Heche May Sue 'Enquirer'

Dec. 13, 2000 -- Anne Heche may sue The National Enquirer over a story that accuses her of causing Robert Downey Jr.’s recent relapse by giving him cocaine.

The Enquirer quotes “an insider who spent 72 straight hours with Downey” as saying, “I was there when, just hours before his arrest, Robert blamed Anne for his downfall.”

Not so, says Downey Jr. He tells Entertainment Tonight “it was not true” that Anne Heche gave him drugs, although the publication stands by their story.

“The accusations in this hideous story are completely malicious and false,” Heche’s agent, Steve Dontanville, tells the New York Daily News.

“There’s a likely chance that Anne will file a lawsuit against The National Enquirer. She is really upset. This is going to get ugly,” the rep for the waifish blond actress says.

Defending Their Story Enquirer editor Steve Coz tells the Daily News that the Enquirer’s cover story is “rock-solid” and insists that Heche’s reps had the chance to respond before the story ran. Coz adds, “Let’s face it, Anne Heche is no stranger to a drug-scandal story,” referring to the August incident in which the actress was found wandering dazed and confused in a rural area of northern California. Gosh, bringing up previous tabloid stories — that’s a sure-fire way to dissuade her from filing a lawsuit.

Heche and Downey are both guest-starring on Ally McBeal this season, with Heche’s turn as a Tourette’s Syndrome sufferer airing next year. Downey has returned to the McBeal set for now. He is due back in court Dec. 27 for an arraignment on felony drug possession charges filed after his Nov. 25 arrest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.