Ellen DeGeneres says stepfather sexually abused her, checked her breasts 'for lumps' when she was 15
Ellen DeGeneres has opened up about a traumatic childhood experience for the first time and revealed that she was sexually abused by her stepfather when she was just 15 years old.
While on Netflix's 'My Next Guest Needs No Introduction' with David Letterman, Ellen claimed that her mother Betty DeGeneres had married "a very bad man". When Ellen was only a teenager, right after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and needed to have one of her breasts removed, she said that the man used her mother's illness as an excuse to sexually abuse her.
"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 revealed.
"Again, because I didn't know about bodies, I don't know that breasts are all different and... 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. And I didn’t want to tell my mother cause I was protecting her and I knew that would ruin her happiness," Ellen continued.
"I’m angry at myself because, you know, I didn’t... I was too weak to stand up to... 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 that I want other girls to not ever let someone do that."
The talk show host shared that even though her mother Betty is 'apologetic' now, she did not believe her when Ellen had initially brought the incident to her mother's notice.
Betty ended up staying with the man for a period of around 18 years.
Ellen spoke of how she should have said something sooner and shared, "I should never have protected her. I should have 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. And finally left him because he'd changed the story so many times," Ellen said.
This is the first time that Ellen has spoken about the alleged assault. She said she only chose to do so because "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."