Ellen DeGeneres opens up about being sexually assaulted, aged 15
Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has opened up about being sexually assaulted when she was aged 15.
DeGeneres was speaking to actor Busy Philipps, who recently revealed on Instagram that she was raped aged 14, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show about the star’s new book This Will Only Hurt A Little.
Phillipps shared her story on sexual violence after she was inspired by Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
In an extraordinary hearing on September 27, Kavanaugh vehemently denied an emotional testimony from Ford who alleged that the judge sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school. Two other women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
The US Senate is now set to vote on whether Kavanaugh should be given the Supreme Court role, following a five-day FBI investigation into the allegations.
“I was so moved by her bravery,” Phillips told DeGeneres, referring to Ford’s testimony.
“It wasn’t something that I ever felt I was ever going to blast out on social media, but when I saw her standing there speaking her truth after 30 years, I was like, ‘It’s been 25 years for me, and I can do this,'” she added.
DeGeneres, who first spoke about being molested as a teenager in an interview 2005 and then joined the #MeToo movement on her show in October 2017, discussed with Philipps what the Kavanaugh hearings mean for sexual assault survivors.
“I was 15 and I had something happen to me,” DeGeneres said. “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?’
“It’s because we’re girls and we’re taught not to say anything and go along with it.”
She added: “So you at 14, me at 15, God knows how many people in this audience have had something happen.”
In an Instagram post on September 27, Phillips uploaded a photo of herself at school, writing: “This is me at 14. The age I was raped. 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.
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“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,” she wrote.
Phillips and DeGeneres are among a number of celebrities who have shared their experiences of sexual assault in solidarity with Ford, after President Donald Trump—who mocked the professor’s testimony at a rally this week—insinuated in a tweet in September she should have reported the alleged incident to the authorities.
His tweet prompted thousands to share their stories of assault using #WhyIDidntReport. One of the high-profile figures using the hashtag was model Cara Delevingne, who wrote she didn’t report her sexual abuser as she “didn’t want to publicly ruin someone’s life, even though they privately ruined mine.”