Ellen DeGeneres recounted painful details of being sexually abused by her stepfather on David Letterman’s Netflix talk show.
In an upcoming episode of “My Guest Needs No Introduction,” DeGeneres tells the host that her mother, Betty, had a mastectomy after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis when DeGeneres was a teen, according to Entertainment Tonight. DeGeneres says her stepdad exploited the situation.
“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,” she says, per ET. “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.”
DeGeneres says he tried to break a door down during one incident and that she escaped by kicking out a window.
“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,” she says.
DeGeneres previously shared on her own show in October that she was a survivor of sexual abuse, shortly after professor Christine Blasey Ford had given a sexual assault testimony at a hearing for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
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“I was 15 and I had something happen to me,” DeGeneres said. “When I watched Dr. Ford — anyone who has had something happen to them, you just get so angry when someone doesn’t believe you or says, ‘Why did you wait so long?’”
In a 2005 interview, DeGeneres delved into some of the particulars of her experience. She said her stepfather, now dead, “made me lie down because he said he felt [her mother’s breasts] while she was lying down.”
Need help? In the U.S., visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated by RAINN. For more resources, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.