Anne Heche’s “Better Together” podcast co-host, Heather Duffy, is still processing the loss of her “beautiful friend.”
On Wednesday, Duffy penned an emotional tribute to the 53-year-old actress, who died from injuries sustained in a car crash earlier this month.
“I had to take a moment to begin to process the profound loss of my beautiful friend with the kindest soul I’ve known,” Duffy wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the two smiling standing back to back.
“Anne was joyful despite all the challenges that she faced in her life. She was truthful despite being in a business that is make-believe. Spreading love and kindness in the world is what mattered most to her, even if, at times, the world did not give it back.”
Duffy then went on to praise her friend for the “bravery” and “sacrifice” it took her to come out as bisexual in the late ’90s.
“Her public stand for equality empowered many LGBTQ+ people worldwide to see a future where they could live in their truth, which mattered to her more than anything,” she continued. “We have come a long way because of her truth, bravery, and kindness in that moment 25 years ago when she chose to bring a woman as her date to the premiere of ‘Volcano.’”
The late actress shocked Hollywood when she brought then-girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres to the drama’s premiere in 1997 after being warned it could have a negative impact on her career.
The podcast host says she wished the media could have recognized how “harshly they judged” her for standing up for what she believed in while she was still alive.
“She was way ahead of us, and we are all just catching up. Fly free, my friend. This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you,” she concluded.
Duffy isn’t the only person from the pair’s podcast to speak out since Heche’s tragic death. Last week, Ryan Tillotson, the producer of the podcast, said the Emmy winner was nothing short of “irreplaceable.”
“More than a beloved host, Anne was my friend, collaborator, and a damn good actress. Anne added life to every room she entered with her tremendous energy and welcoming presence,” he wrote on Instagram alongside a throwback picture of the star.
The “Brave” actress never regained consciousness after suffering “a severe anoxic brain injury” from a fiery car crash on Aug. 5.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Heche was reportedly under the influence of cocaine when she drove her blue Mini Cooper into a residential home in Los Angeles.
The police investigation into the wreck came to a halt following her death. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner revealed her official cause of death was from smoke inhalation and the thermal injuries she sustained in the crash.
Heche is survived by her 13-year-old son Atlas with Canadian actor James Tupper and a 20-year-old son, Homer, with her ex-husband, Coleman Laffoon.
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