HECHE: No.
KING: Did the therapists ever say, "It would be good to let this out to people?"
HECHE: The therapists didn't know. The therapists knew about my abuse. The therapists knew about my family history. The therapists knew about the shame I was enduring. The therapists knew about all the different things I was going through to get the shame out of me, but the therapists never knew to the extent of the world that I created to get out of the shame of my abuse.
KING: We're going to cover a lot of bases with Anne Heche. This is an extraordinary book, "Call Me Crazy." Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SIX DAYS SEVEN NIGHTS")
HECHE: Oh my God, now what?
HARRISON FORD, ACTOR: We go on three. One, two...
HECHE: I can't! You go! Save yourself!
FORD: I'm sorry.
HECHE: For kissing me?
FORD: No. For this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELLEN DEGENERES, ACTRESS: I don't know if you've heard of her, but she's an up-and-commer, and this is her big break. I hope she does well. Anne Heche, ladies and gentlemen!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Anne Heche. She said Ellen DeGeneres is just part of this book -- doesn't come in until page 210. So this is told autobiographically and chronologically, right? You take us through?
HECHE: Yes, yes, I take you through my life definitely.
KING: Born and raised where?
HECHE: All over the place, but born in Aurora, Ohio.
KING: Why did you move around so much? HECHE: My dad -- well, we were told we were moving for my dad's job. But we -- I don't know -- we were moving -- we moved to go after my father. Wherever he went, we kind of went.
KING: What did he do?
HECHE: Well, he didn't really do much of anything, but we only discovered that after we moved to wherever it was that he was always going to.
KING: What was his source of income?
HECHE: He said -- well, he was a choir director. But I don't think me made much on that a week. He said that he was involved in a business of gas and oil. And he said that until the day he died. But he never was involved in the business of gas and oil ever.
KING: Mother loved him?
HECHE: I believe she loved him, sure. Sure, she stayed with him. Would not divorce him and waited until he died, and that was a marriage of 26 years.
KING: And you were the youngest of four?
HECHE: Four, yes.
KING: How early on were you abused?
HECHE: I believe before I could speak.
KING: You would trace it back that far? What's your earliest memory?
HECHE: I have physical memories of crying out for something and not being able to form words. And the way that I remember my abuse was through -- well, through different sessions of therapy. But I didn't believe anything until I was 18 years old, except that I could fly down the steps. And it was the one memory I had.
And when I showed up to therapy for the first time, I said, "I remember that I can fly down the steps. And if you don't believe that I did for real, and it wasn't in my mind, then you shouldn't be my therapist." And from that point on, I started to go into my life and discover what had really happened.
KING: So when you think back, was there pain, or have you forgotten it?
HECHE: I relived the pain. I certainly haven't forgotten it. I think as a child you protect yourself. I protected myself by creating another world. I think other children do different things.
KING: Did that lead to you being an actress?
HECHE: I think everything in my childhood led me to being an actress.
KING: But I mean, being other people, as a desire to want to be someone else?
HECHE: Oh, heck, yes. I not only wanted to leave the planet, I wanted to be anything other than who I was.
And so did my family. We all wanted to -- we were poor and we wanted to be rich. We were, you know, homeless and we pretended we had a home. We were...
HECHE: ... great pretenders.
KING: What does a girl make of it -- it's hard to ask -- when a father is abusing her? She loves her father, right?
HECHE: Well, I think every girl wants her father's love, yes.
KING: Daddy's little daughter.
Is this an extension of love? How does a girl 8, 9, 10, 11 view that?
HECHE: I think as love. I think that's the only way you can view the abuse. And that's part of what I think makes you crazy, because you're receiving abuse and being told that it's love. And that complexity of thought is insane making. You try to make it right in every way that you can, because you know that it's not right.
KING: Have you talked to any of your sisters about it?
HECHE: I have as an adult, very little, but I have. I don't know if I ever did as a kid. I don't remember ever.
KING: Your mother?
HECHE: As an adult. I talked to my mother in my mid-20s.
KING: Is she still living?
KING: How is she handling all of this? Is she happy you wrote the book?
HECHE: She was very encouraging of me writing the book. Is she happy about it? No, I would not say that my mother is happy about it. I don't think any mother would be happy about it.
KING: But she encouraged you to write it?
HECHE: She encouraged me to write it, yes.
