James Tupper expressed his gratitude this week after his “Men in Trees” co-star Emily Bergl defended his late ex-girlfriend, Anne Heche, against longstanding accusations that she was “crazy.”
Bergl paid tribute to Heche on Instagram Saturday, one day before she was declared dead following injuries sustained in an Aug. 5 car crash. In an emotional post, Bergl recalled her experiences working with the “joyous” and “insightful” Heche on the show “Men in Trees,” which aired on ABC from 2006 to 2008.
“We so rarely investigate the abuse, the gaslighting, the misogyny, the homophobia that drives people to finally take up the ‘crazy’ mantle that’s been placed upon them,” Bergl wrote. “[Heche] was a true genius, and I miss her.”
Bergl also praised Heche as an “astoundingly focused and prepared” actor, noting: “Scene after scene, her work would be flawless, and yet always remained spontaneous. I don’t think she was capable of phoning it in.”
One of the most heartfelt remarks came from Tupper, who dated Heche for more than a decade after the two met on the “Men in Trees” set in 2007. The former couple share a 13-year-old son.
“Oh god thank you for writing this,” Tupper wrote. “Is all completely accurate and true. love you e.”
(Photo: Instagram/Emily Bergl)
As Bergl’s post implied, Heche endured considerable criticism and scrutiny during her life, in spite of an enviable stage and screen career that included Emmy-winning and Tony-nominated performances.
In a 2021 interview with the New York Post’s Page Six, she described herself as having been “patient zero in cancel culture,” after facing anti-LGBTQ sentiment in Hollywood during her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, which lasted from 1997 to 2000. Though the actor never labeled her sexuality, she only publicly dated men following her split from DeGeneres and did not seem to be fully embraced by the LGBTQ community.
Similarly, Heche’s willingness to speak out about her mental health issues ― which she said stemmed from her father sexually abusing her as a child ― was widely met with public indifference.
Bergl, whose recent credits include “Southland” and “Shameless,” also noted that Heche “beat everyone to the punch” by titling her 2001 memoir “Call Me Crazy.”
“I would tell you to read ‘Call Me Crazy,’ but it’s now $200 on Amazon,” she added. “I paid it because I want to read it again.”
Emily Bergl, left, with her "Men in Trees" co-stars Anne Heche, center, and James Tupper, at right. (Photo: New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.