Smiles, energy, weird dances and humor. That’s all the hundreds in the audience and the millions on the other side of TV that are expected when Ellen sits on the couch for her show. Behind the contractually required joy hides a cloud that has been revealed in recent months. After all, say many of those who work with the celebrity on a daily basis, Ellen doesn’t always break into a friendly smile. The environment behind the scenes is toxic. And just like behind the scenes, the presenter’s life is far from being a story full of happy endings.
This Wednesday, May 12th, Ellen announced that after nearly two decades, her program would end in the air. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ellen announced that she informed her team of the decision on Tuesday, May 11th, and that she’d put all the outlines in a conversation with Oprah Winfrey that Thursday, day 13 will explain their program.
The next season of the daily talk show, the 19th, will be the last. The program ends with a black cloud, which is another negative mark on your professional and personal path.
The actress’ blackest days were kept a secret until 2005 when she decided to first approach the subject during an interview with “Allure”. In an interview with American magazine, she recalled being sexually assaulted by her stepfather, which forced her to make several attempts to run away from home. On one of those occasions, she was even forced to “break the window and jump.” He ended up spending the night in a hospital.
The stepfather’s attack began when Ellen was 15 years old. At this point the mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and spent a lot of time outside of treatment. It was an ideal opportunity for abuse.
“He told me that I felt a conversation in my breasts and that I had to feel,” he recalled then and more recently in an interview with David Letterman on the Netflix special “The Next Guest Dismisses Presentations”.
“I didn’t know anything about the body, I didn’t know that the breasts were all different. In any case, he convinced me he had to touch her and then he kept doing it and on another occasion he tried to break into my bedroom door. I ran out the window because I knew he was going to try something, ”he says.
Given the illness, DeGeneres decided not to tell his mother what had happened. “I should never have protected you. I should have protected myself and only after a few years did I tell him everything. She didn’t believe me and stayed with him for 18 years, “says the 61-year-old presenter.
It wasn’t until nearly two decades later that Betty, the mother, realized that her husband insisted on telling the story in a different way. Last year he decided to apologize publicly to his daughter.
“I now know that the hardest part is admitting that you’ve been sexually assaulted. I love my daughter and I wish I had the opportunity to listen to her tell me everything, ”he said, adding that he“ had to live with regret ”.
Betty DeGeneres didn’t believe her daughter’s confession
The public admission, explains the presenter, comes about “because it is important that the girls walking around know that there are different ways to say no” and that “if that ever happens, it is important that you tell someone immediately “. “I want you to never let anyone do what you did to me,” he concluded.
“At this age you are very vulnerable, you trust people. And when that trust is violated, you don’t know what to do and you don’t want to say anything because you think, “How did that happen and how could I be so stupid?” All of these things that you thought you could and ultimately couldn’t control, ”he recalled in 2018.
The story went public in 2005 after Ellen had already revealed it to the innermost circle, repeatedly leading to the conclusion, “Ah, that’s why you’re a lesbian”. The presenter was limited to shaking her head. “I was a lesbian long before that. My oldest memories are precisely related to it. “
In the 2018 confession, Ellen was also more aggressive on the subject, particularly given the social and political context experienced in the United States.
“As a victim of sexual abuse, I get angry at people who don’t believe and still wonder, ‘How can you not remember the exact day this happened?’ You don’t remember these things. What you do remembering is what happened to you, where you were and how you felt. You remember that, ”he explained during an interview with Savannah Guthrie.
The trauma of death
Getting out of the closet made him even more troublesome. Her father Elliot kicked her out of the house when Ellen got out of homosexuality. “”[A minha madrasta] I had two young daughters and I was afraid I might influence them, ”revealed an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
He fought for a career in comedy and made amateur circles. He ended up meeting one of his first real friends, the poet and manager of a New Orleans bar, Kat Perkoff.
The love story didn’t last long. Kate tragically died in a car accident after a concert where she quarreled with then 21-year-old Ellen. “My life changed (…) because I went through the accident, it had just happened, but I didn’t know it was her because I had a different car. I found out later that it was her, ”he confessed in one of his stand-up shows.
Ellen began her career as a comedian.
In addition to a strong feeling of guilt, the shock left deep marks on the moderator. “My brother’s band was playing and Kate and I were done – we argued a lot. She tried to convince me to come home and I pretended I couldn’t hear her because the music was too loud. I wanted to go back, but I tried to teach him a lesson, ”he recalls.
On the way back he even saw the car break in half, still with no ambulance nearby. The sirens came close behind and decided to go to the house without stopping. Then he realized who was in that car. “I had the feeling that I should have gone home with her that night, she wasn’t with someone else, she should have stopped the car. All of these things. I felt very guilty. “
“Yes, I’m gay” revealed the title track for “Time” in April 1997. Ellen DeGeneres rocked American society at a time when the belief that public homosexuality was a real media event.
“I decided I didn’t want to live the rest of my life in shame,” he announced a few days after the magazine was published. The exit from the closet went from real life to fiction. The character of what was the first and most important victory of her career – the start of the sitcom “Ellen”, in which she was the protagonist – also took on her homosexuality.
Ellen was the first openly gay woman to play a homosexual character. There were many innovations for an American society that was still trying to deal with the phenomenon.
A year later the program was canceled and Ellen’s life spiraled into a depressive spiral, largely due to the reactions to her exposure. “Because there was so much talk about it, almost everyone was satisfied. I did the cover of Time, a prime-time special with Diane Sawyer and Oprah. Even Elton John said, “Shut up. You’re gay, we already know. Now be fun. ‘I’ve never met him in person and thought what kind of support does a gay man have? “Revealed on Dax Shepard’s podcast.
The cover that changed Ellen’s life
Without an agent and a job, DeGeneres felt like he had lost his career path. “It was seen as a failure in the industry. Nobody touched me. There was nothing, ”he revealed.
Homosexuality became the subject of monologues from other comedians in national programs, others made more malicious considerations, but for Ellen all of the comments were similar to attacks.
“If you’ve ever experienced depression, you know that we tend to isolate ourselves and not ask for help. We do not say “I am suffering, I need help”. We crawled further to the bottom of the black hole and I stayed there for a while, ”he confessed.
Eventually, the presenter felt more comfortable, not least because the exit from the closet was a moment of “total honesty” with myself: “It gave me confidence, something that helps during depression that tends to destroy confidence and you end up getting lost in it. You forget that you are perfectly adequate for who you are. “
A good dose of antidepressants and many hours of therapy were essential for DeGeneres to get out of this hole. “I didn’t even believe it when I came back from this state. I can’t believe how far life has taken me today. “