KING: It says a lot about her. HECHE: Yes.
KING: Anne Heche is our guest. The book is "Call Me Crazy." This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Anne Heche, actress, writer, director, author of "Call Me Crazy." As one would say, what a life.
How did you break away from that, by the way?
KING: That -- where did -- you had to break into acting somewhere. You had to leave this to sometime, to go somewhere.
HECHE: I had to leave my family, you mean?
HECHE: I finally -- I started working in dinner theater when I was 12 years old to make money for the family, and that's how I made my break into -- oh, the whole world of understanding that pretending could make you money.
And that was when I was 12. But I left when I was -- after I graduated when I was 17 and I was offered a job on a soap opera after I was seen in a high school play in Chicago.
KING: How did you react to your father's death?
HECHE: Oh, God. I think my initial response was that I was heartbroken. There was a lot...
KING: You were how old?
HECHE: I was 13. There was a lot of mixed emotion around my father at that time. We had just found out that he had AIDS. He had been lying about it for a couple of years. Of course, thinking that he had AIDS made the entire family think if they had AIDS, because in '83 AIDS -- whether or not anybody knew about the abuse, that wasn't the point. In AIDS, you could from touch, you could get it if somebody kissed you. You could get it -- you know. There was so much fear around his death. There was so much shame around his death.
But of course, there was sorrow and there was confusion. And there was...
KING: What city were you in then?
HECHE: New Jersey. We lived in Ocean City, New Jersey right down the shore from Atlantic City at that point.
KING: And it was known he died of AIDS? The family knew it was AIDS? The people around knew... HECHE: Well, we were told -- he never admitted it. He was in complete denial until the day he died.
KING: Do you think he got it from a gay relationship, or from a relationship with -- transfusion or what? In 1983, who knew.
HECHE: Oh, I know -- we know he got it from his gay relationships. Absolutely. I don't think it was just one. He was a very promiscuous man, and we knew his lifestyle then.
KING: With men and women?
HECHE: I think my father was a sexual addict. I think he saw everybody as a sexual being. But I think at that time he was living a very flamboyant homosexual lifestyle. You know, at that time there were bath houses where the whole trick was how many can you do a night. You know, there is no question of what he was doing at that time.
KING: Did you know he was going to die?
HECHE: Oh sure. I mean, a year before he died, he was collapsing on the sidewalk and saying, "I'll be right back. It's only hepatitis, don't worry." You know, he was withering and...
KING: Back to how you felt. You said it was confusing. You felt loss?
HECHE: Sure, I felt loss, sure.
KING: Didn't you have anger, too?
HECHE: Anger didn't come until years later. Anger and the understanding that I can be angry and embrace my feelings of "screw you, dad." You know, what a jerk. That stuff was not what I felt when I was 13.
I, one, did not acknowledge what had happened to me when I was 13. I didn't know what had happened to me. Our family life was very confusing on very many levels, and the sexual abuse was not in the priority of things to be dealing with.
We were trying to pay our rent. You know, we were trying to understand what AIDS was. We had a whole bunch of other stuff that we had to worry about.
KING: But you said you hid a lot of things. Would the neighbors have said, "There goes a fine family?"
HECHE: Oh, absolutely.
KING: In other words, you were proper and...
HECHE: Oh, we were proper. We looked nice. We always were sweet to everybody. Nothing was ever wrong with us. We sang in church on Sunday mornings. We were blonde-haired and blue-eyed and sweet and happy and friendly and pretended we had money.
We were everything that anybody wanted to be. We were big fat liars, though. We pretended well.
KING: Did the parents fight a lot?
HECHE: No, I can't say they did. Near the end, they did. We had moved in with another family when we were finally kicked out of our last house. And sure, there was a lot of fighting and screaming then. But my mother was a good Christian woman. She did not confront her husband. She didn't ask questions. She didn't scream. She didn't yell. It was not that -- until the end, you know, until the last couple of years.
KING: What do you think this dysfunctional upbringing did to you?
HECHE: It made -- it made me a writer.
KING: And all of the things it involved, there has been some pluses out of it.
I mean, how people rebound is amazing.
HECHE: I always think there are pluses from what you live through. I mean, that's been a conscious place in my life.
KING: The downs that come up.
