WATCH: Ellen DeGeneres opens up about her coming out fears

Ellen DeGeneres (Getty Images)
Ellen DeGeneres (Getty Images)

Los Angeles - Ellen DeGeneres was convinced coming out would end her career.

The talk show host - who announced she was a lesbian in 1997 and also broke ground when her character on sitcom Ellen revealed she was gay - admitted she "didn't think" she would ever disclose her sexuality because she had so many doubts about how it would impact on her career.

She said: "I didn't think I was going to come out, period. I didn't think I'd be coming out on a show, ever."

The 57-year-old star - who is married to actress Portia de Rossi - went on a retreat at California's Esalen Institute, where she took a course on changing the inner dialogue of the subconscious mind, and it made her realise that coming out was the right thing to do.

She added in a clip for a forthcoming episode of Oprah's Master Class: "It was scary and crazy and what came out of listening to what I had been saying to myself is, 'Would I still be famous? Would they still love me if they knew I was gay.'

"I just didn't want to pretend to be somebody else anymore so that people would like me."

And while coming out didn't end her career, Ellen suffered major backlash for being honest about her sexuality

She said: "I did Oprah's show, I did the cover of Time magazine and I did a Diane Sawyer interview, that's all I planned on doing.

"But because it became such a huge cultural thing and 45 million people watched it... It got to the point where even Elton John, who I'd never met in my life, said 'we know your gay now shut up and be funny."

Watch more of the Master Class here: