American actress Anne Heche died a week after she was critically injured in a car crash, her eldest son confirmed the news late Friday.
Homer, 20, released a statement on behalf of himself and his half-brother, Atlas, 13.
“My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom,” he told People. “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.”
On Friday afternoon representatives for Heche, 53, revealed that she was “brain dead”, which under California law is the definition of death. It was announced earlier in the day Heche would be taken off of life support. Her heartbeat was being maintained in case appropriate organ donation could take place.
A representative for her family said: “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.”
Ellen DeGeneres, Heche’s former partner, wrote on Twitter: “This is a sad day. I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.”
The actress rose to stardom in the early 1990s, playing twins on the soap Another World, and with film roles, including as Catherine Keener’s sister in Nicole Holofcener’s debut feature, Walking and Talking.
Her first major role was as Johnny Depp’s girlfriend in the gangster drama Donnie Brasco (1997). In the same year, she was cast in other enduring titles: political satire Wag the Dog, disaster movie Volcano, and slasher classic I Know What You Did Last Summer.