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Anne Heche's "Call Me Crazy" ABC Interview

ABC's 20/20 - September 5, 2001
By Chiu Merophei of Astraea

Anne Heche, the ex-wife of Ellen DeGeneres, who delighted the Traditional Values Coalition by marrying a male, has done her part to connect lesbianism with insanity, and what better way to convince people she was crackers than to let on that she had multiple personality disorder -- and a connection to a subjective otherworld.

Anne is publicizing her book "Call Me Crazy". Part of the interview is given at but leaves out important details. The transcription below is from a videotape of the Sept. 5 interview.

ANNE: "I had another personality. I had a fantasy world. I called my other personality Celestia. I called the other world that I created for myself the Fourth Dimension. I believed I was from another planet. I think I was insane."

She said it was because she was not loved by her parents and because she was sexually abused by her father, a charge her family vehemently denies. It is an established fact that her father, a Baptist minister, was a closet homosexual who may have gone after choirboys, but there's apparently no documentation that he molested girls.

Having landed a good role on a soap opera, where she played twins (one good, one evil), she went into therapy. At this time, the narrator says,

"her personality began to fragment, shattering into moments of madness". (Spooky music plays, almost unheard, under the voice-overs.)

ANNE: "I told my mother at about the seventh year of therapy that I had been abused sexually by my father and she hung up the phone on me. To have gone through so much work to heal myself, and have my mother not acknowledge in any way that she was sorry for what had happened to me, broke my heart. And in that moment I think I split off from myself. So Anne, this girl who had just confronted her mother, shrunk, and out came Celestia, where I was literally thrown to the ground, and I'm not kidding, in New York City, thrown to the ground and heard the voice of God, and thought I was absolutely insane. I had no idea what to do. I was existing as two people."

BARBARA: "So even though you thought you were Jesus, or Celestia, you also at the same time knew this was an aberration."

ANNE: "Absolutely. That's the thing about going crazy. You are absolutely aware -- at least, I was -- that I was Anne Heche, an actress, that I had friends, there were people who would think I was crazy if I was ever going to talk about this. And at the same time I'm hearing God talk to me saying 'You are basically from Heaven.'"

BARBARA: "How did it manifest itself? What were your powers? What did you see in yourself?"

ANNE: "Wow. So many different things. What could I do? When I was Celestia I spoke a different language. I spoke a different language, that God and I spoke together. I could, you name it, I could do it, I could see into the future, I could heal people."

BARBARA: "Do you remember that language you spoke?"
ANNE: "Of course."
BARBARA: "Can you say anything?"

ANNE: "Well, the word for God, okay, a lot of it is prayer. The word for 'God' in my language is called kiness. A'kiness, a'ta fortatuna donna." (She transcribed it as "Oh, Quiness, ah ka fota tuna dunna.")

"Ta fortatuna donna," with the syllables slightly transposed, is "te fortunata donna," Italian for "you lucky lady". The inflection as she spoke the words was pure Italian. Even to the toss of her head as she said it.

She also has "Oh, Quiness, Nakka dune notta. Ik all notra daska don," for "Oh God, it's too scary, I can't do this." Again, Italianate words appear.

She said it means "It is a good fortune, isadan, to be here."

BARBARA: "And that's the language you never ..."
ANNE: "I don't know where it came from, I.."
BARBARA: "... knew what it means."
ANNE: "I was, in my mind, learning it from God."

"Anne says she was in the grip of voices and visions almost every waking moment for nearly seven years. (more spooky music) As she wrestled with those demons, she managed, almost unimaginably, to thrive professionally..."

"Yeah, that was an incredible juggle, I must say. I would work . . . and then I would go into my trailer and have to write down messages that I believed I was hearing from God, about love."

BARBARA: "You go in your trailer and you're another person. You close the door and you're another person. You're Jesus."

ANNE: "I'm Celestia."
BARBARA: "And Celestia is also Jesus?"
ANNE: "No. Celestia, as I was told, is the reincarnation of God, here [on earth]."

Ellen knew about Celestia and believed Anne was insane; Anne described her reaction as something like "'You don't do that -- you do WHAT? You.. you.. you speak to the DEAD??' Another thing that I thought I could do in my insanity. Speak to spirits. Hear voices. 'Oh, you do that? [distastefully] Oh. .. But I love you. Just be quiet about it.'" [Probably thought it was like Shirley MacLaine.]

Her well-publicised breakdown: "I told you I thought Celestia was from another planet called the Fourth Dimension. I escaped to the Fourth Dimension."

BARBARA: "On August 20, 2000, a day after she and Ellen broke up, a dazed and confused Anne Heche got in her car and drove five hours across the bleak landscape from Los Angeles to Fresno."

ANNE: "Fresno was the culmination of a journey. Of a world that I thought I needed to escape to in order to find love. So in the pain I think what triggered the pain of my breakup with Ellen, was a bottoming out of 'there's no love here, I'm going to go get love.'"

BARBARA: "Were you on ecstasy? Is that what caused --"

ANNE: "I have done drugs in my life. I'm not a consistent drug user and I never was with ecstasy either. I was told to go to a place where I would meet a spaceship. I was told in order to get on the spaceship that I would have to take a hit of ecstasy. A voice. All of this justification for the end of this journey. [oogy music] I did go to a house. I did ask people to join me. I did go to the hospital."

"Heche spent one night strapped to a gurney in the psychiatric unit of Fresno Hospital. Anne, the next day your manager Lauren Lloyd and her .. uh.. friend Kathy who was your friend, come to see you in this hospital, and said in effect, come back to us, we care about you, we love you. And like that, you're okay? Thirty-one years of what you thought insanity, and in that one day you were fine?"

ANNE: "I always thought you had to leave the world to get love, and I was being shown that you could stay in the world and have love. I loved my life. I just didn't like the life I was raised in, but I love my life and I chose to keep it . . . Awesome! Sane! I'm here! I could not be more elated with my life."

[Ecstasy will do that. In small controlled doses it once had a good medical reputation; patients reported improved self-esteem and communication and a more optimistic outlook on their personal lives. Note the discrepancy; early in the interview Heche says she realized she had friends and people who cared about her and would be concerned; now, she's claiming that the didn't realize anyone loved her until her manager showed up at the hospital. No doubt she would put this down to her supposed "insanity", but we would need a better answer than that.]

BARBARA: "You know, Anne, there are some doctors or therapists who might diagnose this as a form of mental illness, as split personality, schizophrenia, bipolar. Does any of this apply to you?"

ANNE: "I don't believe so. The most interesting thing is that I went to a therapist for years. It's amazing what you can hide."

BARBARA: "So you went to these therapists, told them all about your life, told them all about the abuse that your father had committed, told them about your mother and never said.."

ANNE: "By the way, I have another personality. I was very afraid of what people would think of me, very afraid."

BARBARA: "The therapist would think you were crazy."
ANNE: "Sure."
BARBARA: "Are you on medication today?"
ANNE: "No."
BARBARA: "Do you still have moments when God speaks to you?"
ANNE: "No."
BARBARA: "Do you still talk in another language?"
ANNE: "Oh, no."
BARBARA: "You're all .."
ANNE: "I'm all here, oh yes."

What is this saying to children who have imaginary friends and made-up languages, let alone those who are multiple? To those who experience real but subjective places and languages? What is it saying to their parents? What is it saying to people who still connect homosexuality with insanity?

Chiu Merophei, Astraea

You can write to Pavilion at pavilion@ karitas . net. More media reviews
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