Ellen DeGeneres opens up about being abused by her stepfather as a teenager

goss 30/05/2019

Warning: The below story involves details about sexual abuse.

TV host Ellen DeGeneres has shared her story about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather when she was a teenager.

The 61-year-old shared her story during an upcoming appearance on Netflix's season two of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, and hopes sharing her story will help other victims who are too afraid to come forward.

According to Entertainment Tonight, Ellen says her mother married a "very bad man" who used his wife's breast cancer diagnosis to prey on her daughter.

"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 told Letterman during the episode.

"He convinced me that he needs to feel my breasts, and then he tries to do it again another time, and then another time."

The TV icon also recounted an incident where her stepfather tried to break into her bedroom, forcing her to flee out the window.

"[I knew] it was going to go more to something," she said.

Ellen said she hid the abuse for years before telling her mother, who did not believe the assault at first.

"I'm angry at myself because, you know, I didn't - I was too weak to stand up to - I was 15 or 16," Degeneres said. 

Ellen's mother remained married to the man for another 18 years, but finally left him because "he'd changed the story so many times."

"What most women do is, we just don't feel like we have a voice," she told Letterman. "And that's the only reason that this is the first time I've ever talked about this to anyone other than my friends. We just don't feel like we're worthy, or we're scared to have a voice and we're scared to say 'no.'"

"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, and 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. It is just time for us to have a voice. It's time for us to have power."

Season two of Letterman's Netflix show, which also features interviews with Kanye West and Tiffany Haddish, will be released on Friday May 31.

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