Anne Heche's ex James Tupper shares how he and their son Atlas are 'taking care of each other' after her death

The late actress, who dated Tupper 11 years, died after a car crash in August

Anne Heche's ex-husband James Tupper opened up about how he and their 14-year-old son Atlas are coping after the actress's death in August.

The 57-year-old actor told People magazine he and Atlas have been leaning on each other after the "Six Days, Seven Nights" star died at the age of 53 following a car crash. 

"We're taking care of each other and taking it one day at a time," Tupper said at the Race to Erase MS Gala in Los Angeles Friday.

james tupper with son atlas anne heche

Anne Heche's ex James Tupper shared an update on how he and their son Atlas are coping following her death. (Getty)

"We've got a lot of great support and family around us, and it doesn't help. We still miss her, we miss her every day, love her," the "Revenge" alum added.


Tupper and Heche began dating in 2008 after meeting on the set of their hit ABC show "Men in Trees" and welcomed Atlas the following year. The former couple were together more than 10 years before splitting in January 2018.

Heche was previously married to Coley Laffoon, 49, with whom she shared son Homer, 21. The two tied the knot in 2001, but Laffoon filed for divorce in 2007. Their split was finalized in March 2009.

Anne Heche and James Tupper on red carpet

Tupper and Heche, pictured in 2017, dated 11 years before ultimately ending their relationship in 2018. (Chris Delmas)

In January, Tupper shared that helping Atlas through his grief was his "whole focus."

"I want to say that I'm doing great, but it's been a very, very difficult time," Tupper explained. "A very big transition and spending time with my boy and looking after him, that's basically been my whole focus.

"It's very difficult whenever you lose a parent like that. Your whole world switches inside out, and I think kids experience trauma in a way that adults don't.

placeholder"Adults have a context to put it in, but kids do not. You want to bury it, you want to forget about it and move past it. I happened to have lost my mom, too, when I was very, very young. So, I kind of understand what he's going through."

The "Big Little Lies" star noted that "grief is a difficult thing," adding it "comes in waves." He explained that he has become "so upset" sometimes while driving he has to pull his car over. 

Anne Heche with her sons at Disney on Ice in 2014

Heche was also mother to son Homer, whom she shared with ex-husband Coley Laffoon. (Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Feld Entertainment)

"This shock that she's gone now — someone that you really loved and really knew very, very well — [it's] impossible to get over quickly," the Canada native told People.

Tupper added that playing tennis and relying on the support of his "really good friends" has helped Atlas cope with the loss of his mother.

"Atlas has taken up tennis. So, he plays like two to three hours a day, and I think that's creating a real nice balance," Tupper said. "So, keeping these things carefully in balance, that's how we're getting through grief."

According to a report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office, Heche died from "inhalation and thermal injuries" after she was involved in a fiery car collision Aug. 5 in Mar Vista.

Coroners also listed a "sternal fracture due to blunt trauma" under "other significant conditions" for her death.

Anne Heche and son Homer Laffoon

Homer, seen in 2021 with Heche, was granted general administrator status over his late mother's estate.  (Rachel Murray)


Heche suffered a "severe anoxic brain injury" and remained "in a coma" under medical care at the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills for the opportunity to donate her organs through the OneLegacy Foundation.

"It has long been her choice to donate her organs, and she's being kept on life support to determine if any are viable," her representative confirmed at the time.

Heche was "peacefully taken off life support" Aug. 14 after being declared brain-dead days before.

Following her death, Homer faced a contentious court battle with Tupper, who contested Laffoon's appointment as guardian of her estate.

Tupper initially filed paperwork seeking to establish himself as the guardian of his son, who is legally a minor, but his petition was denied in November.

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