This is heartbreaking. Ellen DeGeneres revealed on a season 2 episode of Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman she was sexually assaulted as a teenager by her mother’s husband, “a very bad man,” after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Ellen’s 89-year-old mom, Betty, had one of her breasts removed as part of her treatment, and Ellen, 61, explained to David Letterman, “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 new season drops May 31.
The longtime The Ellen DeGeneres Show host continued, “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’s mom didn’t believe her when she initially came forward a few years after it happened. Betty remained married to the man for 18 more years — until he kept changing the story. Ellen says her mom is “apologetic” now but that she wishes she had believed her back then.
“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,” Ellen explained. “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. And I like men, but there are so many men that get away with so much.”
The talk show host added, “It is just time for us to have a voice. It’s time for us to have power.”
It’s really awful that Ellen went through what she did as a teenager, but it’s absolutely inspiring that she’s willing to talk about her #MeToo experience to try to help other survivors.