The daytime talk show star reportedly revealed on Season two of Netflix's "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman" that she was assaulted by her mother's new husband when she was a teenager - and hid it for years.
During the interview, DeGeneres explained that she has finally made a decision to speak publicly about the abuse she suffered because she wants to encourage others who are going through similar experiences to stand up for themselves as best they can.
Ellen's stepfather "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", she said on the show, per ETOnline. "Again, because I didn't know about bodies". He convinced me that he needs to feel my breasts and then he tries to do it again another time, and then another time...
Things exploded when he tried to get in her room - DeGeneres previously said the abuse escalated into "other things" at that point - and she locked him and escaped.
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"I'm angry at myself because, you know, I didn't - I was too weak to stand up to - I was 15 or 16", she continues.
Ellen explains that just after Betty married this man, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had one of her breasts removed. During the lengthy interview, the beloved talk show host goes into detail about the trauma, and she tells Letterman that she hopes sharing her "horrible, awful story" will help other victims speak up.
Though the incident was hard for DeGeneres to recount, she felt that it was important for her to do so.
"I should never have protected her", she reflected.
Of her mother, she said: 'I always have taken care of her my whole life. I didn't really let it get to me. Until recently, I kind of went, "I wish I would have been better taken care of. I wish she would have believed me", she reflected.
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The star then explained: 'It's a really awful, terrible 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'.
Now, more than 40 years later, DeGeneres is ready to speak up about the abuse, and she hopes her story will help other victims come forward. It's time for us to have power'.
"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 told Letterman.
"When I see people speaking out, especially now, it angers me when victims aren't believed", DeGeneres said, adding,"because we just don't make stuff up".
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