HECHE: Yes, if you can look at them as that. I've always wanted to heal my life. I always wanted to see the good side of life. I've always wanted to see the good in everything that happened to me. And I am -- I could not be happier with who I am right now. I couldn't be happier with what I've been able to accomplish in my life. There are -- I mean...
KING: I mean, you are a successful person...
HECHE: Well, thanks.
KING: ... out of a very unsuccessful upbringing.
HECHE: Yes, and maybe that's part of it. May be that's how I learned "Oh, I don't want to do that. Well, golly, I don't want to do that. Well, gee whiz, I hope I don't do that."
KING: I'm going to make it.
HECHE: I am going to make it, and I'm going to make it to my vision of what love is. And I'm going to -- it's not only about success, it's about I'm going to get to the place where I know there is something better than this.
KING: And you're at that place now. HECHE: Yes.
KING: And we will ask about that. Anne Heche is our guest. Her book is "Call Me Crazy." We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "BEYOND SUSPICION")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Aaagh!
Listen, it was really nice to meet you and I will tell Augie that you dropped by.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Well, you white trash piece of (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
I am going to teach you some (UNINTELLIGIBLE) manners.
HECHE: Mr. Mason, don't make me ask again -- please.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You also had, as you described when you told your mother about your childhood and the like, an encounter with God. You describe it as that. Explain. Did you find religion?
HECHE: No, as a matter of fact I went through a big period of my life where I rejected religion. I was raised in a very, very strict Baptist upbringing that changed into Methodist. It changed into anything very devout, Christian, always.
And what that, I think translated, to me as, as an adult -- well, my mom pretty much said it, "I'm here to love Jesus and then I'm going to get into heaven." And my whole journey, whether I suffer or don't suffer or whatever it is, my journey is about getting into heaven.
So because of how -- what my relationship was with my mother, which was not a loving relationship, I set about my life to become Jesus, I think.
She loved it that Jesus performed miracles and Jesus was the son of God and Jesus was everything that's loving. And in the meantime, I'm getting raped by my father and she's doing nothing about it. I wanted to become that thing that she loved.
And I set about my life to do it, unconsciously, however that happens and however those things form in your life, I ended up in the streets of New York one day crashing to the ground, literally felt like something knocked me over. And all of a sudden I was talking to God and being told by God that I was his daughter. There was no pretending. There was not this is my imagination.
I was not on drugs. I hadn't had a drink. It was the middle of the day and I'm on the sidewalk having a conversation with God, going, "oh, my whole life is worth it. See, I am a child of God." I became everything that my mother always said she loved. And set about then for the next five years trying to understand what that was, all at the same time, thinking I was absolutely crazy.
KING: Are you a believer now?
HECHE: In what?
HECHE: That means defining God I think a little bit more.
KING: I mean do you think there is something larger that us?
HECHE: I think there's a consciousness that we all a part of, whereas, two is greater than one and together that energy is bigger than what I can be.
KING: What do you think that event was that day in New York then, in retrospect?
HECHE: Well, it wasn't only one day. It was five years of my life.
KING: What it began...
HECHE: It began that day, do I know what -- I have no idea. That's why I say, call me crazy. Is it crazy? I don't know. It is the thing that happened in my life that I believe is responsible for my survival of my life. And if it didn't happen and I didn't believe that I was loved, I might have gone a different route and not been here anymore.
I think that I created another world of love for myself to survive my abuse.
KING: So you were living two lives?
KING: One life in here and another life -- that is schizophrenic, is it not? Well, without the -- unless you didn't have it whacko dreams and didn't know where you were.
HECHE: Unless I...
KING: You always knew where you were, right?
HECHE: Always. I was always very conscious. I was Anne the actress and...
KING: So I could be with you; we could be having -- we could be having dinner and you could be totally somewhere else?
HECHE: Oh, now. I would always be exactly present. KING: But where was the other part of you?
HECHE: Right here. I was always here, both of me, all at the same time.
Always, that's why nobody ever knew. I didn't need to tell you that I was this child of God, here springs love.
KING: But were you thinking I am this child of God, here springs love?
HECHE: Absolutely. It was who I believed I was. What?
KING: No. Yes, I am the child of God, yes, I will haves tomato sauce?
HECHE: That's right.
Exactly. That's exactly right.
KING: So it all converged at once?
HECHE: Yes, yes.
KING: And you never told a therapist this?
HECHE: No. They would have thought I was crazy and then what would happen? Then I would be locked up and couldn't have my career.
KING: They would have helped you though, don't you think. A good therapist is not going to turn you in for what? You're not...
HECHE: I was being helped in therapy. I was healing my abuse in therapy. So I felt like I was being helped on the level that I needed to be helped on. And when that was ready to heal, I was ready to say goodbye to the fantasy world I had created. They were very merged.
What I didn't now is that in therapy I was healing the very thing that created the world that I was escaping to. So it all did work out.
KING: Did you eve feel it would affect you as an actress, getting better? That you may not be able to pretend as well, anymore?
HECHE: No. My life was always a priority to me beyond my career, even though I was a workaholic and loved my career. I knew I wanted to heal my life. It's the thing that I was committed to from the time I was 18.
KING: So it had no effect on what you did?
HECHE: As a matter of fact, I could tell I was getting better.
KING: We will pick up on that and lots more with Anne Heche. The book is "Call Me Crazy." This is LARRY KING LIVE.
Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Anne Heche, actress, writer, director, author of "Call Me Crazy." Did you ever come close to marriage?
HECHE: Sure. I was 20 years old. I had moved in with a guy when I was 18. He was 11 years old than me. He asked me to marry him when I was 20. I came close to marriage a lot of times.
Sure, because I turned myself into whatever anybody wanted. Why wouldn't they want to marry me?
KING: Now you...
HECHE: I had become the thing!
KING: You were the Stepford wife.
HECHE: I was. I was. And yet, it was in any form that it was. It wasn't that I was the Stepford wife, I was whatever wife you wanted.
If you wanted to take me on the road because you were in a great band and I -- I would be the groupie. If you were an intellectual and you wanted to write books, I would be a poet. I would turn all of myself into whatever you wanted.
KING: When you started to be a movie star, and you were dating. And now you're still this way, right?
HECHE: Yes, yes, sure.
KING: Did you get a quote...
HECHE: I mean, hopefully I'm getting better as the years are going on, and am healing myself.
KING: Did you get a reputation around town as...
HECHE: No, because I wasn't promiscuous. It wasn't that. I wasn't a promiscuous girl. I was -- here's the other side of that. The other side is not only will I make myself what you want, I will be committed to you until the day I die.
KING: You will be monogamous?
HECHE: Yes, I was monogamous.
KING: You were weird.
(LAUGHTER) Call me weird. It could have been the other title.
KING: Was Steve Martin a serious relationship?
HECHE: Absolutely, absolutely. Oh, Steve was lovely. Steve was intellectual. Steve was funny. Steve was...
HECHE: I mean, bright, yes.
KING: Why didn't you get married?
HECHE: Because I knew that it wasn't right, because I was...
KING: So you broke that one off too?
HECHE: I was compartments of me. I -- that was not his fault. But I was compartments of Anne. I was not ready at 24 years old to be Mrs. Steve Martin. But I loved the relationship. But I wasn't me at all. And in the meantime, I'm thinking I'm somebody else and dealing with the abuse of my life. And marriage, it just -- it was not right.
KING: Have you remained friends with him?
HECHE: No, unfortunately not.
KING: Do you think he will be shocked by this book?
HECHE: Shocked about the subject matter? Yes.
KING: You never revealed this to him, did you?
HECHE: Steve knew -- Steve was actually a huge encourager of my writing. He sat me down at a computer and he said, "You know what, your family stories need to come out." And the first movie I ever wrote with Steve was called "Between The Sheets." And it was about incest and he knew. He knew, and encouraged me to...
KING: Why do you not remain friendly?
HECHE: I don't know. I think it's very difficult when one person leaves somebody and the person being left doesn't want to be left?
KING: You left him?
HECHE: Yes. And it was...
KING: Do you ever think that as a mistake?
KING: When you first met Ellen and that started, was that strange to you? Was that your first relationship other than men?
KING: Was that strange to you?
KING: You're an adult.
HECHE: No, no, you have to...
KING: And suddenly you're feeling affection for someone you -- of a gender you never felt affection for?
HECHE: See, that was never a big deal to me. And nobody will ever understand that. Now, you have to understand...
KING: I will try.
