DeGeneres said the abuse started after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. Her stepfather at the time used the information to sexually assault her.
Ellen, who’s used to asking the majority of questions on her self-titled talk show switched things up by being the one to answer more questions than ever before. The 61-year-old revealed a traumatic moment in her life, detailing how her step-father sexually assaulted her when she was 15.
Ellen’s mother, Betty DeGeneres, married “a very bad man” when Ellen was a teenager. After some time, Ellen’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to get one of her breasts removed. Her step-father used that information to assault Ellen.
Ellen admits that she was initially mad at herself for not standing up to him, and reveals why she was willing to share her story now:
“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.”
The 61-year-old hopes that her story inspires other victims of sexual assault to share their stories without fear:
“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. 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 TV host concluded, proclaiming:
“It is just time for us to have a voice. It’s time for us to have power.”