Cape Town - Ellen DeGeneres opened up about being sexually assaulted by her stepfather when she was a teenager.
During an interview with David Letterman on his Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, the 61-year-old talk show host revealed that she was sexually abused by her stepfather when she was 15 or 16 years old, Entertainment Tonight reports.
The American comedian said that her mom, Betty, married a very bad man.
"That’s another thing that, you know, I’m angry at myself for because... I was too weak to stand up – I was 15 or 16 and... I mean, it’s a really horrible, horrible story and the only reason I’m actually gonna go into detail about it is because I want other girls to not, you know, ever let someone do that," Ellen told Letterman.
"My mother had had breast cancer right after they got married. So, she had a breast removed, and they had a very, very sexual relationship, which was also very uncomfortable for me.
"And 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.
"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, he tried to break my door down, and I kicked the window out and ran ’cause I knew it was gonna do – it was gonna go more to something.
"And I didn’t want to tell my mother, ’cause I was protecting her and I knew that, that would ruin her happiness."
A few years after the sexual abuse, Ellen decided to come clean to her mom, E! Online reports.
"I should’ve 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."
Ellen revealed that she wished her mom believed her.
"I always have taken care of her my whole life. So, I just kept taking care of her. I didn’t really let it get to me.
"Until recently, I kind of went, 'I wish I would’ve been better-taken care of. I wish she would’ve believed me.' And she’s apologetic, but, you know..."
Although her experience was difficult to share, the talk show host hopes it’ll inspire victims of sexual abuse to come forward and publicly tell their stories, CBS News reports.
"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," Ellen said.
"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."
WATCH A CLIP OF THE INTERVIEW HERE: