Monday night's episode of Dancing With the Stars proved to be just as emotional as it was entertaining. Before the celebrities' respective dances, they opened up about some moments in their personal lives that deeply affected them. For Anne Heche, she opened up to her pro dancer partner Keo Motsepe about her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, whom she dated over two decades ago. According to the actor, dating DeGeneres affected her career, as she claimed that Fox threatened to terminate her contract (and, later, ended up doing so) if she went public with her relationship with another woman.
The Donnie Brasco star dated the television host from 1997 to 2000. Heche explained that she met DeGeneres at a Vanity Fair party in 1997, and her life was forever changed. "My movie premiere for Volcano, I had told them that I was taking Ellen as my date and I was told if I took Ellen I would lose my Fox contract," she claimed in the segment. "At that moment, she took my hand and said, 'Do what they say' and I said, 'No thanks.' I took Ellen to the premiere and I was ushered out before the movie even ended and was told I was not allowed to go to my own after party for fear that they would get pictures of me with a woman."
Heche went on to tell Motsepe that DeGeneres warned her that this would happen. She added, "I was in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres for three-and-a-half years and the stigma attached to that relationship was so bad that I was fired from my multi-million dollar picture deal and I did not work in a studio picture for 10 years." (It should be noted that Fox did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment about Heche's claims.) After Heche revealed this very important part of her past, she and Motsepe performed a Paso Doble routine to Katy Perry's "Rise," which garnered them a score of 21 out of 30.
As PEOPLE noted, this isn't the first time that Heche has opened up about her relationship with DeGeneres. In August, she discussed her relationship during an interview with Mr. Warburton magazine. "Our time was a beautiful part of my life and one that I wear with honor," she said. "I was a part of a revolution that created social change, and I could not have done that without falling in love with her." She added, "But there is still work to do. I've paved this way for myself, and my honesty had every single thing to do with it."