Talk show host and LGBTQ+ activist Ellen DeGeneres is a popular face in Hollywood. She doesn't shy away from speaking about things that matter, and that has earned respect from all quarters. In 1997, she became the first public figure to come out as gay and lost her debut sitcom, Ellen, because of her sexual orientation. Once she got back to the screen with The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2003, Ellen gave voice to people who want to share their stories. Every episode, there is one heart-touching moment when she talks about people doing good deeds without expecting anything in return.
However, this time it Ellen's own account that is breaking hearts. In an interview, the 30-time Emmy award winner recalled the incident when she as sexually assaulted by her stepfather as a teenager. She narrated that he would feel her breasts for lumps since her mother was suffering from breast cancer at that point.
"He told me when she was out of town that he’d felt a lump in her breast and needed to feel my breasts because he didn’t want to upset her, but he needed to feel mine," Ellen said in a interview at the talk show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. "He convinced me that he needs to feel my breasts and then he tries to do it again another time, and then another time," she added.
Ellen went on to say that he continued to try and sexually assault her, and she often just ran away from him and slept at a hospital. "He tries to break my door down, and I kicked the window out and ran 'cause I knew it was going to go more to something," Ellen said. "And I didn’t want to tell my mother because I was protecting her and I knew that would ruin her happiness."
"I’m angry at myself because, you know, I didn’t, I was too weak to stand up to (him), I was 15 or 16. It’s a really horrible, horrible story and the only reason I’m actually going to go into detail about it is because I want other girls to not ever let someone do that," Ellen concluded, adding that the reason she decided to talk about it is because girls "just don’t feel like we’re worthy, or we’re scared to have a voice, and we’re scared to say no."
Ellen admits that she did tell her mother about the assault and her mother confronted her stepfather, who called Ellen a liar instead. "And I didn't tell her for a few years, and then I told her. And then she didn't believe me. And then she stayed with him for 18 more years. And finally left him because he'd changed the story so many times," Ellen added.
She also went on to talk about victim blaming that young girls often face when no one takes them seriously, "When I see people speaking out, especially now, it angers me when victims aren’t believed because we just don’t make stuff up. And I like men, but there are so many men that get away with so much."
Ellen DeGeneres has previously spoken about being a sexual assault survivor in an interview with Allure magazine in 2005. However, she never discussed it to this extent and only mentioned that what happened with her stepfather is not the reason why she is a lesbian, contrary to what people have speculated. "But I was a lesbian way before that. My earliest memories are of being a lesbian," said the 61-year-old host.
The activist, television host, writer and producer is now married to her longtime girlfriend, Australian-American model and actress Portia de Rossi. "I never would have thought my life would have turned out this way. To have money. Or to have a gorgeous girlfriend. I just feel so lucky with everything in my life right now," Ellen said in her Allure interview.
More power to you, Ellen. Thank you for sharing your story.
Featured Image: NYPageSix
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