Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic Anne Heche
Heche had been writing Call Me Anne, her follow-up to 2001's Call Me Crazy, for months leading up to her death on Aug. 12, Publishers Weekly previously reported. And on Thursday, the Associated Press published an excerpt ahead of the book's scheduled Jan. 24 release date.
The book "consist[s] of personal anecdotes of her rise to fame: how Harrison Ford became her on-set mentor, her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, her encounter with Harvey Weinstein, her history of childhood sexual abuse, her relationship with God, her journey to love herself," according to Start Publishing.
Simon & Schuster Call Me Anne
Looking back on her relationship, Heche wrote, "I was labeled 'outrageous' because I fell in love with a woman. I had never been with a woman before I dated Ellen."
"I did not, personally, identify as a lesbian. I simply fell in love!" wrote the actress, who was 53 when she was removed from life support on Aug. 14, two days after being declared legally dead. "It was, to be clear, as odd to me as anyone else. There were no words to describe how I felt. Gay didn't feel right, and neither did straight. Alien might be the best fit, I sometimes thought. What, why, and how I fell in love with a person instead of their gender, I would have loved to have answered if anyone had asked, but as I said earlier, no one ever did. I am happy that I was able to tell you in this book — once and for all."
In 1997, Heche and DeGeneres, now 64, made headlines as one of the first openly gay female couples in Hollywood.
"I met her at the Vanity Fair party. And it was a chemistry thing that you can't really describe," DeGeneres told the Tampa Bay Times in May 1998 of the pairs' connection. "It just happened. Obviously, I was attracted to her, but that wasn't enough. There are a lot of attractive people. She is so unique."
The pair called it quits in 2000 after three and a half years of dating.
The television host has often refrained from speaking about Heche or the relationship. When asked whether she'd discuss the broken romance in an April 2003 issue of PEOPLE, DeGeneres said, "No."
"I never have and I won't," she continued. "At some point, people will stop bringing it up."
DeGeneres did, however, speak out ahead of Heche's untimely death. Reacting to the devastating news that her ex was "not expected to survive" after her Aug. 5 car crash, DeGeneres tweeted, "This is a sad day. I'm sending Anne's children, family and friends all of my love."