The former talk show host’s statement came after Heche’s family and friends said the actor was brain-dead following injuries sustained in a car crash last week. Heche remained on life support while family determined whether she was a match for organ donation, according to a statement from family and friends provided to CNN and NBC News.
“This is a sad day,” DeGeneres wrote on Twitter. “I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.”
On Monday, DeGeneres was approached in Los Angeles by a photographer for the Daily Mail, who asked for comment on Heche’s condition at the time.
After noting that she and her ex were “not in touch with each other,” DeGeneres added, “I don’t want anyone to be hurt.”
Heche had been hospitalized since Aug. 5, when she crashed her car into a home located 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 her system at the time of the accident.
DeGeneres and Heche dated from 1997 to 2000. The two women were among Hollywood’s most buzzed-about 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’d received when she brought DeGeneres to the premiere of her 1997 film “Volcano.”
“I was told by Fox Studio executives that if I brought Ellen to the premiere, my contract would be terminated,” she told the publication. “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.”
She continued, “Our time was a beautiful part of my life and one that I wear with honor. I was a part of a revolution that created social change, and I could not have done that without falling in love with her.”