Anne Heche Toxicology Report Says She Wasn’t Under the Influence at Time of Crash
Actress Anne Heche passed away earlier this year, and when news of her death—as well as the circumstances behind it—broke, there was a lot of unkind speculation about Heche being under the influence. It has now been revealed that wasn’t the case.
Back in August 2022, Heche crashed her car into a home in Los Angeles. A fire started as a result, and Heche died due to complications related to the accident. No one else was injured and the owner of the house, Lynne Mishele, was able to recoup some of her losses via a Go Fund Me fundraiser. Rumors circulated (and Mishele herself claimed) that Heche was under the influence of drugs at the time, but toxicology tests have proven otherwise.
The medical examiner-coroner’s spokesperson told the Washington Post that while blood samples tested positive for “benzoylecgonine, the inactive metabolite of cocaine,” it only showed that she had at one point used the drug, but it was not active in her system at the time. WaPo also says that Heche “had been treated with drugs containing fentanyl after being admitted to the hospital after the crash.”
The assumptions about Heche’s drug use were fueled by the cruel ways people have talked about her past. She publicly experienced a very serious psychotic break and dealt with a lot of trauma that caused her to be the butt of many a late night show host’s jokes. And yet, she was someone who clearly lived with a lot of pain, and so often the pubic would rather turn that pain into something humorous instead of using empathy. Many came out to speak about their experiences with Heche as a co-worker and friend, and one that stood out to me was from actor Emily Bergl, who shared her experience publicly on Facebook:
There’s one piece of Anne’s story that isn’t in her book. When I was still temping in Chicago, I used to work for an eccentric tax lawyer named Peter Davis. He hung out at Nick’s Beer Garden along with a motley crew of musicians, artists and poets, and he would do all their taxes for free. One of the characters who frequented Nick’s was a former prize fighter who still went by his handle of King Solomon. When I told Peter I would be working with Anne he said “Please find out if she knew King Solomon, because he’s always bragging about how he hung out with her, but we think he’s full of shit.” One night I turned to Anne and said that the story was probably apocryphal, but did she know a prize fighter in Chicago named King Solomon? Her face froze for a good few moments, and then she slowly answered yes. She and her mother had been living in a room together at the Belden Hotel, and King Solomon had started taking Anne to the track. After a while it became apparent that he was grooming her to become “one of his girls,” and then she got the job on Another World. There must have been some serious brainwashing going on because Anne told me she was actually weighing the two options, deciding whether to enter King Solomon’s stable, or become a soap star. After she finished telling me the story, Anne became quiet again, and she turned and looked into my eyes for a few seconds. “Thank you, Emily, for telling me that,’ she said. “So much of my life, what’s happened to me, I’ve been told it’s not real. So to hear confirmation of that piece of my story, it means so much.”
Before her passing, I didn’t think much about Anne Heche despite watching a lot of the movies and shows she appeared in. Since her death, whenever mental illness and biphobia come up, I think about her constantly, and how she could have benefited from more empathy and understanding, and less judgment and scrutiny. Being imperfect doesn’t mean you should be treated inhumanely.
(via Washington Post, image: Rich Fury, Getty Images for Race to Erase MS)
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