Anne Speaks of Ellen

07/28/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

Anne Heche broke the public silence over her split last month with Ellen DeGeneres, when she addressed the organization Women in Film on Friday in Beverly Hills. Accepting a Lucy award (named for Lucille Ball) for her role developing and directing the HBO movie "If These Walls Could Talk 2" -- which costarred DeGeneres and Sharon Stone -- Heche was tongue-tied. "It means so much to me to be able to have Sharon Stone and Ellen DeGen . . . ," Reuters quoted Heche as saying. (She then apparently covered her face with her hands before saying, "Shake it out, baby.") Composing herself, she continued: "No matter what you've heard, I love Ellen DeGeneres. She is a genius . . . a marvelous woman so dear to my life, and I love her." When asked about an incident that took place the same weekend that the couple announced their break-up, in which a reportedly dazed Heche wandered into a stranger's home, Heche declined comment to reporters. When queried whether or not she is dating someone new, Heche replied, "Oh, please."

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