Hollywood actor Anne Heche has revealed that she suffered many career setbacks because of her decision to go public with her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres.
During a pre-recorded segment on US TV show "Dancing With the Stars", Heche, 51, revealed that the stigma attached with her relationship had a detrimental effect on her professional life.
"My story is a story that created change in the world, moved the needle for equal rights forward, when I fell in love with Ellen DeGeneres," the actor said.
Heche and DeGeneres had started dating in 1997 after meeting at a Vanity Fair party. She later decided to invite DeGeneres as her date for the premiere of her movie "Volcano", in which she starred opposite Tommy Lee Jones and Don Cheadle.
"My movie premiere for 'Volcano,' I had told them that I was taking Ellen as my date and I was told if I took Ellen I would lose my Fox contract," she said.
"At that moment, she took my hand and said, 'Do what they say' and I said, 'No thanks.' I took Ellen to the premiere and I was ushered out before the movie even ended and was told I was not allowed to go to my own after party for fear that they would get pictures of me with a woman," Heche added.
Even after this, Heche said, she continued to suffer in the industry because of her relationship.
"I was in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres for three and a half years, and the stigma attached to that relationship was so bad that I was fired from my multimillion-dollar picture deal, and I did not work in a studio picture for 10 years," the actor added.
Heche and DeGeneres parted ways in 2000. DeGeneres married Portia de Rossi in 2008, while Heche wed Coleman Laffoon in 2000 and filed for divorce in 2007. Heche and Laffoon share 18-year-old son Homer.