HECHE: ... hopefully, I'm going to -- OK, now I'm going to therapy and I'm growing up and I'm healing my life. So all of this stuff is hopefully getting better and getting better. As you go through different relationships you find people who are mirroring back different things that you need and shape your life and form you, even though I always think you're meeting your parents.
But some of things that you do in relationships are pick somebody who is different than the last person. At least they're different, and then you think that's a great thing. I dated an alcoholic, then I was dating somebody in AA. And I thought, "Well, they've got to be different.
And that's not the case -- you know, I didn't date men and then I was with a woman and think, "oh, well that's going to be perfect." But there were, I think, there are some elements to that.
The most different I could find is always what I was looking for. And in Ellen, there was a human being that was being open about who they were, sharing it with the world, being brave, being strong in who they were as a human being.
Now, I had been raised with a big fat liar who destroyed his family because he was afraid to be who he was, in my opinion. So here I met somebody who was glorious in their ability to be who they were and to tell the world. And I found that to be very attractive. It was not, "oh, dear, a woman." It's "Oh, my God, there's a human being who is telling the truth." And that was what my journey was too.
KING: Were you surprised?
HECHE: About what?
KING: About finding this?
HECHE: In the world, at that time?
KING: In this human being at this time?
HECHE: I was surprised that a human being like that existed. It to me was my dream come true.
Right back with Anne Heche, the author of "Call Me Crazy."
Call me crazy if this book isn't a major best seller.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stick around, Ellen, stick around! (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MARCH 4, 2000)
HECHE: Ellen is to me the embodiment of both male and female. I think that's what our -- why our energies connected so quickly and so easily, because I've always felt in my being that I'm both male and female, maybe a little more -- maybe a little more balanced out than most.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Anne Heche.
When you were on this program last time with Ellen and Sharon Stone, you did that wonderful movie together for HBO...
HECHE: Thank you.
KING: ... I asked you if you missed men, if you missed heterosexual love. And you said, "No, because it's all in Ellen."
KING: What changed?
HECHE: What changed?
KING: Yes, what changed?
HECHE: Well, Ellen and I fell out of love. And I broke up with her.
KING: You are the breaker-upper, aren't you?
HECHE: Well, I don't think of...
KING: Did anyone ever drop you?
HECHE: No, and I hope it doesn't happen.
Because now I'm getting married and I hope he doesn't dump me.
KING: What was falling out of love like?
HECHE: Heart-breaking and miserable and sad and confusing and upsetting. And -- what was it like for me? Let's see. I had withered myself into nothing. I was 90 pounds. And until I got the wakeup call, I was standing outside, fell out of my face, broke my nose and couldn't remember my name, but could remember that I had a girlfriend named Ellen DeGeneres. I was lost -- I had diminished myself...
KING: What happened?
HECHE: ... in that relationship.
KING: I mean, you were so happy, and again, maybe to the outer world. But anyone who saw you two together, had to say this was real.
HECHE: Yes, and it was. And there were other parts of it that the world didn't see. And those things were sad and hurtful and upsetting.
KING: Why was it so hard to end it?
HECHE: Because I loved her, because she loved me.
KING: But you said you were falling out of love?
HECHE: Well, I think that's what happens when you are not getting your needs met in a relationship, and you're trying to get your needs met and it's not happening. And you're neglecting yourself and you're neglecting your needs.
KING: Did that send you spiraling back?
HECHE: Did what the need for...
KING: The breakup of that relationship, the confusion over why this happened?
HECHE: Did it send me spiraling back to what? It brought me -- here is me, OK. And I went, "I better pay attention to what's going on with me. I'm hiding." I'm hiding. I was 90 pounds and flat on the ground.
KING: How did she take it?
HECHE: Well, from the time I was flat on the ground, I think she was scared, knew more than she wanted to know about what I had been hiding. Ellen was aware of my insanity and aware of my abuse, aware that I had been hiding it from the world, and that it was eating me up.
In order to keep all of that hidden, I had to do a lot of other hiding too. I stopped acting. I moved out of L.A. I became what I thought was the perfect wife. I wrote a movie for my wife. I directed my wife.
KING: You appeared here and loved it.
HECHE: I appeared here and every single thing that I did -- and this is what's so hard -- I did because I loved her.
All of me and all of that could not exist in the same relationship.
KING: Were you, according to the "Observer," the villain of this? I mean did the tabloids and others make...
