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Inside Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's Love Story

Bettina Dizon
Jan 26, 2022
12:23 P.M.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's love story of over a decade broke barriers and inspired many to fight for their love regardless of society's thought. Here's a glimpse into their relationship.

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As years passed, society has become more accepting of people from the LGBTQ+ community. In the same way, many groups and individuals that support the community have emerged, including famous personalities worldwide.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are among those who have publicly shared their story and is now perhaps the most famous married gay couple in the world. The couple has been together for over a decade and proved to many that love wins at the end of the day.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are seen walking on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are seen walking on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

DEGENERES AND DE ROSSI CROSS PATHS

The talk show host and the actress first met at a 2000 party, at a time when de Rossi was in a relationship with Francesca Gregorini and not publicly known as gay. It wasn't until four years later that DeGeneres and de Rossi crossed paths once again and became more than just acquaintances.

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In a previous interview, the "Arrested Development" star revealed that she ran into DeGeneres during a photoshoot and was immediately swept off her feet. She said:

"[...] She took my breath away. That had never happened to me in my life, where I saw somebody and [experienced] all of those things you hear about in songs and read about in poetry. My knees were weak."

Ellen DeGeneres smiles for the camera on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

Ellen DeGeneres smiles for the camera on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

THE START OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP

After she struggled with her sexuality, de Rossi opened up to DeGeneres, who helped the actress with her internal fear. Soon after, they began dating. In 2005, the "Ally McBeal" alum publicly spoke about her sexuality and relationship with DeGeneres for the first time.

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Admittedly, she did not want to be lesbian and was scared that coming out would jeopardize her career, but everything changed when she met DeGeneres.

They made their public debut as a couple at the Golden Globes after-party, where photographers snapped a glimpse of their romance. The years that followed were pure bliss for the pair. "Just being a couple – being able to walk down a red carpet holding her hand, that's exciting for me," de Rossi said.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi during the Yes! on Prop 2 Party at a private residence on September 28, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi during the Yes! on Prop 2 Party at a private residence on September 28, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

TYING THE KNOT

It didn't take long for the couple to realize they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. So in 2008, shortly after the Supreme Court of California legalized same-sex marriage, DeGeneres and de Rossi walked down the aisle and exchanged vows in a private ceremony.

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"Today we have taken a giant step forward toward the ideal that all of us, with no exceptions, are not only created equal, but we each have the unalienable right to pursue our own happiness," their marriage officiant, Philosopher Wayne Dyer, proudly said.

Nineteen guests witnessed the couple's union at their Los Angeles home, including de Rossi's mother, who came from Australia to attend the wedding. The intimate celebration was also filled with music by Joshua Radin and platinum wedding bands.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi during The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre LA Live on January 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi during The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre LA Live on January 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

THE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED

Two years later, de Rossi legally changed her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. However, her professional screen name remained Portia de Rossi. Rumors about the couple's alleged divorce also made rounds online in 2014, but DeGeneres and de Rossi did not let it get to them.

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In September 2015, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" host spoke about the gossip and debunked the divorce rumors. She told Howard Stern, as reported by Us Weekly:

"I don't know why they do this. We're kind of flattered. We really don't almost break up. We don't fight. We're madly in love, and I guess it's boring."

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres during the Saint Laurent show at The Hollywood Palladium on February 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres during the Saint Laurent show at The Hollywood Palladium on February 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

STILL IN LOVE

De Rossi also had nothing but beautiful words to say about her relationship. According to the model, she and her wife have open communication and talk things out. Most importantly, they don't lie to each other about anything – even the most minor things.

She also addressed the rumors about their rocky relationship, noting that people's perceptions had changed. She said, "I know it sounds ridiculous, but when that started happening, I thought, 'Oh, now we're finally accepted.' We get the same [expletive] as every celebrity couple."

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Like any other couple, DeGeneres and de Rossi have their occasional arguments, but they have learned to navigate through life's challenges and talk things out eventually.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi during the People's Choice Awards 2017 at Microsoft Theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi during the People's Choice Awards 2017 at Microsoft Theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

LIFE BEFORE DEGENERES

Before DeGeneres entered her life, Portia, whose birth name is Amanda Lee Rogers, was a model-turned-actress. Her breakthrough role came in the 1995 series "Too Something" and "Ally McBeal."

In 2003, she starred in "Arrested Development," followed by "Scandal," "Veronica's Closet," "Santa Clarita Diet," "Scream 2," "Stigmata," "I Witness," and "Cursed."

De Rossi was married to actor Mel Metcalfe, whom she met on the set of "The Woman in the Moon," her first American movie. De Rossi believed she could live a normal and happy life with a man at that time.

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Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Sadly, Metcalf ran off with de Rossi's sister-in-law, Renee Kappos, the wife of her older brother, Michael Rogers. This left de Rossi with thoughts about her true identity.

"I was lesbian by being with Mel, despite the fact that my dalliance with heterosexuality was actually the 'phase' she referred to when talking about my lesbianism," de Rossi said.

Admittedly, she did not want to be lesbian and was scared that coming out would jeopardize her career, but everything changed when she met DeGeneres.

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

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The couple celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary in August 2021, and according to de Rossi, their life together just keeps getting better each day. Not only did they learn how to love each other more, but they also stood by each other through times of hardship.

DeGeneres and de Rossi's relationship is undoubtedly an inspiration to many members in the LGBTQ+ community who aspire to live freely and without fear of being rejected.

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