Since actor Anne Heche passed away over the weekend after a car crash, an enormous amount of online hate has been directed the actor's way—including derision and mockery of her mental health struggles. Heche was allegedly intoxicated when she crashed her vehicle into a home in Los Angeles.
The home subsequently caught on fire.
Heche was outspoken about her struggles and the traumas that helped cause them in a vividly detailed 2001 memoir describing her battles, including a very public psychotic break she suffered in 2000.
Like all too many public figures who open up about mental health issues, Heche was frequently branded as "crazy," a slur that has come back with a vengeance amid the details of her accident and death.
Now, one of Heche's exes and a former costar are setting the record straight.
In a lengthy tribute on Instagram, fellow actor Emily Bergl detailed how anything but "crazy" Heche was as a friend and colleague, a characterization Heche's ex, actor James Tupper, thanked her for writing.
Bergl was a fellow cast member of the early-2000s ABC series Men In Trees, a high-profile comeback vehicle for Heche and her first starring role in a prime-time series.
Tupper was also featured on the series, and after meeting on set he and Heche were together for 11 years and had a son, Atlas, in 2009.
Along with a photo of Heche from Men In Trees, Bergl gave a lengthy glimpse into who Heche was and how inaccurate many public perceptions of her so often were.
Bergl began by saying while she is frequently asked about how "crazy" Heche was, the perception was far from the truth.
"Anne was not only a genius, but one of the most astoundingly focused and prepared actors I’ve ever worked with. I don’t think I ever saw her miss her mark."
Bergl then cited the 2000 psychotic episode Heche suffered, during which she thought she was an alien.
"The only joke I did make about Anne was that it’s likely she didn’t have a psychotic break, but really was an alien, because her strength seemed super human."
Bergl went on to mention the bravery of Heche's transparency about her trauma and mental health, despite the mockery she was subjected to at the time.
"It’s no wonder Anne titled her brilliant memoir 'Call Me Crazy,' she beat everyone to the punch. She was talking about mental health before it was acceptable to talk about those struggles..."
"[D]espite a sometimes harrowing life, she was so much fun to be around. She was insouciant, joyous, insightful...
"...She was a true genius, and I miss her. #ripanneheche"
In a comment on Bergl's post, Tupper thanked her for so accurately capturing Heche's true character.
"Oh god thank you for writing this. Is all completely accurate and true. love you e."
Other commenters heartily agreed with Tupper.
Heche is survived by her and Tupper's 13-year-old son Atlas and her 20-year-old son Homer Laffoon, whom she shared with her first husband.