Throughout her career, Ellen DeGeneres has always lived out her truth. But there was a time in her life in which the truth continues to be almost too much to bear for the talk show host.
“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 says in a new episode of the Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. “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.”
Indeed, this is a horrible story that began when her mother Betty married ‘a very bad man’ when DeGeneres was a teenager. According to Entertainment Tonight, DeGeneres’ mom was battling breast cancer and had one of her breasts removed in order to combat the disease.
“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 tells show host David Letterman.
DeGeneres went on to say that the man would go on to sexually assault her on many different occasions. But now, years later, DeGeneres hopes that her painful experience will help allow others to speak up.
“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,” she says. “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.”