Popular TV presenter Ellen DeGeneres opened her story about abuse as a teenager in an effort to help women and people with similar experiences speak out. In an upcoming interview with David Letterman on the Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, DeGeneres has reviewed this dark period in her life and revealed some disturbing details about the abuse. The full interview will be out on Friday. According to DeGeneres, she was abused by her stepfather when she was just 15 years old, shortly after her mother Betty DeGeneres was diagnosed with breast cancer. According to CNN, she said to Letterman: “He told me when (my mother) was out of town that he had felt a lump in her chest and had to feel my breasts,” while adding, “Anyway, he convinced me that he must feel my breasts and then he will try again, and then again. “She also expressed the hope that her story would inspire others and those who needed some motivation to get out if they were wrong in the same way were affected. She also said she hoped her story would help women and girls and help them not to be scared. DeGeneres also spoke about the regret that she did not open at that time. She said, “I’m mad at myself because, you know, not me, I was too weak to stand up to, I was 15 or 16.”
She added, “It’s really a terrible, terrible story, and the only reason I’m going to talk about it in detail is because I want other girls to never let anyone do that.” DeGeneres said she didn’t tell her mother right away because she thought she was protecting her. “I should never have been protected (my mother), I should have protected myself and didn’t tell her for a few years,” she revealed.
She continued, “And then I told her. And then she didn’t believe me, and then she stayed with him for another 18 years, and eventually he left him because he had changed the story so many times.” DeGeneres asked survivors not to suffer in silence. She said, “When I see people expressing themselves, especially now, it makes me angry when victims aren’t believed … because we just don’t make things up.” This is not the first time she has spoken about her ordeal. DeGeneres opened about her abuse in an interview with Allure in 2005 according to a People report.
DeGeneres did not reveal her stepfather’s name, but she told the magazine that he was already dead. Detailing the ordeal, she said her stepfather “let me down because he said he felt hers while she was lying.”
It is not known how long the abuse lasted, but she had other encounters with her stepfather that made DeGeneres scared for years. He once tried to break her bedroom door. She said about the incident: “I had to kick out a window and escape and sleep in a hospital all night.”