Anne Heche and husband in bitter custody battle

05/18/2007 at 12:20 AM ET

Actress Anne Heche‘s estranged husband, Coley Laffoon, has filed papers with the Los Angeles Superior Court asking for primary custody of the couple’s 5-year-old son, Homer. In the papers, Coley, who has been a stay-at-home dad since Homer’s birth and provides his primary care, claims that Anne displays ‘bizarre and delusional behavior,’ around Homer and has ‘poor parenting skills.’ Among the specific allegations:

  • Anne once had Homer ride in her lap in the front passenger seat while he was visiting her in Vancouver (which she admits to).
  • Anne often cusses in front of Homer and berates Coley to him.
  • In the 10 days Homer visited with Anne in Vancouver, she packed school lunches that Homer ‘did not like’ and were not nutritious, causing the school to speak to Anne about them.
  • Anne introduced her co-star James Tupper to Homer as her boyfriend, against the advice of a child therapist and an agreement with Coley not to. Homer then slept in bed with Anne and James and showered with them, in bathing suits. Anne admits this.
  • Anne does not provide consistent care for Homer during Vancouver visits; he is often watched by a succession of nannies or Men In Trees personnel.
  • Anne does not call at appointed times; when Coley attempts to call while Homer is visiting Anne, she does not answer or will not put Homer on the phone.
  • Homer was sent to the airport without his passport, favorite shoes, and bedtime stuffed animals, causing him distress.

In addition to asking for joint custody, Coley is also asking for $33,000 a month in spousal support.On Thursday, Anne’s rep released the following statement in response to the filing:

It is disappointing that Coley Laffoon has resorted to filing lies with the court because Anne would not cave in to his astronomical monetary demands, including his demand for $45,000 a month in support. For the past several years, the child’s father has refused to get a job in order to contribute financially to the child’s care.

However, just months ago, the couple appeared in a feature in People magazine discussing the decision to have Coley be a stay-at-home father.

In a statement, Coley said,

Clearly, Anne’s anger toward me has clouded her ability to think rationally about what is in Homer’s best interest.

The custody case is currently being reviewed.

Source: TMZ

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized

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nancy on

This is so sad. I can’t beleive Ann (her attorney) would resort to saying “the child’s father has refused to get a job in order to contribute financially…” If a man made a statement like this about a woman’s decision to be a stay at home mom, then everyone would be outraged! We should praise any parent who makes the decision that is best for their child, including having a father stay at home with his children. That is commendable and is just as important a job as “contributing” finacially.”

Lorus on

Wow, interesting. I can see her “mental breakdown” coming back to haunt her during this as well. After her breakup with Ellen Degeneres she had a breakdown and was found on a stranger’s doorstep claiming to be Celestia, the daughter of God.

Aura on

Wow. Anne does sound like she needs to see someone for help. Hope she gets the help she needs, and that they can sort this out quitely and with what’s best for the child in mind.

maureen on

What a sad situation for everyone involved! And to have all your dirty laundry (and possibly baseless accusations) aired in a public forum. I certainly don’t envy them.

In the end, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Heche certainly seems like a flake, but I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with spending time with a nanny or babysitter, meeting your mom’s boyfriend, being cursed in front of (much better than being cursed at) or showering with your mom and her boyfriend (in bathing suits, no less!). Doing those things doesn’t necessarily make her a bad parent. I’m sure there both trying to raise their child in the best way they know how, just with very different parenting styles. I hope they find a way to amicably settle this.

Becky on

What a sad situation.

Lissy on

Maybe he should ask for full custody.

brass on

This situation sucks…how horrible for their son. I completely agree with Nancy…I think this man should be applauded for wanting to stay at home with his son. Children need their fathers as much as they need their moms. He should ask for full custody! I wish him luck!!

Liesl on

This is so sad. I just hope it doesn’t turn as ugly and the Baldwin/Basinger custody battle. I feel really bad for those children who are caught between bitter divorces.

Fynn on

The People magazine article says Coley is seeking primary custody.

Thanks, it’s been corrected.

