Ellen DeGeneres Opens up About Being a Survivor of Sexual Abuse

Ellen DeGeneres opened up about being a survivor of sexual abuse during a new interview set to air on the Today Show Friday.


"As a victim of sexual abuse, I am furious at people who don't believe it, and who say, 'How do you not remember exactly what day it was?" DeGeneres told Savannah Guthrie in a clip released Thursday. "You don't remember those things. What you remember is what happened to you, and where you were, and how you feel. That's what you remember."

DeGeneres continued, "I think anyone that's gone through it, right now is watching this so angry, because... how dare you not believe us?"

DeGeneres' remarks referenced those who criticize Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for not remembering some details while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, a claim that Kavanaugh denies. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump mocked Ford during a rally in Mississippi as his supporters laughed.

“‘Nope. It was one beer.’ Oh good. How did you get home? ‘I don’t remember.’ How did you get there? ‘I don’t remember.’ Where is the place? ‘I don’t remember.’ How many years ago was it? ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know,'" Trump said, play-acting Ford's testimony. “What neighborhood was it in? ‘I don’t know.’ Where’s the house? ‘I don’t know. Upstairs. Downstairs. I don’t know. But I had one beer, that’s the only thing I remember.’”

During an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, DeGeneres told Busy Philipps she was abused when she was 15.

"I was 15 and I had something happen to me," DeGeneres told Philipps, reports Today. "When I watched Dr. Ford — anyone who has had something happen to them, you just get so angry when someone doesn't believe you or says, 'Why did you wait so long?'"

The comedian continued, "It's because we're girls and we're taught not to say anything and go along with it. So you at 14, me at 15, God knows how many people in this audience have had something happen."

DeGeneres said it was important for abuse victims, including children, to feel safe enough to tell their stories.

"I think this conversation needs to happen more and people need to, first of all, teach your children to speak up, and don't ever keep something in and don't ever be ashamed and think that it's your problem and your fault because it's never your fault. You're a child," DeGeneres said.

DeGeneres is just one of many celebrities who have spoken out about being sexually abused since Ford came forward. On Sept. 27, Philipps said she was raped as a 14-year-old and was inspired to come forward after watching Ford's testimony.

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"This is me at 14. The age I was raped," Philipps wrote alongside a yearbook photo. "It's taken me 25 years to say those words. I wrote about it in my book. I finally told my parents and sister about it 4 months ago. Today is the day we are silent no more. All of us. I'm scared to post this. I can't imagine what Dr. Ford is feeling right now."

Photo credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images