Ellen DeGeneres: My Stepfather Abused Me When I Was a Teenager

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Ellen DeGeneres is known for being one of the funniest people in the world.

In an interview with David Letterman for Season 2 of that comedian's Netflix series, however, DeGeneres opens up about something very serious.

And also very personal...

Ellen DeGeneres Accepts

... she was molested as a teenager by her stepfather.

In her upcoming appearance on Letterman‘s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, DeGeneres says on stage that her mother, Betty, married a “very bad man” when DeGeneres was a young woman.

DeGeneres explains in this chat that her mom had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and had one of her breasts removed when the incident took place.

The stepfather then used this situation and this information to set DeGeneres up. In an absolutely horrific way.

“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 tells Letterman, adding:

"He convinced me that he needs to feel my breasts and then he tries to do it again another time, and then another time."

Ellen DeGeneres on the Mic

DeGeneres was 15 or 16 when this happened.

“I’m angry at myself because... I was too weak to stand up," DeGeneres continues in recalling this painful memory.

“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.”

DeGeneres eventually goes into even more detail about the alleged incident, recalling how her stepfather attempted to break down her bedroom door and she fled out her window because she knew "it was going to go more to something."

It took Ellen a few years to tell her mom about the assault.

Betty didn't believe her at the time and remained married to the main for 18 more years.

After he kept changing his story and Betty finally realized her daughter had been telling the truth... she left him.

Ellen DeGeneres is Happy

DeGeneres initially talked about this abuse in an interview with Allure in 2005. She said back then that her former stepfather had died.

Betty has appeared on her daughter's talk show on a number of occasions.

As for how her relationship is with her mother is these days?

"I always have taken care of her my whole life," Ellen tells Letterman.

"So I just kept taking care of her. I didn’t really let it get to me. Until recently, I kind of went, 'I wish I would have been better taken care of. I wish she would have believed me.' And she’s apologetic, but, you know…"

Ellen DeGeneres is Love

DeGeneres went on to say that she hopes her story will inspire other victims of abuse.

"We [women] just don’t feel like we’re worthy, or we’re scared to have a voice, and we’re scared to say no," she says.

"That’s the only reason I think it’s important to talk about it because there’s so many young girls and it doesn’t matter how old you are. 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.

"It is just time for us to have a voice. It’s time for us to have power."


Check out the trailer below for your first look at My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, which will also include a revealing interview with Kanye West.

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Ellen DeGeneres Biography

Jason and Molly on Ellen
Ellen DeGeneres was a great host of the Oscars and an often funny woman. She entertains us. She was one of the very first stars to come... More »
Full Name
Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres Quotes

I’m thrilled that the California supreme court overturned the ban on gay marriage. I can’t wait to get married. We all deserve the same rights, and I believe that someday we’ll look back on this and not allowing gays to marry will seem as absurd as not allowing women to vote.

Ellen DeGeneres

You showed us something in that film that I have not seen for a very, very long time.

Ellen DeGeneres [to Jonah Hill, regarding his penis in The Wolf of Wall Street]