Mama Llama on

Who is the man in the photo with Ann? Is it just my imagination, or is he copping a feel, LOL.

She does sound a little flakey. And that statement from her lawyer is a really low blow, and very insulting.

Her husband.

Jen DC on

This is all very sad and I feel for the child. He’s very confused right now and if these allegations against Anne are true, I don’t see how they can allow her full custody.

Maureen – I do think there is something very wrong with having your five year old son bathe with you and your new boyfriend, even with bathing suits. He’s not ready to take in both the fact that his parents are splitting up, and this is his mother’s new partner. Perhaps he’s met James Tupper on set before the shower, but still, 5 years old is far too young to be introduced into this situation in that way. But if Anne and Coley had come to an agreement about the timing of the introduction, she should have stuck to that agreement.

This is going to be horrible for that child. I hope that the allegations of Anne’s mental illness are treated with delicacy or I hope that both parties have the maturity to keep this out of the press. Which doesn’t seem likely. It just makes me sad for Homer.

Autumn on

Yeah those accusations certainly have shades of her breakdown from 2000 or 2001. I agree that maybe not everything is bad, because yeah no mother is perfect, but still though I hope she can get the help she needs.

As far as Coley asking for $33,000 or $45,000 a month, that’s crazy! Seventeen years ago my Grandmother’s house cost that much! (The house my brother is buying cost him about $65K, but anyway…) Now you could buy a nice car or SUV (though do most of you have that much at one time?), about 4 yrs at a state University, or a year or two at a private University, etc. for $33K – $45K…but Coley thinks he wants that per month? Greedy! imho…

In the filing it says Anne makes $81,000 an episode of her show, so maybe the figure is drawn from what she makes?

Zbella on

Bizarre behavior from a parent. The very serious ones include riding in the car without a seatbelt (in the front passenger seat, no less, the most dangerous spot in a car) and how she leaves him with nannies or staff and the sleeping/showering one. I’m not a prude. That’s 100% OK with your own parent – NOT with your mom’s new boyfriend.

I’m a stay-at-home mom AKA full time mom and so I’m not ‘contributing financially’. Thankfully my husband RESPECTS me and my role. In fact, he would like to be a full time dad, and we might switch in a couple of years when the baby is weaned.

I feel for her husband (or ex). I wish him & Homer the very best.

Lauren on

That is absolutely disgusting if it’s true. Those are all signs of neglectful parenting, and she does not deserve custody of him at all if it’s true. I wonder if her lawyer remembers that while Coley was refusing to “contribute financially” to his son (aka taking care of him), Anne was cheating on him with James. She obviously has mental problems, and she needs serious psychiatric help before Homer is allowed to live with her again (obviously she already ignored the child therapist’s advice). I can’t believe Ellen Degeneres ever went out with her.

Andrea on

Come on guys.. I think that although some of her behavior in the past.. she wouldn’t be mother of the year, but I don’t think that these accusations are as bad as they are making it seem. So what, she didn’t5 pack a nutrional lunch… my daughter’s school sends a letter once a week about the same situation.. doesn’t make her a bad parent that she packed a lunch her kid did not like. So what if she didn’t answer the phone when he called, maybe she wanted to spend time with her son without having the father call every five minutes. I think that we are a little quick to judge without knowing the whole story.

Spiff on


Considering that they live in Los Angeles (and at times in New York), $800,000 BARELY gets you a decent place to live…and I’m sure Coley and her son are used to much nicer homes than that would buy you.

Just because someone can buy a house for $60,000 in some parts of the country does not mean that is anywhere near true for other parts.

Considering how much money she makes…this doesn’t sound too unbelievable to me!!

estherpanda on

I think we should not blame Anne Heche..We don’t know anything about this situation!
I can understand it’s hard for this little boy to see his parents getting divorce but please… And does it make her a bad mom because her son’s lunch bag was not perfect?? Can we blame her for that??
And I don’t understand why a child therapist should tell them how to behave with their kid!! We all make mistakes… Ok she left her husband for another man, so what?? Is she the first one to do so?

