Ellen Degeneres Was Sexually Abused by Stepfather At 15: When I Told My Mom, She Didn’t Believe Me


Ellen Degeneres Was Sexually Abused by Stepfather at 15: When I Told My Mom, She Didn’t Believe Me

Ellen Degeneres danced into our homes 16 years ago, and is now dropping a bomb on David Letterman‘s couch. In an upcoming interview on his Netflix show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” Ellen goes into graphic detail of being sexually abused at the hands of her stepfather at 15-years-old. She first went public with the claims in 2005 in Allure Magazine after he passed away, stating that he used her mother, Betty DeGeneres‘, breast cancer as a way to carry out the abuse. Ellen revealed:

“He told me that he’d felt a lump in [my mom’s] breast and needed to feel my breasts because he didn’t want to upset her, but he needed to feel mine. Because I didn’t know about bodies, I don’t know that breasts are all different. 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.”

In an explosive incident, Ellen locked her abusive stepfather in her bedroom and escaped after she says the breast exams progressed into “other things.” She shared:

“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 and her mother Betty in 2010

After many inappropriate run-ins with her stepfather, Ellen told her mother about the abuse. But Betty DeGeneres didn’t initially believe Ellen. She said:

“I should never have protected her — I should have protected myself. And I didn’t tell her for a few years and [when] I told her she didn’t believe me and then she stayed with him for 18 more years.”

Ellen says she hopes her story will serve as a cautionary tale. She said:

“[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.”


Written by Miata Shanay

Authored by: Miata Shanay