Betty DeGeneres, mom of popular talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, opened up this week, after Ellen claimed her mother didn’t believe she was being sexually abused.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Ellen, while speaking on the Netflix show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman,” said her stepfather fondled her breasts when she was around 15 years old. She claimed the man pretended he was checking for breast cancer while her mother was out of town. Being young and naive at the time, Ellen initially believed him.
“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,” Ellen, 61, explained.
Ellen said the assault didn’t happen just once. The man apparently tried time and time again until she crawled through her window to escape him. She ended up sleeping at a hospital for the night.
“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 tries to break my door down, and I kicked the window out and ran cause I knew it was going to go more to something.”
It took a few years after the incident for Ellen to tell her mother, Betty DeGeneres. She said she didn’t want to ruin the woman’s happiness. Yet, when Ellen finally told her, Betty apparently didn’t believe her and ended up staying with the man for another 18 years.
Ellen said her mother eventually figured out the truth after the stepfather kept changing his story throughout the years.
In a letter addressed to NBC News and provided to the outlet by Ellen herself, Betty opened up for the first time publicly and addressed the issue.
“I know now that one of the hardest things to do is speak up after being sexually abused. I love my daughter, and I wish I had the capacity to listen to her when she told me what happened.”
“I live with that regret, and I wouldn’t want that for any other parent. If someone in your life has the courage to speak out, please believe them.”
This isn’t the first time Ellen has spoken about the abuse. In 2005, she told “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie about the incident, but at the time, didn’t go into many details. During the same year, she also spoke of the abuse during an interview with Allure.
In 2007, Ellen once again opened up about the sexual assault during an interview with Barbara Walters.
“He was a horrible, horrible man,” Ellen said.
The talk show host didn’t divulge the name of her former stepfather, who has since passed away.
[Feature Photo: Betty DeGeneres via AP/Jordan Strauss/Invision; Ellen DeGeneres via AP/Vince Bucci/Invision]