Ellen DeGeneres revealed that she was sexually assaulted by her stepfather when she was just 15 years old.
Ellen, now 61, told David Letterman on an episode of his Netflix series, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman,” that her mother Betty DeGeneres married “a very bad man” before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Betty’s husband then used her mother’s diagnosis and the fact that she had a breast removed to sexually assault Ellen.
“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,” she told Letterman.
“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 continued. “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.”
She added, “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,” she concluded.
Ellen first opened up about her abusive stepfather to Allure in 2005. She described how she had to climb out of a window to flee the house when the tried to break into her room one night.
”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 at the time. “And I didn’t want to tell my mother because I was protecting her and I knew that would ruin her happiness.”
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