After suffering a “severe anoxic brain injury” as a result of a car crash last week, Anne Heche is “not expected to survive,” according to a statement received Thursday by USA TODAY from Heche’s publicist.
The 53-year-old actor remains in a coma in critical condition. “It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable,” the statement reads.
The statement thanks the “dedicated staff and wonderful nurses that cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital” in Los Angeles.
“Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit,” the statement continues. “More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work — especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love.”
“She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light,” the statement ends.
Police said earlier Thursday they were investigating Heche for driving under the influence of drugs when she crashed into a Los Angeles house that left her with critical injuries.
Detectives with a search warrant took a sample of Heche’s blood and found narcotics in her system, LAPD spokesman Officer Jeff Lee said. But toxicology tests, which can take weeks to complete, must be performed to identify the drugs more clearly and to differentiate them from any medication she may have been given for treatment at the hospital, where she remained Thursday, six days after the crash.
This latest development came after Office Annie Hernandez told USA TODAY Monday that a warrant to do a toxicology blood test on Heche was issued Friday by LAPD.
Police said Thursday that they were still gathering evidence from the crash, and would present a case to prosecutors if it is warranted when the investigation is complete.
A representative for Heche declined to comment to The Associated Press on the investigation.
On Aug. 5, Heche’s car smashed into a house in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles’ westside. Flames erupted, and Heche, who was alone in the car, was pulled by firefighters from the vehicle embedded in the house. No one in the house was injured.
Anne Heche in coma, ‘extreme critical condition’ following crash
A spokeswoman said Tuesday that Heche was still in critical condition and had been in a coma since after the accident, with burns that required surgery and lung injuries that required the use of a ventilator to breathe.
Heche’s manager Michael McConnell told USA TODAY Monday that Heche was in “extreme critical condition.”
“She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident,” McConnell said.
TV video showed a damaged blue Mini Cooper Clubman being towed as firefighters put a woman in an ambulance.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said in a news release that the vehicle struck a two-story home, causing “structural compromise and erupting in heavy fire.”
A day before the car crash, Heche talked ‘bad days’ in podcast episode
Heche detailed having a bad day to Heather Duffy Boylston, also a spokeswoman for the actor, on their “Better Together” podcast, released the day before the crash. The episode was recorded Tuesday, podcasting company Straw Hut Media told USA TODAY.
The episode titled “Just the 2022 of Us” was removed from streaming services following the crash due to “inaccurate reporting that the episode was recorded on the day of the accident,” Straw Hut Media rep Ryan Tillotson said. It is still posted on the Straw Hut website.
On the podcast, Heche said she had “a very unique day.”
“I don’t know what happened, sometimes days just suck, and I don’t know if you ever have them,” Heche said.
Heche and Duffy were drinking during the podcast, sharing that they “each have a bottle (of vodka) in front of us.”
Heche was among the most prominent film stars in Hollywood in the late 1990s, playing opposite actors including Johnny Depp (“Donnie Brasco”) and Harrison Ford (“Six Days, Seven Nights”). In a 2001 memoir, she discussed her lifelong struggles with mental health.
She recently had recurring roles on the network TV series “Chicago P.D.” and “All Rise,” and in 2020 was a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Contributing: Bryan Alexander, PamelCharles Trepany, Naledi Ushe, Kim Willis and Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY; Lynn Elber, Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press