Anne Heche Declared Brain Dead After Car Crash

Popular on Variety

UPDATE: Anne Heche has been declared legally dead in the state of California, but her heart remains beating and she has not been taken off of life support yet, her rep confirmed to Variety on Friday. Heche will be on life support until she’s determined as a match for organ donation. It’s likely that she will be taken off as early as Saturday or as late as Tuesday.

“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” her family and friends said in a statement. “Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”

“My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom,” Heche’s son Homer Laffoon said in a statement. “After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom. Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me. I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time. Rest in peace Mom, I love you, Homer.”

On Thursday night, Heche’s rep said the actor was “not expected to survive” after suffering a severe brain injury from a car crash on Aug. 5.

“We want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers for Anne’s recovery and thank the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses that cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital,” the rep said in a statement. “Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive.”

Heche crashed her car into a house in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista neighborhood last Friday, leaving her in a coma with severe burns. On Monday, her representatives said she was in “extreme critical condition.” The LAPD had been investigating whether she was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash, as narcotics were found in her bloodstream.

However, LAPD spokesman Matthew Cruz said Friday that the investigation would not continue, “As of today there will be no further investigative efforts made in this case. Any information or records that have been requested prior to this turn of events will still be collected as they arrive as a matter of formalities and included in the overall case. When a person suspected of a crime expires, we do not present for filing consideration.”

Heche remains on life support as it “has long been her choice to donate her organs” and doctors are determining if any are viable.

“Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit,” the statement continued. “More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work — especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love. She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light.”

Heche is best known for her performances in films such as 1997’s “Donnie Brasco” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” as well as 1998’s “Six Days Seven Nights.” Her TV credits include Fox’s “Ally McBeal,” WB Network’s “Everwood,” ABC’s “Men in Trees” and NBC’s “The Michael J. Fox Show.”