's mom, Betty
, was as surprised as anyone by her daughter's sudden breakup with Anne Heche
. "It came just like that," she shrugs, snapping her fingers. "I certainly wasn't in on any decision making. I found out when it happened, not before."
The elder DeGeneres, who refers to Heche as "my other daughter" in her new book, Just A Mom, tells TV Guide Online, "I haven't talked to Anne since she left, but we were a pretty tight-knit trio, so at least I have some happy memories."
Refusing to speculate on what caused the split, Betty says, "Look at Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, for goodness sake; that was so unexpected. These things happen in relationships.
"I'm supporting Ellen," she adds. "When one of your children hurts, you hurt. No matter how old they are, you're always their mom."
But the celebrity mom also reveals that the dark cloud is lifting for her groundbreaking daughter. "Ellen is doing very well and has someone new in her life who is a very nice person," she says. "She definitely wasn't looking for a new relationship, but they say [it's] when you're not looking [that] you find somebody." (Reports say that the object of Ellen's affection is actress Alexandra Hedison, who appeared in the late Fox drama L.A. Firefighters.)
Ironically, Heche is very much featured in the pages of Just A Mom, a follow-up to Betty DeGeneres's first book, Love Ellen: A Mother Daughter Journey. However, with the publication date looming (it hits store shelves next month), rewrites were out of the question. "The breakup couldn't have come at a worse time, but what's in the book about Anne is history," Betty says. "It's too important to delay until the furor dies down. I did change the cover, which was a picture of Anne and Ellen and a few captions on photos," she adds.
If the media frenzy surrounding the split draws more attention to Just A Mom, that's fine by its author, who says the book is aimed at parents with gay children. "I used to think homosexuality didn't concern me," she admits. "It took me awhile to get used to it, but now I've become an advocate, especially because Ellen and I always had a close relationship and always kept the lines of communication open."