Washington: Ellen DeGeneres’ mother, Betty, has opened up about her daughter’s claims that she was sexually abused by her stepfather.
The American comedian and talk show host spoke about being sexually assaulted by her mother’s then-husband when she was a teen on David Letterman’s Netflix talk show ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction’.
Believing the claims of Ellen, the 89-year-old said she loves her daughter, according to Fox News.
“I know now that one of the hardest things to do is speak up after being sexually abused,” Betty said to NBC News.
“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,” she added.
During her interview with Letterman, Ellen admitted the man reportedly touched her breasts.
“He told me when she [my mom] was out of town that he’d felt a lump in [my mother’s] breast and needed to feel my breasts because he didn’t want to upset her, but he needed to feel mine,” she recalled.
“I’m angry at myself because, you know, I didn’t — I was too weak to stand up to — I was 15 or 16. It’s a really horrible, horrible story and the only reason I’m actually going to go into detail about it is that I want other girls to not ever let someone do that.”
She continued, “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. That’s the only reason I think it’s important to talk about it because there are 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.”
“It is just time for us to have a voice. It’s time for us to have power,” the Emmy-winner added.