Portia de Rossi was spotted out and about in public this weekend as the scandal surrounding her wife, Ellen DeGeneres mounts. DeGeneres has been accused of fostering a toxic work environment by several former employees on her talk show. While she has mostly kept out of the public eye since the news broke, de Rossi was seen walking their dogs on Friday, in photos published by The Daily Mail.
De Rossi strolled through Los Angeles with three dogs in tow on Friday afternoon. She wore a black T-shirt, white drawstring shorts and a large gray windbreaker with the sleeves pushed up. De Rossi had her hair in a loose ponytail, over-sized sunglasses over her eyes, and Nike sneakers on her feet. She had three dog leashes wrapped around one hand, while the other supported a designer purse. (See the photos here.)
De Rossi even spared a smile for the pups beside her before she realized a photographer was watching her walk. The actress is an avowed animal lover, having adopted three dogs with DeGeneres back in 2014, according to an interview at the time with Bark & Swagger. At least two of those dogs — the poodle, Mabel and the Jack Russell Terrier, Augie — was with her on her walk on Friday, judging by the pictures. The family includes three cats as well.
"I cannot imagine not going home to animals," DeGeneres said in the interview. "They are the closest thing to God. They don't harbor resentment. Somebody put it really well: If you hurt a dog, the dog may, years later, remember you hurt him if he sees you. But he's not going to spend all those years planning how to hurt you the next time he sees you. The compassion I have for animals is from the earliest memories I have. I kept files and copied things out of encyclopedias for what was going to be my office, because I was going to be a veterinarian."
DeGeneres may soon be spending more time at home with those animals, as mounting rumors say she is considering retirement. The 62-year-old comedian is facing dozens of allegations from people who previously worked on her show, from crew members to producers, all claiming that she knowingly allowed or even encouraged sexual harassment, racism and other "toxic" tendencies in the workplace.
DeGeneres' most direct response to these claims came in the form of an internal email at the show, which was acquired and published by Variety. In it, she told staffers that she was "disappointed" to learn that her set was not "a place of happiness," but that she had strived to make it that way.
"On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect," DeGeneres wrote. "Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case."
So far, NBC and WarnerMedia have indicated that there are no plans to cancel DeGeneres' show, although an internal investigation is underway. However, The Daily Mail reported that DeGeneres has been talking to executives about the possibility of ending the show now and getting started on her retirement.