Ellen DeGeneres has opened up about being sexually assaulted as a teenager by her mother’s late ex-husband.
The star, describing the perpetrator as a ‘very bad man’, says the abuse took place when ‘I was 15 or 16.’
Ellen, who previously spoke about the abuse in 2005, revealed further details while speaking on Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman.
The star explained the man used her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis as a tool of manipulation to touch Ellen’s breasts.
‘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,’ Ellen told Letterman, as reported by .
‘Again, because I didn’t know about bodies, I don’t know that breasts are all different. 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.’
Describing the abuse in more detail, Ellen furthermore said: ‘He tries to break my door down, and I kicked the window out and ran ‘cause I knew it was going to go more to something… and I didn’t want to tell my mother ‘cause I was protecting her and I knew that would ruin her happiness.’
The star then explained: ‘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.’
She continued: ‘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.’
Ellen went on to say her mom Betty DeGeneres is now ‘apologetic’ for not believing her.
‘I should never have protected her,’ she said. ‘I should have protected myself and I didn’t tell her for a few years and then I told her. And then she didn’t believe me and then she stayed with him for 18 more years. And finally left him because he’d changed the story so many times.’
Season two of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman airs on Netflix on 31 May. Ellen also appeared on season one of the show.