In August 2022, Heche accidentally drove her car into a Los Angeles residence — a collision that resulted in a fire. At the time, a rep for the Another World star told Us Weekly that their client was “currently in stable condition,” adding: “Her family and friends ask for your thoughts and prayers and to respect her privacy during this difficult time.”
“At this time she is in extreme critical condition she has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention,” the statement read. “She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident.”
The Emmy winner’s family later announced that she would be taken off life support after being declared legally dead. Following her passing, Heche’s official cause of death was confirmed to be due to inhalation of smoke and thermal injuries. Her organs were later harvested for donation.
One month later, Heche’s family made headlines due to a messy battle over her estate. The former soap star first expanded her family in 2002 when she gave birth to son Homer whom she shared with then-husband Coleman Laffoon. Seven years later, the Return to Paradise star welcomed son Atlas with then-partner James Tupper.
After Homer filed for control over his mother’s estate, James argued that he can reject the petition as the father of Heche’s second child. According to court documents obtained by Us in September 2022, the Revenge alum claimed that Homer is “not suitable for appointment” because of his age and lack of income.
The Canada native also alleged that Homer was estranged from his mother at the time of her death. James also accused Homer of changing the locks on Heche’s apartment in the wake of her passing — which prevented Atlas from gaining access.
“The assertion that the [Heche’s] apartment is ‘vacant’ in [Homer’s] pleadings is concerning,” the documents stated. “Her home was full of her furnishings, jewelry, valuables, files and records, and their removal was in no way authorized by this Court or the law. Atlas has not been able to gain entry to this apartment since his mother’s death.”
In the paperwork, the actor questioned whether Homer will act “in his brother’s best interest.” He argued that Homer’s decision to allegedly not attend grief counseling with Atlas in August 2022 created more tension.
“This is particularly upsetting given that Atlas is 13 years old, was with his mother on the day of her death and he has reached out to Homer repeatedly,” the documents alleged. “In fact, since their mother’s death, Homer has not seen his brother, nor had contact with him.”
Scroll down for everything to know about the messy legal battle over Heche’s estate: