Ellen DeGeneres has opened up to David Letterman about a traumatic experience of sexual abuse as a teenager.
The comedian made the revelation on talk show host David Letterman’s Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
Ellen described the perpetrator of the abuse – her mother Betty’s ex-husband – as a “very bad man”.
Ellen said that the abuse occurred when she was “15 or 16”. She explained her stepfather used her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis as a tool to manipulate her on several occasions.
“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 told Letterman in the interview.
“He convinced me that he needs to feel my breasts. And then he tries to do it again another time. And then another time.”
Ellen said the sexual abuse escalated, including to one incident where the man “tried to break [her] door down” as she “kicked the window out and ran” because she knew what it would likely have lead to.
“I didn’t want to tell my mother because I was protecting her and I knew that would ruin her happiness,” she said.
She said also said should never have protected her mother . She should have protected herself.”
Ellen DeGeneres angered by failure to believe victim’s
Ellen told David Letterman in the Netflix series she was explaining the incident in detail because she wants “other girls to not ever let someone do that.”
“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 said.
“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.”
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