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Ellen DeGeneres recounts sexual assault by stepfather as a teenager

TV show host Ellen DeGeneres has revealed that she was sexually assaulted by her stepfather repeatedly during her teen years.

tv Updated: May 29, 2019 11:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Ellen DeGeneres,My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman,The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Ellen DeGeneres attends a Netflix event in Los Angeles, California. (AFP)

Popular TV host and an advocate for gay rights, Ellen DeGeneres has revealed she was sexually assaulted by her stepfather when she was a teenager. Ellen made the revelation during her appearance on the second season of Netflix’s show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman.

Calling her stepfather ‘a very bad man’, Ellen spoke about how her mother Betty DeGeneres married him and later suffered from breast cancer and had to get one of her breasts removed. Ellen said that she was a teenager at that time and was sexually assaulted by him with his mother’s illness as his excuse.

According to Entertainment Tonight, she told David on the show, “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.” Talking about how often he did it, she added, “He convinced me that he needs to feel my breasts and then he tries to do it again another time, and then another time.” She mentioned an incident when he was about to break open her door and she fled out of the window because “it was going to go more to something.”

In this March 7, 2019 photo released by Warner Bros., David Letterman appears with host Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in Los Angeles. ( AP )

Ellen shared her regret saying, “I’m angry at myself because, you know, I didn’t -- I was too weak to stand up to -- I was 15 or 16.” But added that she is sharing the story so that other girls don’t let someone to do that. She went on to reveal how her mother did not believe her story and continued to live with him before eventually leaving him after 18 years of the incident.

Betty has appeared on her daughter’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show a few times. Talking about how she has been taking care of her mother since several years and will continue to do so, Ellen did add, “I kind of went, ‘I wish I would have been better taken care of. I wish she would have believed me.’ And she’s apologetic, but, you know…”

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Ellen had recently shown her support for Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, who revealed being in a same-sex relationship. She tweeted, “She’s the 100m record holder and the first openly gay sportsperson in India. I guess she knows a thing or two about being first. I’m so proud of her.”

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First Published: May 29, 2019 11:22 IST