A complicated relationship. Anne Heche’s former partner James Tupper claimed that the late actress, who died with no will, left him her estate.
According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly, the Big Little Lies actor objected to a court’s decision to put Heche’s son Homer Laffoon in charge of the estate in September 2022. Homer is the Walking and Talking actress’ only son with her ex-husband, Coleman “Coley” Laffoon.
Prior to Heche’s death at age 53 following a car crash in August 2022, the Ohio native and Tupper dated for over a decade. The pair met in 2006 on the set of their film Men In Trees while Heche was still married to Coley and began dating the following year. Coley and the Birth actress finalized their divorce in March 2009, the same year she and Tupper welcomed their son, Atlas.
After a divorce and a high-profile relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s, the Emmy Award winner joked that she was enjoying being “eternally engaged” to Tupper during a May 2011 interview with The Telegraph.
“Well, he’s given me a ring every year, so, I don’t want to stop that. I have quite a collection,” she told the outlet at the time. “Besides, I’ve been married before and so has he. I don’t know what either of us would gain or what would change that would benefit us.”
Heche added that despite not being married on paper, her relationship with the Revenge alum was “obviously working out pretty well.”
Five years later, however, the couple called it quits and the Volcano actress filed a petition to establish custody of their son and child support. The ensuing proceedings were not always cordial, with Heche seeking to obtain her former partner’s full financial records including his tax information, assets and acting contracts.
During a February 2020 hearing on the matter, Tupper’s legal representative Laura Wasser claimed that the Psycho actress was willfully delaying a resolution in the case.
“I think if she is not seeing numbers that she likes, she asks for additional information. [A] credit card statement for Mr. Tupper in 2019 is not going to help Ms. Heche either reduce her income or increase his,” Wasser said at the time.
She continued: “My issue here, your honor, is when we try to comply to what should be a relatively simple [case] … for some reason, Ms. Heche continuously directs [her attorney] Ms. [Teresa] Lin to do things that will not resolve the case.”
Despite their disagreements, Tupper posted a tribute to the Six Days, Seven Nights actress while she was in a coma in September 2022. Just hours before Heche’s death was confirmed, the Mercy alum shared a photo of his former partner via Instagram, writing, “Love you forever 💔.”
Scroll through for a look back at Heche and Tupper’s ups and downs over the years: