Anne Heche under respiratory assistance, survival of the accident “not planned”


Anne Heche is on life support after sustaining a brain injury in a fire accident a week ago and her survival is not expected, according to a statement from a representative.

The actor, who is in a coma and in critical condition, is being kept on life support for possible organ donation, according to the statement released Thursday evening on behalf of his family and friends.

Heche, who was hospitalized at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital in north Los Angeles, suffered a “severe anoxic brain injury,” the statement said. Such an injury is caused by a sustained lack of oxygen to the brain.

“She is not expected to survive,” the statement said. “It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable.”

On the morning of August 5, Heche’s car crashed into a house in a West Los Angeles neighborhood and a fire broke out with the car embedded inside the house.

Earlier Thursday, police said they were investigating Heche for driving under the influence. Detectives with a search warrant took a sample of his blood and found narcotics in his system, LAPD spokesman Officer Jeff Lee said.

Toxicology tests, which can take weeks, need to be carried out to more clearly identify the drugs and differentiate them from any drugs she may have received for treatment in hospital.

Evidence of the crash is still being collected, police said, and they would present a case to prosecutors if warranted once the investigation is complete.

A representative for Heche declined to comment on the investigation.

On Tuesday, Heche’s spokeswoman Heather Duffy Boylston said she had been in a coma since the accident, with burns requiring surgery and lung damage requiring the use of a ventilator for breathing.

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

Heche, 53, was one of Hollywood’s hottest movie stars in the late 1990s, starring alongside actors such as Johnny Depp (“Donnie Brasco”) and Harrison Ford (“Six Days , Seven Nights”). In a 2001 memoir, she opened up about her lifelong struggles with mental health.

She recently had recurring roles on the network’s “Chicago PD” and “All Rise” television series, and in 2020 she took part in “Dancing With the Stars.”