HECHE: ... the "Observer."
KING: Did they make it that you left her, you were the...
HECHE: Well, I did leave her.
KING: So, did you...
HECHE: Does that make me the villain?
KING: Yes, did...
HECHE: I don't know. I was also trying to take care of myself and understand that I needed to make choices to make myself happy. And sometimes that difficult. But when you're in a relationship that doesn't work, I was not about to stay in a relationship that felt abusive.
KING: What now has come to this turning point? We met your fiancee. Seems like a great guy.
KING: How did all of this come about coming from out of that to where you are now?
HECHE: Well, I had to put to rest, as I say, my insanity. I had to see it for what it was. I created another world for myself to exist in, a fantasy world, where there was only love. And that was the world I had created to survive my abuse, and I needed to say goodbye to that world.
KING: How did you do it? HECHE: Well, I drove to the desert, still hearing voices of God, thought that I was going to find love on the planet that I was from. And the planet that I was from that was all love was called the Fourth Dimension. And I went to get on my space ship and go there.
And once I got there...
KING: The spaceship in your head?
HECHE: Well, I didn't think it was in my head. I thought it was landing and I thought I was going to get on it. And I went to find it.
KING: A real spaceship?
HECHE: Well, I thought so, yes. Until I didn't think so, until I realized it was all in my head.
And I looked at it and I looked at the life I had created for myself...
KING: Out in the desert?
HECHE: Out in the desert.
KING: By yourself?
HECHE: I thought I went to the ends of the earth. I truly, truly went to the ends of the earth, yes, by myself.
And I looked at this world, this Fourth Dimension, this world of love and I looked at this world I had created for me, Anne Heche, the actress, the person who wanted to be here, the person who wanted to be on this earth, the person who believed in love, who could trust that love was here, who could trust that I wasn't going to be abused anymore, that I was going to take care of myself. And I said thank you to that world, thank you for helping me survive my abuse -- goodbye; I'm ready to be here now.
KING: And then drove back.
HECHE: And then I spent a night in the hospital. My friends came to pick me up and I drove back.
KING: Admitted yourself to the hospital?
HECHE: Oh, no, the cops took me to the hospital. I don't want to go into all of the details. You've got to read the book...
KING: No, but they -- yes.
HECHE: ... did I voluntarily go to the hospital? No, I went to the hospital thinking it was stopping point on my way to my spaceship.
No, I went crazy.
KING: This is loony bin time, right?
HECHE: Sure, to anybody looking. It made perfect sense to me.
KING: But yet you worked yourself out of it.
HECHE: Yes. I needed to. You always have to choose, I think, your sanity.
KING: We will be right back with Anne Heche. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "VOLCANO")
TOMMY LEE JONES, ACTOR: All right, we know that stuff is lava. What do I do next?
HECHE: You have got to evacuate the West side. This thing is going to burn throughout the city until it hits the ocean.
JONES: The West side, there is a million people.
HECHE: There are going to be a million dead or homeless people if we don't evacuate. This is going to destroy everything it touches.
JONES: All right, he is still breathing. Can you grab this arm?
JONES: Grab that right there. All right, let's get this guy out of here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Anne Heche. Before going to the hospital, you went to some family home, right, somebody's home.
KING: Did you know them?
KING: You just knocked on the door?
HECHE: Well, it's much more complicated than that. But I don't know if I want to tell you all of that. There are certain things that ended up in the papers...
KING: You don't have to. This ain't court.
HECHE: It's not that. It's just that there -- one, I can't explain all of what happened in Fresno unless you know the story that leads up to it. But there were steps along each thing that happened in Fresno that were things I had to live through in order to see the connection to my fantasy world.
And all of those things were specific to things that had happened in my childhood.
KING: Were you at the end of the ropes then?
HECHE: I think that I was at the bitter, bitter end. I was in place where I was ready to leave this planet on my spaceship.
KING: Did you turn to drugs at all?
HECHE: Did I turn to drugs that day?
KING: Yes, or around that time?
HECHE: Yes. I took a hit of ecstasy after -- I woke up in the morning, was told to get in my car again, by God, in my opinion -- who I call Chunas (ph). I did not call God.
KING: Called what?
HECHE: Chunas, which was my word for God, that was the joining of the female and male in God. OK. And I spoke to Chunas all of the time for five years.
We shared a language, the whole thing. I woke up in the morning. I was told to get in the car and go to the desert. Turn here, turn here, here you're going. I had no idea where I was going. And I was told along the way very many different things.
One of those things when I got out of my car was take a hit of ecstasy. This is the thing that gets you on the ship. There is no shame here. There is no shame, there is no shame, there is no shame.
In my world, there was no shame.
KING: What did it do for you, if anything?
HECHE: Nothing. I was so far gone by that point, you know, by the time i took the pill, I was waiting for my spaceship. So you can imagine what it did for me was absolutely zero, except that I didn't have to live in shame. And that was the message of everything I had created for myself.
KING: It was also a crazy time for you when you were doing "Donnie Brasco," right?
HECHE: Well, when I was doing "Donnie Brasco" was when I was finished shooting "Donnie Brasco" was when I first had my conversation with God on the sidewalk. So it was from that time to Fresno of last year which is almost a year to date, that I was living in this dual world.
KING: How did you meet your fiancee? And what part does he play in Anne Heche today? HECHE: I say in my book that Coley met me on the other side. The last part of my book is called "Love the Other Side." I needed to get rid of the insanity to get sane, and Coley met me on the sane side.
KING: How did you meet him?
HECHE: I hired Coley to be a cameraman for the documentary that I was shooting on Ellen last year.
KING: The documentary, was that eventually shown?
HECHE: No, it was -- I left as soon as we got off the road. And I left Ellen as soon as we got off the road...
KING: It was never finished?
HECHE: I know it has turned into nothing, right.
KING: But Coley was a cameraman?
HECHE: Coley was a cameraman and an editor.
KING: You interviewed many cameramen and hired him?
HECHE: I interviewed different people for different jobs. He was recommended by the producer and he was great at what he did. And he had shot a documentary that I looked at where he interviewed people beautifully, and I needed somebody who could talk to people on the road. He shot it beautifully, which was also what I needed, and also was an editor. So I liked everything about his talent and brought him on the road.
KING: When did it get to more than that?
HECHE: A month after Fresno.
KING: What happened?
HECHE: I called Coley to ask him if he wanted to go to a play with me? I had lived in a very isolated world for three-and-a-half years. And after I broke up with Ellen I was ready to be in the world. I was so alive. I wanted to see everything. I wanted to go to concerts. I wanted to go to plays. I wanted to go. I wanted to go to restaurants. I wanted to see things that I hadn't seen before.
I was like starved. And Coley was always doing fun things on the road, and Ellen and I would do what we did and then Coley would always come in the next morning and go, "Oh, we went out dancing last night. Oh, what fun we had. Oh, oh."
So a month after Fresno, and I was looked through the papers and said, "Oh, I want to go that play." I called information and said, "Hi, Coley, it's me. Want to go to a play?"
"Who?" "Oh, it's Anne Heche."
"Want to come to a play with me?"
And he said, "Well, I'm going through something." It sounded emotional.
I said, "Well, what's up?"
He said, "Well, I just broke up with my girlfriend."
And I said, "Well, I know what that's like. Why don't we go out for drink."
KING: You both broke up with your girlfriends?
HECHE: Yes, we did.
KING: Why him? Why did you call him to go to the play?
HECHE: Coley was a person who always was calm, loved the world, loved being in the world. His energy was so centered and so focused always, on the road. It was something I had never witnessed really before, somebody who was so present.
KING: There is a term for this, called well within himself.
HECHE: Oh, yes.
KING: We will be back with our remaining moments with Anne Heche, the author of "Call Me Crazy."
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK")
HECHE: I made one hell of a big mistake. Could you forgive me for making a mistake, friend? My best friend, could you forgive me for making a mistake?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: When you getting married?
HECHE: Very soon.
KING: Do you have a date?
HECHE: Yes, yes.
KING: Are you giving it out?
HECHE: We will be married before this airs.
KING: That's soon.
KING: Thank you. Well, this is airing on September 6.
HECHE: I will be married before that.
KING: Well, that's great.
HECHE: Thank you.
KING: That's nice.
HECHE: Thank you.
KING: Are you excited?
HECHE: I -- yes.
KING: Do you know -- that was a fair question -- that this is it, it?
HECHE: Did I know when I met Coley?
