Mon. Jan 30th, 2023
Melissa Etheridge on Helping Celebrities Come Out, Love, Grief—and How Her Wild Parties Inspired ‘The L Word’

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Once upon a time, in the ’90s, the rock star Melissa Etheridge had a house above the legendary Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles—and arguably the better parties happened around her pool. Yes, the famous lesbians of that era hung out together, Etheridge recalled to The Daily Beast laughing—her, k.d. lang, Rosie O’Donnell, and Ellen DeGeneres: all famous and out, or on the verge of fame and headline-making comings-out.

“A crazy thing happened,” recalled Etheridge. “My partner at the time (Julie Cypher, who she was with from 1990 to 2000), had been married to a young ’80s movie star (Lou Diamond Phillips, from 1987 to 1990). And so she knew that whole young Hollywood set: Dermot Mulroney, Catherine Keener, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts. I had met Rosie through VH1 (where O’Donnell worked before starring in A League of Their Own), and Ellen through a celebrity chef we both knew. I met k.d. lang at the first Grammys I went to. From 1988 to 1996, it was this really powerful group. None of us back then had kids. That’s why we could get together as often as we did, and we weren’t as famous—so we had more time to hang out.

“I tell you. It had this pool in the backyard. It was just an open house constantly. There was a lot of drinking, a lot of cannabis-smoking, and a whole lot of fun when I look back on it. I’m really glad I got to go through that in my life and know all these people. Now I only see Ellen like once a year maybe. I don’t see Rosie. I haven’t seen Brad in 10 years. Everyone got on with their lives, but this was a beautiful, golden time when we all had our dreams of what we wanted, and then we saw each of us just explode in our lives and careers. It was really nice.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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