Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- See Everything You're Going to Want from Target's Fall Catalog—Before it Comes Out
- Read the Cover Story: The Gosselins 10 Years Later: 'So Much Has Changed'
- The Final Five Share the Best Way to Deal With Social Media Haters: 'You Really Can't Focus on the Lies'
- Kelly Rowland Chops Her Long Locks, Vanessa Hudgens and Shanina Shaik Follow Suit
- The Final Five Are Single and Ready to Mingle: 'We Don't Need Tinder'
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- May 12, 1997
- Vol. 47
- No. 18
Girls' Night Out
Ellen Degeneres and Her Lover Anne Heche Create a Stir in Staid D.c.
Not since the British arrived with torches in 1814 have out-of-towners brought such heat to a White House-related function. "Oh! I thought this was all for you," Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan joked to his new bride, NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell, as photographers, who had lenses only for DeGeneres, 39, and Heche, 27, jockeyed for position. "They lit up the room," says openly gay lobbyist Elizabeth Birch of the Human Rights Campaign. But the display made other guests fume: A "freak show," the wife of a Cabinet member reportedly said.
It certainly was a spectacle. The moment DeGeneres and Heche arrived at the Washington Hilton in a limo, groups of autograph-hunting teenagers chased them down the stairs to the security checkpoint. To escape the crowd, the couple took refuge in a ladies room, providing a photo op for a female photographer who had followed them.
Once safely seated at table 119 with the other guests of Vanity Fair, including George Clooney and Bianca Jagger, DeGeneres, wearing a blue pantsuit, and Heche, in a clingy turquoise mini-dress, chattered and chain-smoked. They paid intermittent attention to speeches by Bill Clinton (he touched on the fund-raising controversy by joking that Chelsea's departure for college will make another White House bedroom available) and comic Jon Stewart (he called DeGeneres's revelations "an elaborate ruse to keep Larry King from hitting on her"). Asked if she liked the comedy, DeGeneres said, "Yeah, it's good. It's funny."
As for her and Heche's behavior, not everyone was amused. "I had the impression they were putting on some kind of act," said a Washington columnist. "But this kind of thing can backfire in Washington." And elsewhere. After spending the night at the posh Jefferson Hotel, the women returned to Hollywood, where the jury is still out on how their relationship will affect their careers. As for DeGeneres and Heche, they've had their say. "She's done her press and has no comment," says Heche's publicist Simon Halls. "I do know that she had fun, though."
GARRY CLIFFORD, JANE SIMS PODESTA, LINDA KRAMER and JENNIFER MENDELSOHN in Washington
- Garry Clifford,
- Jane Sims Podesta,
- Linda Kramer,
- Jennifer Mendelsohn.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!