Ellen DeGeneres Speaks Out on Being Sexually Assaulted by Stepfather at ’15 or 16 Years Old’

DeGeneres appears as a guest on the new season of Letterman's Netflix talk show “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.”
Ellen DeGeneresNSYNC honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles, USA - 30 Apr 2018
Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres’ upcoming appearance on David Letterman’s Netflix talk show “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” is already generating buzz for a moment when the popular daytime host opens up about her experience with sexual assault. DeGeneres recalls being sexually assaulted by her stepfather when she was a teenager. The “Ellen” host first spoke about her sexual assault in 2005 during an interview with Allure magazine, but she told Letterman it’s important to bring it up again so that young women and underage girls know such behavior is never allowed.

Speaking to Letterman, DeGeneres said her mother married a “very bad man” who used her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis to get physical with the daytime host when she was a teenager. “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,” DeGeneres said, nothing she was only 15 or 16 years old at the time and was “took weak” to reject his advances. DeGeneres has since said her attacker has died.

“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,” DeGeneres said.  “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.”

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.