Inside Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi's Long-Lasting Love Story

Odette Odendaal
Jul 19, 2021
07:46 P.M.
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Portia De Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres' relationship may have been off to a slow start, but after more than a decade together, they are just as in love as the day they met.

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Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi are perhaps the most famous gay couple in the world, and celebrating their legal union was a win for the LGBTQ+ community.

It has been 12 years since the couple tied the knot, but despite all the hardships throughout the last decade, they remained faithful to each other. Here's a glimpse of their love story.

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

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PORTIA BEFORE ELLEN

Before Ellen 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 later on "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."

At the beginning of her acting career, Portia married filmmaker Mel Metcalfe but divorced three years later. In the years that followed, Portia remained quiet about her sexuality and focused on her career instead.

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MEETING HER SOULMATE

It wasn't until 2000 that Portia and Ellen crossed paths, and it was love at first sight. By then, Ellen had already come out as gay, but Portia still had one foot in the closet, and fears concerning her sexuality kept her from showing her interest in Ellen.

While she was having a relationship with Francesca Gregorini at the time, Portia de Rossi hadn't fully come out as gay in public. She feared what it might do to her acting career, as she told Oprah during an interview:

"I was closeted and very, very afraid that if I talked about being gay, it would be the end of my career, so I wasn't about to date the most famous lesbian in the world."

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BECOMING A COUPLE

But things changed when Ellen and Portia met again at the VH1 Big Awards in Los Angeles in 2004. After a long struggle with her sexuality, Portia finally told Ellen how she felt, and they began dating.

A few months later, in 2005, Portia openly spoke about her sexuality and relationship with Ellen for the first time. "Believe me, I had a very, very long and difficult struggle with my sexuality," she told The Advocate.

The first time they were seen together as a couple was at the Golden Globes after-party, where they were photographed and were assumed to be dating. At that point, Portia chose love over anything else and disregarded what others would say.

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GETTING MARRIED

The couple then moved in together, and shortly after the Supreme Court of California legalized same-sex marriages in 2008, they tied the knot during an intimate ceremony. Philosopher Wayne Dyer, who officiated the ceremony, said:

"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."

Two years later, Portia legally changed her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. Rumors of their divorce circulated in 2014, but to Ellen and Portia, it simply meant that general perceptions towards same-sex marriages were changing.

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STILL IN LOVE

On June 27, 2018, Portia told Us Weekly what she and Ellen thought about the rumors. "We really knew the perceptions had changed. I'm not kidding. 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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On August 16, 2018, the couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary. Portia took to social media and posted a video and a slideshow of pictures of the big day, while Ellen went with a throwback video taken of the two in 2010 while on a rollercoaster.

Like any other couple, Ellen and Portia had their occasional arguments, but they learned to navigate through life's challenges through the years. 

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EMERGENCY SURGERY

The couple recently had an emergency health scare when Portia was rushed to the emergency room after feeling unwell. The actress ended up having an appendectomy and had her appendix removed.

The evening prior to that, Portia went to bed earlier than usual while her wife took sleeping medications. However, she was awakened to Portia on the floor, in pain.

At one point, Portia's pain was so unbearable that she bargained to have more pain medication in exchange for tickets to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." A few days later, the famous talk show host revealed that her wife was feeling much better following the surgery.

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