She soon dumped Martin and embarked on a very public romance with the comedienne, who came out as a lesbian on her TV show, Ellen, a week later. The couple stayed together for three and a half years, and their 2000 split went down in celebrity infamy when Heche knocked on a stranger's door, made herself at home, and started talking about a spaceship.
DeGeneres told Now magazine (via the Daily Mail) that fame was behind the breakup, but hinted at other issues. "If I weren't the
most famous lesbian in the world, no one would notice," she said, "but everyone was watching us like we were the only lesbians on
the planet. That alone made being together difficult.
We became such a target. Everyone had something to say about our relationship and we tried to space everything out and just work on our own problems, but that became harder and harder.
Eventually, the problems became too much to bear." She added, "[The breakup was] the worst, most awful event in my life. I thought we were going to grow old together and we'd be there for each other for the rest of our lives…I started to feel like Anne's mother, not her lover."
Heche soon moved on to a man again, marrying Coley Laffoon in 2002. She told Barbara Walters on 20/20 (via ABC News), "He's an extraordinary guy…who actually embraces the same notion about sexuality that I do, which is that you love who you love. You fall in love with a person, not a sex. And he was not threatened at all because he understood that I could love a woman."
Heche and her husband had a son, Homer, and weathered a nasty divorce in 2007.