Anne Heche's friend and "Better Together with Anne and Heather" podcast co-host Heather Duffy is honoring the late actor in an emotional Instagram post.
Duffy remembered the late "Six Day, Seven Nights" star, who was declared dead this month at age 53, as a "joyful" friend who showed the world her "bravery" when she went public with her same-sex relationship with comedian Ellen DeGeneres in 1997.
"I had to take a moment to begin to process the profound loss of my beautiful friend with the kindest soul I’ve known. Anne was joyful despite all the challenges that she faced in her life," wrote Duffy. "She was truthful despite being in a business that is make-believe. Spreading love and kindness in the world is what mattered most to her, even if, at times, the world did not give it back.
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"So many do not know the bravery and the sacrifice it took for Anne to stand up for the right to love who you wanted back in the late 90s. Her public stand for equality empowered many LGBTQ+ people worldwide to see a future where they could live in their truth, which mattered to her more than anything," Duffy continued.
"We have come a long way because of her truth, bravery, and kindness in that moment 25 years ago when she chose to bring a woman as her date to the premiere of 'Volcano,'" she wrote.
Duffy went on to say that she wished the media would have been more respectful to Heche before she died.
"I wish the media would have circled back at some point while she was with us to recognize how harshly they judged her in those moments when she took a stand for equality," she wrote.
"She was way ahead of us, and we are all just catching up. Fly free, my friend. This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you," she added.
Heche was declared legally dead according to California law on Aug. 12, nearly a week after she crashed her car into a home in Los Angeles, causing a serious fire, a spokesperson for the actor revealed on Friday. The accident left the Emmy winner intubated and in a coma. She also suffered a severe anoxic brain injury.
Though Heche was legally dead, her heart continued to beat and she was kept on life support for several days until it could be determined if she was a match for an organ donation, her spokesperson explained in a statement.
Heche's spokesperson confirmed on Sunday that the "Wag the Dog" star had been removed from life support.
Heche died from inhalation and thermal injuries, according to records from the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner obtained by NBC News on Wednesday. The records also noted that Heche suffered a sternal fracture due to blunt trauma.
The manner of Heche’s death was listed as an accident.
On Aug. 11, a spokesperson from the Los Angeles Police Department told NBC News that a preliminary test of Heche's blood revealed she had drugs in her system at the time of the accident. The LAPD later confirmed that they would no longer be investigating the car crash after she was legally considered dead.
Heche was the mother of two sons, Homer, 20, with ex-husband Coleman Laffoon, and Atlas, 13, with ex-boyfriend James Tupper.
DeGeneres, who dated Heche from 1997 until 2000, paid tribute to her former partner on Aug. 12 on Twitter, writing, “This is a sad day. I’m sending Anne’s children, family, and friends all of my love."
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