Last week, the actress Anne Heche died at the age of 53 after a devastating car crash in her Los Angeles neighborhood. Heche was a celebrated actor with film credits like Six Days, Seven Nights and Donnie Brasco under her belt, and had also turned in acclaimed performances in shows like Men in Trees and Hung. Yet her accomplishments had consistently been overshadowed by two things: her three-year relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s; her struggles with substance abuse and mental illness; and her erratic behavior, such as an interview she gave to Barbra Walters about embodying an alien named Celestia, often garnering headlines.
From what we know thus far about Heche’s death, it seems that she continued to struggle up to the last moments of her life. Footage from the accident shows that she had been driving at high speeds at the time of the crash, and a blood test taken shortly afterward found the presence of drugs in her system. The story of her life and death seems like a tragic yet clear-cut case of an explosive talent struggling with addiction and mental illness, who ultimately succumbed to her demons.
Yet conspiracy theorists on the internet did not see it that way. Instead, they saw the death of Anne Heche as proof of something else: that she had been murdered to cover up the crimes of Hollywood power players and “elites” like Jeffrey Epstein and Amber Heard.
Shortly after Heche died, a post started circulating on Twitter that garnered about 4,000 shares before it was deleted. The post read: “So actress Anne Heche, who died in a fiery car crash, was working on a movie titled The Girl In Room 13 about the Jeffrey Epstein ring.” The claim also circulated on Facebook, where many speculated that Heche had been murdered to cover up the truth about the disgraced billionaire financier, whose 2020 death by hanging in a New York prison has been ruled a suicide.
There was one problem with the claim: The Girl In Room 13, which is set to air on Lifetime in October, is not about Epstein, as a network spokesperson later confirmed. According to an IMDB synopsis, the film is about sex trafficking in general, as it tells the story of a woman (Heche’s daughter in the film) being held captive in a hotel room for the purpose of being sold for sex. But it’s not at all clear that the story is based on him (there is no evidence, for instance, that Epstein ever held a woman in a motel room against her will).
The Epstein rumor is not the only one surrounding Heche’s passing. QAnon influencer Liz Crokin, who has promoted the claim that Chrissy Teigen is connected to Pizzagate as well as the ludicrous idea that John F. Kennedy, Jr. faked his own death, recently posted that at the time of her death, Heche was working on the HBO show The Idol, which is produced by the Weeknd and is rumored to be inspired by Britney Spears (a prominent figure in the QAnon ecosystem). Crokin then baselessly speculated that Heche — who had publicly spoken in support of Heard’s ex and her former costar Johnny Depp earlier this year — was killed days after online rumors had started circulating that Heard used to throw Satanic sex parties in the apartment she’d shared with Depp. “What did Anne know?” Crokin’s post ominously concluded.