Is Ellen DeGeneres’ Relationship With Her Mom Fractured Due to Stepfather’s Former Abuse?

During an episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Ellen DeGeneres vulnerably exposed the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former stepfather. Ellen DeGeneres explained to David Letterman that, when she was 15 or 16 years old, her stepfather inappropriately touched her.

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres | Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

DeGeneres stated:

“He told me when she [Ellen Degeneres’ mom] 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. 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.”

Radar Online

Ellen DeGeneres went on to explain that she chose to speak up because she doesn’t want other girls to “ever let someone do that.” She sends a message to the public that this behavior, and the tendency to dismiss it on the grounds of frequency, needs to cease. However, many fans wonder – for all those years – how could DeGeneres’ mom not know.

How Ellen Degeneres’ mother was involved

Did Ellen DeGeneres’ mom turn a blind eye? Did she not see what was happening behind closed doors, or was it too difficult to accept reality? Ellen explained to Letterman that, one of her greatest regrets, was keeping her stepfather’s abuse from her mother. She told Letterman, “I didn’t want to tell my mother ’cause I was protecting her and I knew that would ruin her happiness…”

Ellen DeGeneres, in an attempt to protect her mother, continued to endure this tragic experience. Ellen explained how she should have told her mother sooner; however, when she did speak up, her mother did not believe her and stayed married to the man for eighteen more years.  

DeGeneres’ mother, according to Radar Online, apologized for not seeing and believing Ellen sooner, after her stepfather passed away in 2018. Ellen explained that her mother eventually left her stepfather, for he had changed the story so many times throughout the years.

DeGeneres stated that she maintains a good relationship with her mother; however, it’s likely that such an event, one so traumatic, will always play into their dynamic in some way.

Why Ellen DeGeneres went into detail regarding her abuse this time around

Ellen DeGeneres has spoken up about her abuse in the past; however, in line with her brand and her show’s undertone, she rarely goes into great detail. This time was different, for she’s out to make a statement – a statement that deserves many ears, and many mouths to spread.

DeGeneres stated:

“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. It is just time for us to have a voice. It’s time for us to have power.”

Radar Online

Ellen DeGeneres focuses on the audacity that many have to deny a victim’s claims, which is preposterous. Victims speak up to prevent others from facing the same trauma. It is time we listen and believe. It is time we remove the veil that has been placed over us, and we see the truth for what it is: though there are many good men out there, too many men get away with unacceptable behavior.