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[whitespace] Laffoon adjusting to new life of bright lights and marriage

Saratoga--He's been featured as the companion cameraman, the son of a Knight Ridder executive and, lately, as the husband of actress Anne Heche.

There's someone more behind the dark good looks of Coley Laffoon, who's the son of Saratogans Pinky and Polk Laffoon, media giant Knight Ridder's vice president of corporate relations.

Laffoon, 27, who wed Heche in a small ceremony in Los Angeles on Sept. 1, says he's spent the last three years in the Los Angeles area working as a freelance videographer and editor.

And over that period he's made frequent trips up the coast to visit his parents and hit Village hangouts like the Bank and Blue Rock Shoot.

"I love Saratoga," said Laffoon by phone Sept. 12 while he was on the road with Heche on a book tour.

Laffoon grew up in Cincinnati and Miami and attended college on the East Coast before moving to Los Angeles.

While in Southern California, he says he worked on several video projects in the music industry before he dove into his most recent film venture--a short documentary called "The Truth" about school children from a variety of backgrounds throughout the Los Angeles area.

Things changed slightly in March of last year when Laffoon was hired on as cameraman for a documentary about comedian Ellen DeGeneres's return to stand-up comic life.

Laffoon made a stop at the Mountain Winery last summer as part of his work on the film about DeGeneres, spending most of his time shooting behind-the-scenes footage.

It was on the tour with the DeGeneres film crew that he met Heche.

The documentary was never completed. Heche and DeGeneres eventually ended their romantic relationship.

Laffoon took up with Heche several months after she split with DeGeneres, and the new couple eventually became a media focal point this spring when they announced their engagement.

Laffoon, who's been travelling with Heche under an assumed name for a year now, says the increased attention hasn't bothered him.

"It's not as strange as I thought--it's actually been a lot of fun," he said. "It's fun to have friends say, 'Hey I've seen you in People or US.'"

For Laffoon, the spotlight has taken a backseat to other transforming events in his life. "My life has changed more because I'm married and we're having a baby," he said. Heche is three months pregnant.

Much of the couple's energy in recent weeks has turned to Heche's memoir, Call Me Crazy, which she was out hawking recently in Toronto. Laffoon says he's kept a low profile at the book signings and has been around mainly to support Heche.

The attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., put a halt to the tour, but not before 200 people turned out for the Toronto reading and signing, which took place the same day of the terrorist attack.

"We weren't sure about the [book signing] after what happened," said Laffoon. "But it was well received--a little rest from the shock of what was going on in the East."
Oakley Brooks

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