Alec Baldwin and Rosanna Arquette are among a string of celebrities who have been slammed for sending thoughts and prayers to Anne Heche after the A-lister allegedly crashed at high speed into a house in Mar Vista while intoxicated.
Baldwin took to Instagram on Saturday to send “my best wishes and all my love” to Heche, who is reportedly in a hospital after suffering severe burns in the incident. According to a statement from the Los Angeles Fire Department, it took 59 firefighters more than an hour to access, contain and extinguish the “persistent flames” caused when Heche’s vehicle crashed into the two-story home, “causing structural damage and Heavy fire broke out prior to LAFD’s arrival.” Heche was pulled from the burning vehicle in critical condition.
She’s stable now, according to a statement from Heche’s friend and podcast partner Heather Duffy Boylston. “Anne is currently in stable condition. Your family and friends ask for your thoughts and prayers and to respect their privacy at this difficult time,” she said.
In his Instagram video, Baldwin says: “Anne is an old friend of mine. There aren’t many women I’ve worked with who are as brave as Anne.
“I love you Anne, I love you and I think you are such a talented person. I hope everything is alright, I hope you get through this. I feel for you. I am sorry that this tragic thing has happened to you and I send you all my love.”
He then asked, “‘Please join me everyone in sending your support and love to the wonderful Anne Heche. Many Thanks.”
In response, many seized on the comments to suggest that the focus should be on the resident of the home whose car Heche crashed into.
Footage captured by numerous doorbell cameras in the neighborhood on Friday showed the speed Heche’s car was traveling at before the accident. Moments later, she crashed into the house, which then burst into flames. The Los Angeles Fire Department said the home is now “uninhabitable.”
The home’s resident, identified as Lynne Mishele, told CBS LA reporter Tena Ezzeddine after the crash, “I’m a mess. We’re alive, but that’s all.”
Police have not charged Heche but said she allegedly drove twice the legal speed limit.
“What about the people she almost killed? …Is she more important?” posted a user in response to Baldwin’s video.
“Yeah I hope she’s alright but hey how about I say my thoughts are with those who almost got killed too,” said another. “Come on, Alec.”
Actors Peter Facinelli, Rosanna Arquette and Big Little Lies actor James Tupper, Heche’s ex, with whom she shares a 13-year-old son, were also among the celebs who faced criticism after posting tributes.
Political advisor Nathan Schneider tweeted in response to Arquette urging people to “pray” for Heche: “She could have killed someone. Heche needs serious psychological counseling before hurting anyone.”
Mishele’s neighbor Lynne Bernstein told People that she was “very lucky” to survive and that Heche’s car crashed “almost completely” through the house and caught fire “almost immediately”.
A GoFundMe page set up for Mishele by neighbors John and Jennifer Durand has already raised nearly $40,000.
“Lynne and her family narrowly escaped physical injury and for that we are very, very grateful,” the fundraiser reads. “However, the house burned down completely. Even more depressing is that Lynne lost her entire life of belongings, memorabilia, all of the equipment for her business including her laptop and iPad, all of her clothing and basic necessities, and all household items. With the help of the fire department, she was able to pull some damaged memorabilia out of the rubble. Everything else is gone.”
They described Mishele as a “kind and generous person, Lynne is always the first to offer help to others” and urged supporters to donate to the campaign.