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Anne Heche was on everyone's minds. On Thursday, during a virtual panel for Lifetime's upcoming movie, Girl in Room 13, which stars Heche, a Lifetime executive, director Elisabeth Rohm and co-star Larissa Dias addressed the actress' absence, following the news that she has been in a coma since a fiery car crash in Los Angeles last Friday.
Amy Winter, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for Lifetime opened the panel, which was part of the Television Critics Association's 2022 Summer Press Tour, by speaking about Heche and asking reporters to refrain from questions about the actress' health status.
"As many of you know, Anne remains in critical condition and all of us here at Lifetime are deeply concerned for her and everyone affected," Winter said in her statement. "We hope that her friends and family stay strong during this difficult time. You know, just as much as we do, that we ask that you kindly refrain from inquiring about her health status. This project is important to Anne, along with each and every one of us. We all sought to make a film that would bring attention to this appalling issue of human sex trafficking. We hope that this film reached you and that you are just as inspired as Anne was to help us with our mission to stop violence against women. Thank you for your support and your questions about the film."
It seems that Heche's accident will not affect the production or release of Girl in Room 13, however, as Rohm also noted that the "film is finished" and it will air in September. The director called the actress' performance in the film "so painful and so riveting."
Lifetime added during the start of panel that opening remarks from the studio's executives had been "prerecorded prior to recent events," potentially referring to Heche's crash and hospitalization.
Days after the accident, Heche's rep told ET that the actress is "in extreme critical condition" following the crash. "She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention," the rep said Monday. "She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident."
Los Angeles Police Department officials told ET that Heche is currently under investigation for misdemeanor DUI and hit-and-run.
Meanwhile, Heche's 20-year-old son, Homer, has taken the lead in advocating for the "best care" for his mother. According to ET's source, Heche has been surrounded by family members who are hoping for a recovery: "Her family is on pins and needles, just praying."
Hours before Heche's accident on Friday, a since-deleted episode of her podcast, Better Together, was reportedly posted, where the actress claimed to have been drinking vodka "with wine chasers" after having a "very bad day." The episode, according to a statement to ET by podcast producer Ryan Tillotson, was recorded days earlier. "Any reports that she recorded that episode on the day of the accident are false," Tillotson said.
On Tuesday, ET spoke with Richard Glass, owner of Glass Hair Design in Venice Beach, who said Heche purchased a wig right before her accident on Friday. He said that he did not believe Heche was under the influence. "She wasn’t speaking in cursive, I say that when people are impaired,” he told ET's Lauren Zima.
Heche's Girl in Room 13 casting was announced in June.
The movie, which is part of Lifetime's "Ripped From the Headlines" franchise and inspired by true events, tells the story of Grace (Dias), who was addicted to opioids after her doctor prescribed them for a sports injury at a young age. After three stints in rehab, she is ready to turn her life around. Under the watchful eye of her mother, Janie (Heche), Grace tries to begin a new chapter but her past comes back to haunt her when her ex and drug dealer, Richie (Max Montesi), imprisons her in a hotel room with no way out as he tries to break her down so that she can be sold into human trafficking. Refusing to give up on her daughter even when her husband and the police believe Grace has returned to a life of using, Janie begins her hunt to find Grace. Stopping at nothing, Janie discovers the dark world of human trafficking and the shocking statistics about its widespread victims and its unexpected accomplices.