Woman whose house Anne Heche drove into sues estate for $2m

Lynne Mishele takes legal action against actor’s estate for accident in which her Los Angeles rental home was destroyed

Lynne Mishele, the woman whose house was destroyed after the actor Anne Heche drove into it in the car accident that led to her death, is suing Heche’s estate for at least $2m (£1.7m).

Mishele’s Los Angeles rental home and possessions were almost entirely written off in the incident in August, although she and her pets were unharmed.

Heche’s Mini Cooper ploughed through Mishele’s front garden, living room, kitchen, home office, a closet and laundry room before coming to a halt. A fire was then ignited, described in Mishele’s suit as a “towering inferno”.

Heche suffered severe internal injuries and smoke inhalation. Sixty firefighters were unable to free her from the wreckage of her car for at least an hour. She was conscious when taken to hospital but soon after slipped into a coma and was pronounced legally dead on 12 August.

Mishele and her two dogs and a tortoise were escorted to safety by a neighbour. Following the incident, the owners of the house that Mishele was renting raised more than $183,000 for their tenant through a GoFundMe campaign.

After news broke that Heche was brain dead, Mishele posted a short video to Instagram calling it “devastating” and “a great loss”.

She expressed her condolences to Heche’s sons, Homer and Atlas. “My heart goes out for them,” Mishele said. “This entire situation is tragic, and there really are just no words … I’m sending love to everybody involved.”

Last week, lawyers acting for Mishele filed a claim for more than $2m against Heche’s estate, asserting that the actor’s “outrageous conduct and unlawful acts” had left their client homeless, “completely traumatised” and lacking possessions necessary for her everyday life, as well as sentimental objects both real and virtual (her iPad and computers were destroyed).

The claim states that the crash felt like “a record-breaking earthquake had hit, and [Mishele] was right in the middle and on the fault line”. It alleges negligence, trespassing and the infliction of emotional distress on the part of Heche, as well as alleging that blood analysis confirmed the actor had cocaine and fentanyl in her system.

The claim also reports that Mishele is now suffering insomnia, anxiety and depression. Having to leave her house and her “fragile mental health” have left her unable to run her business, which she ran from home.

She is also “unusually startled by hearing loud noises, plagued by nightmares and flashbacks of the incident, terrified of walking outside, and, atop that, without a place to live”.


Catherine Shoard

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Actor Anne Heche dies a week after car crash
The 53-year-old star of films including Donnie Brasco, Catfight and the remake of Psycho, did not regain consciousness after a car crash on 5 August

Catherine Shoard

12, Aug, 2022 @5:40 PM

Article image
Anne Heche ‘peacefully taken off life support’ after death announcement
The actor, severely injured in a car crash on 5 August, had been legally declared dead, but had life support maintained to facilitate organ donation

Andrew Pulver

15, Aug, 2022 @8:56 AM

Article image
Anne Heche was trapped in burning house for 45 minutes after crash
Firefighters battled flames and smoke to extract Hollywood actor after her car crashed into building in Los Angeles last month

Guardian staff and agencies

02, Sep, 2022 @6:57 PM

Article image
Anne Heche ‘stable’ after suffering severe burns in Los Angeles car accident
Fans and friends express support for Hollywood star who drove her car into house, which was left ‘uninhabitable’

Samira Asma-Sadeque

07, Aug, 2022 @4:41 PM

Article image
Anne Heche obituary
Film, TV and Broadway star whose award-winning acting career was overshadowed by a life steeped in controversy

Michael Carlson

15, Aug, 2022 @10:46 AM

Article image
Anne Heche is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since car crash
A representative for the actor has described her as being in an ‘extreme critical condition’ following the incident on Friday

Catherine Shoard

09, Aug, 2022 @9:25 AM

Article image
Anne Heche: stigma around relationship with Ellen cost me huge movie deal
The actor has claimed stigma led to her being frozen out by studios for a decade after she dated TV comic

Guardian Film

07, Oct, 2020 @3:22 PM

Article image
Anne Heche was a little too stylish and smart for Hollywood
A striking presence in films from Psycho to Wag the Dog, her spiky intelligence did not help her in a town that likes its female leads conventional

Peter Bradshaw

12, Aug, 2022 @5:51 PM

Article image
Anne Heche ‘not expected to survive’ car crash, actor’s family says
The US actor will be taken off life support after it is determined if her organs are viable for donation, following a severe collision that left her car in flames

Guardian staff and agencies

12, Aug, 2022 @4:41 AM

In brief: Anne Heche denies dosing Downey Jr with drugs

Plus: Veterans fear Mel Gibson's Vietnam war movie will be too gung ho; no shotgun wedding for Guy Ritchie; Claude Chabrol wins big prize for his 52nd film

14, Dec, 2000 @11:42 AM