KING: Do you know now that this is it, it, that there's no more women, no more men? This is it?
HECHE: Yes. Yes, I know that. I would not be getting married if I didn't know that.
KING: This is a big step for you?
HECHE: Yes, I'm getting married.
KING: You dumped him and you're getting married.
HECHE: I know it, yes. Yes.
KING: Did Coley have any hesitation?
HECHE: About what?
KING: About a relationship based on he met you when you were with Ellen.
HECHE: No, he did not. No, he's not that kind of guy. He was very understanding that I would have been with Ellen. It wasn't -- there was nothing about him that was like, "Oh, you've been with a woman, what does that mean?"
He is an extraordinary individual.
KING: Do you want children?
KING: What about career? Do you want to stay active?
HECHE: Of course, of course.
KING: You do.
HECHE: Yes, I just made a deal with Warner Brothers.
HECHE: Because I want to do a TV show next year. I feel like I've dumped my drama and now I'm ready to have my fun. I'm going to do a comedy.
KING: A sit com?
HECHE: I think it might be a combo. I will say humor show, because I don't know if I'm quite sit com girl, but yes, we're going to do a comedy.
KING: And Coley is supportive of all you do?
And he continues to be a photographer, right?
HECHE: Oh, he continues to do what he is doing, absolutely. We're good partners with each other.
KING: And you want Ellen's show to make it?
HECHE: Heck, yes.
KING: There's no -- do you ever talk?
HECHE: No. Ellen and I don't talk, but heck, yes, I want her show to be successful. I mean she's a brilliant comedian.
KING: Do you regret anything, Anne? Do you regret maybe not had this sooner or realizing...
HECHE: Which sooner?
KING: The life you apparently have now? Do you...
HECHE: Oh, no. I love that I'm 32. I love it. I don't think I could have had it any sooner. If I had wanted it sooner, I would have created it sooner.
I think one of the things that is so extraordinary now is that I can actually form sentences about what I want and then create them.
I had to live through a lot of life to get to the place where I am now. I had to see truths and work through shame, and I'm very grateful for every step that I took. I don't think that I could have handled it sooner.
I love where I have, I love it.
KING: You are good at it, though, aren't you?
KING: I don't want to say faking it. You were good at living the role you had taken and publicly you were good at it? You were a good actress.
HECHE: Sure I was good at it? I was a good actress, but I was also a good at understanding that I could achieve what I wanted to achieve and my first and foremost goal in my life to get healthy with what had happened to me. And I was good at working toward my goals. I was good -- that was why I became a movie star. I was dedicated. I was dedicated to becoming a healthy women, even when I had another personality in me. I was dedicated to finding my sanity and finding love.
And I think I was good at that.
KING: How's your relationships now with your sisters and your mother?
HECHE: Little to none.
KING: That's sad, or not?
HECHE: To me, I feel like I'm finally in a place where I've embraced it; it's not sad. It's healthy for me.
KING: For you. The whole family was that way and you feel you're better off.
HECHE: I feel that way, yes. It got very, very painful for me every discussion that we had. And I kept wondering why I continued to pick up the phone for the pain.
KING: Do you ever fear turning back?
HECHE: To what?
KING: I mean, do you ever fear it coming back?
HECHE: No, she's a part -- Celestia (ph) -- of my world?
KING: No, crazy coming back?
HECHE: Oh, no, it's all a part of me. I wouldn't be here without it. As I said, I think I wouldn't even be alive without my insanity.
HECHE: I'm all here. She was a part of me allowed me to survive. The whole world and insanity was a part that allowed me to survive.
KING: Are you going to write some more?
HECHE: I hope so.
KING: Because you like writing, don't you?
HECHE: I love it, I love it.
A novel next, maybe.
KING: And a television show and a movie coming?
HECHE: Yes, I have "John Q" coming out in February with Denzel Washington.
KING: I'm in that movie.
KING: For five seconds.
HECHE: For goodness sakes. Not with me.
KING: No, that's where he takes over the hospital, right.
KING: What script that is.
HECHE: I know. Isn't that awesome. I look forward to see it.
KING: Thanks, Anne.
HECHE: Thank you.
KING: Anne Heche, the book: "Call Me Crazy."
I'm Larry King. Next time we will try to draw her out.
KING: Thanks for joining us and good night.
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