'DWTS' Contestant Anne Heche Claims Ex James Tupper Locked Her Out Of Their LA Home; He Says She's On Drugs

The exes share a son.

Who Is James Tupper? Details About 'DWTS' Contestant Anne Heche's Ex-Husband Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Actress Anne Heche is one of the contestants on Season 29 of Dancing with the Stars, and on Sept. 22's episode, she performed the foxtrot to "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic with her dance partner, Keo Motsepe. The pair recieved a score of 18/30, and while their score hit right at the average mark with the rest of the cast, they were safe from elimination — this week, that is. And while we're excited to see more of Anne Heche's moves on this season of DWTS, we're curious about her personal life; particularly her high-profile split in 2018 with Big Little Lies actor James Tupper.


Who is James Tupper, Anne Heche's ex-husband?

Anne Heche is known not just for her acting credits in films and shows — like Another World, Volcano, Six Days, Seven Nights, Birth, Spread, Catfight, Hung, Save Me, and Aftermath — but for her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres. The two dated from 1997 to 2000, when Heche apparently left DeGeneres for future first husband, Coleman “Coley” Laffoon. Laffoon and Heche eventually split in 2007, leaving him for her partner, James Tupper.


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If you’re a fan of HBO, you may recognize him as Nathan on Big Little Lies, Reese Witherspoon’s character’s ex-husband, who is married to Zoe Kravitz’s character. Other than his role on the HBO smash hit, Tupper has had roles in Mercy, Revenge, Aftermath, Space, Corky Romano, Joe Dirt, Mr. Popper's Penguins, A Million Little Things, and Grey’s Anatomy.

How did Anne Heche and James Tupper meet?

Heche and Tupper met on the set of the television show, Men in Trees. In 2009, they welcomed their first child together, son Atlas, the second child for Heche. But early in 2018, the couple called it quits after more than 10 years together.


Though they initially released a civil joint statement about the breakup, things got messy.



A post shared by James Tupper (@mrjamestupper) on Nov 12, 2019 at 9:12pm PST

As of February 2020, the two were still involved in a heated custody battle, as Heche accused Tupper of losing $450,000 of their money from “shady deals.” Tupper denied her claims, saying Heche’s allegations may be due to “extended drug use.”

According to court documents obtained by Radar, Heche said Tupper locked her and their son out of their home, all because Tupper was trying to sell the property without her knowing. They initially agreed to spend time in the home, but on alternating weekends. Heche alleged Tupper changed the security codes and keys, and asked a judge for an emergency ruling for the ordered custody in order to prevent any lock-outs in the future.

In a statement, Heche said, “James is essentially trying to keep me out of the house during my custodial time because I am contesting his sale of the Family Residence. That is not a justifiable basis to change out existing custody agreement, nor is it a basis to deny me access to the Family Residence during my custodial time.”


Tupper says he never changed the locks, writing in an email to Heche’s lawyer:

“I truly do not understand this drama and hope it isn’t linked to extended drug use.” In his declaration, he went on to say, "Anne accuses me of denying her access to the house by changing the locks and alarm code. This is absolutely false. I did not change the locks, nor did anyone else...

...This code works today, worked yesterday, and has worked continually for a decade. I have never deactivated it..On the night she claims to have been cast out, Anne’s other son (a 17-year old boy) entered and spent the night at the property, without incident. Obviously, if Anne wanted to get into the house, even if she has lost her key and somehow forgot her alarm code (which is inconceivable), she could have simply asked her son to let her in.”

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His attorney wrote in the affidavit: 


“But in addition to the lack of any compelling need or danger of irreparable harm, what makes Heche’s application truly audacious is that she has no legal rights with respect to the property. Tupper is the sole legal owner of the home. He alone is responsible for the mortgage. The parties’ custody agreement does not mention the property.

What appears to have now happened is that Heche was so angered by what she mistakenly and inexplicably perceived as a lockout, that she asked her attorneys to enforce the arrangement as if it were Tupper’s legal obligation. And by the time Tupper demonstrated that no lockout occurred, Heche has gone too far to back down.”

Court documents also indicate that Heche agreed to give the deed to Tupper over a year ago to refinance the property, but her name was never on the records. Heche claims she was “blindsided” that the house is closing escrow by November 15th, and that Tupper already spent all the money.

In her declaration, she added: 

“Hindsight is 20/20. I should not have been so naïve and trusting. As it turns out, contrary to our agreement, James had used the designated separate account like a personal ATM machine, and has spent the monies on various things that I never approved of, and that he never even asked or informed me about. 

For example, he sent several thousands of dollars to someone/thing called Maxine Lobos. I don’t know who/what that is. I asked for an explanation. James has not provided one. There is also over $30,000 in funds ‘wired’ out to unknown accounts for which James has not provided any explanation. He purchased stock, which I was unaware of, and lost money on those stocks. These are just a few examples. 

My information is still incomplete since I do not have the full, complete bank statements. I am appalled that James has violated my trust and confidence in this matter. His depletion of our refinance proceeds not only affects our ability to pay for the roof over the boys’ heads, it also affects our ability to pay for the boys’ education, which we agreed to be on of the main use of the refinance monies.”



A post shared by James Tupper (@mrjamestupper) on Sep 17, 2017 at 2:56pm PDT

Heche has filed a civil lawsuit against Tupper for the title and lien to the property, and their custody agreement will go to court next month. For the sake of their child, let’s hope the two can sort things out.


Who is Anne Heche dating now?

Heche has definitely moved on, and found love with her co-star, Thomas Jane, whom she acted alongside in the series Hung. Said a source, “They’ve been friends for so many years and they’re so like-minded that it’s an incredibly easy relationship. They’re really supportive of each other and have a lot of fun — they’re definitely in love.'

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.