Ellen DeGeneres' mother Betty regrets ignoring sexual abuse claims: 'I wish I had the capacity to listen to her'

Appearing on David Letterman's Netflix show, the host revealed that she was molested by a "very bad man" her mother had married.


                            Ellen DeGeneres' mother Betty regrets ignoring sexual abuse claims: 'I wish I had the capacity to listen to her'

Renowned talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres' mum is responding to her daughter's claims of being sexually assaulted by her stepfather as a teenager. According to TMZ, Betty DeGeneres has said that she feels great sorrow for her daughter. 

Ellen revealed during an appearance on David Letterman's Netflix show 'My Guest Needs No Introduction' that she was molested by a "very bad man" her mother Betty had married. The abuse took place when she was just 15 or 16.

Ellen revealed during an appearance on David Letterman's Netflix show 'My Guest Needs No Introduction' that she was molested by a "very bad man" her mother Betty had married. (Getty Images)

Now, Betty has spoken out about her own misgivings about the heartbreaking incident. In a statement given to NBC News via DeGeneres, she said: "I love my daughter, and I wish I had the capacity to listen to her when she told me what happened."

She added, "I live with that regret, and I wouldn't want that for any other parent. If someone in your life has the courage to speak out, please believe them."

Betty says she understands why Ellen found it so hard to speak up after being sexually abused.

“I know now that one of the hardest things to do is speak up after being sexually abused,” Betty, 89, said in the statement. 

Meanwhile, the popular TV host said the main reason she decided to make her story public was to give courage to other victims to use their voice and not be afraid of the societal consequences.

“I’m angry at myself because, you know, I didn’t — I was too weak to stand up to — I was 15 or 16,” Ellen told Letterman. “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.”