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Ellen DeGeneres Revealed She Was Sexually Assaulted by 'a Very Bad Man' Who Married Her Mother

Junie Sihlangu
May 28, 2019
12:44 P.M.
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On a Netflix season two episode of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman,” a talk show host opened up about being sexually assaulted by someone close to her mother.


For the next season of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman,” Ellen DeGeneres, 61, opened up about some traumatic incidences that happened when she was growing up. She confessed to David Letterman that her mother, Betty DeGeneres, married "a very bad man."

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” host recalled how after her mother married the unnamed man, Betty was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her mother had one of her breasts removed.


Speaking candidly to Letterman, Ellen revealed that the man used the diagnosis to sexually assault her. She recalled: “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.”

The actress and television host added

“Again, ’cause I didn’t know about bodies, I don’t know that breasts are all different and… 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.”

Emotionally, the star revealed to Letterman how the man then “tried to break my door down” to get to her. At that point, she “kicked the window out and ran” because she knew he was going to try and do more.


Ellen DeGeneres | Photo: Getty Images

Ellen explained why she never wanted to tell her mother saying it was because she was “protecting” her and “knew that would ruin her happiness.” The daytime talk show host confessed


"I’m angry at myself because, you know, I didn’t -- I was too weak to stand up to -- I was 15 or 16. It’s a really horrible, horrible story and 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."


Ellen admitted that she now realized she “should never have protected her [Betty].” She explained that she did eventually confess the truth to her mother.

However, Betty didn’t believe her and stayed with the man for another 18 years. Eventually, Ellen’s mother left him because he’d changed his story so many times.

Ellen DeGeneres | Photo: Getty Images


Ellen shared with the audience that she hoped her story would help other victims of sexual assault to come forward. She added: "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."

The star continued

"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.”


Ellen noted: “And I like men, but there are so many men that get away with so much." She concluded: "It is just time for us to have a voice. It’s time for us to have power."

Season two of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman” will premiere on Netflix on May 31.

On Tuesday, Ellen tackled the issue of the longevity of her daytime show. In a Twitter video, she explained that “The Ellen DeGeneres Show" was going to keep airing at least through 2022.

She confessed that she has been doing the show for 16 years and started off wanting to treat it like a relationship.

Advertisement does not support or promote any kind of violence, self-harm, or abusive behavior. We raise awareness about these issues to help potential victims seek professional counseling and prevent anyone from getting hurt. speaks out against the above mentioned and advocates for a healthy discussion about the instances of violence, abuse, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, abuse etc. that benefits the victims. We also encourage everyone to report any crime incident they witness as soon as possible.