Ellen DeGeneres recently recalled she was sexually assaulted as a teen. The talk show host, who has always brought a smile on our faces, got us tearing up when she revealed her stepfather sexually assaulted her. The 61-year-old TV personality was a guest at David Letterman’s talk show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. During her interaction with the talk show host, Ellen delved into the details of the abuse. She recalled the incident that took place in her teens with the motive of educating young women.
She began by warning that it was a “horrible, horrible story.” She recalled that the incident took place when she was about 15 or 16 years old. She told Letterman that her mother, Betty DeGeneres, was once married to “a very bad man.” Betty was then diagnosed with breast cancer. She had to get one of her breasts removed. The stepfather used Ellen’s mother’s condition to sexually assault her.
She said that her stepfather felt her up in the pretence that there is a lump on her breast. He convinced her that he needs to feel her breast to make sure everything is okay. “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. 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. Again, because I didn’t know about bodies. I don’t know that breasts are all different,” she said, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.
“Anyway, he convinced me that he needs to feel my breasts and then he tries to do it again another time, and then another time 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,” she said. Ellen chose to keep the incident away from her mother. She felt that she was protecting her mother at the time. She knew that he would ruin “her happiness, and she was happy with him even though he was a horrible man.”
“I should never have protected her. I should’ve protected myself, 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,” she reflected. However, Betty finally left the man after “he changed his story so many times.”
“What most women do is we just don’t feel like we have a voice… we just don’t feel like we’re worthy or we’re scared to have to have a voice and we’re scared to say no. 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. And 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,” she said.
More power to you, Ellen! This isn’t the first time that Ellen opened up about her stepfather. She has spoken about him in an interview to Allure in 2005.