Aura on

I don’t see how anyone could defend her! What she has done is wrong!
Showering with her new bf and the son, even in bathing suits is not ok in anway. He is only five years old, and not old enough to understand that mommy and daddy are not together, and that mommy has a new bf ect. And now she’s probably confused him more with this sort of behavoiur. And the airport thing is horrible as well. Small children need their favourite toys, their passports(clearly) and other things like that.
I’m sorry, but really, I’m on the dad’s side in this case. But I do hope she gets help.

silentgirl on

Anne obviously has psychological problems and has had them for a long time. When did anyone else here go insane and start thinking they were different creatures of god etc..(whatever that nonsense was) It is not ok what she is doing. I feel for her son & Coley so much.

I’ve gone through a messy custody battle myself and I know how people can get mean. I don’t put it past her to care much less for her son than for herself.

On the $$ situation. 60K for a house?? LOL I’m not sure where that is possible but in CA where I am from and currently live it’s luck to find a decent home in a decent area for under 700K AT LEAST. I mean in Oakland,CA and the ghetto parts you are looking at 350-400K easy. True. Look it up.

33K a month doesn’t sound too far off. I really hope that he gets sole custody.

PSB on

I hope that Homer’s dad gets full custody–period!

Anne has had a really disturbing life and suffereed a lot of abuse, and though I feel bad for her, she is clearly mentally/emotionally unstable. Her husband has been the primary caretaker of Homer and hopefully the court will respect this and award him cutsody. She should not get custody just because she’s the woman –and maybe she needs supervised visits if she can’t get her act together.

That said, her ex got what he deserved when she left him. He was the other man that she was sleeping with while she was living with Ellen, she left Steve Martin for Ellen, so he should have expected this. She’s a serial cheater!

Cati on

I think her ex is using her past against her in order to get more money in the divorce. Other than when she claimed she was an alien or something back in the day I don’t really see anything “bizarre” or “delusional” in the behavior that is described.

She once had her son ride in the front seat with her. This is neither bizarre or delusional my parents did this with me more than once when I was growing up, it shows perhaps a lapse in judgement but give her a break she’s human.
Many parents, myself included, curse in front of their children on occasion. I know I shouldn’t but sometimes when I am on the phone or in a conversation with another adult sometimes a bad word does slip out.
Are all parents who at times pack lunches their children don’t like bizarre and delusional? Kids can be picky eaters, something can be their favorite food one week and they will refuse to eat the same food the next week. Again,this also happened to me, the school also spoke to me and their suggestion was not to offer a variety of foods but just send macaroni and cheese for lunch everyday because that’s one food my kids will always eat.

As far as letting her son know she has a boyfriend, he probably already guessed(kids pick up on more than we think)and she may have figured that although they agreed not to tell him it was better to be honest with him than to lie.
sometimes when I am away from home with my children and my husband calls the kids say they don’t want to talk on the phone to their dad. They’re just having too much fun playing and don’t want to stop to chat on the phone. Should she make him talk on the phone if he doesn’t want to? It would be more bizarre to me if she forced her son to talk on the phone if he doesn’t want to.
Big deal that she sent her son to the airport without his passport or favorite toy, this is not bizarre or delusional,it’s called being human, most people forget important things once in awhile.

As for the showering thing, since they all had on bathing suits this may have occured on one of those shower things at a beach or a pool and been a perfectly innocent occasion. I am sure if it had been in a bathtub at home those details would have been mentioned in the allegations.

It seem like this man is reaching really hard to make Anne look bad. Unfortunately for her the thing he is reaching for is her pocketbook.

Liza on

i know this has nothing to do with the topic, but its just interesting to see how the housing prices vary depending on your location. We live in a suburb of Milwaukee, and my husband and I are looking at a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house for 139,000. Great neighborhood, right on the lake.
I know when I was a kid and we live in Orange County,(86-95) we paid more for rent for a small apartment then we do here for a large flat.
Maybe he really does need that money live how he was accustomed.
She does seem a bit wacked out, and some of the things she is reportedly doing are a bit questionable, but who knows?

Lori on

It just breaks my heart.