Ellen DeGeneres reveals she was sexually assaulted as a teen and has powerful message for victims

Photo / Getty

Photo / Getty

Ellen DeGeneres has revealed her stepfather used to sexually assault her, using her mother's mastectomy as his excuse for the abuse.

Opening up about her traumatic experience in her upcoming interview with David Letterman on his hit series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, DeGeneres said her mother, Betty, married a "very bad man" when she was just a teenager.

The 61-year-old explained that at the time, her mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and had one of her breasts removed.

"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," she told Letterman.

"He convinced me that he needs to feel my breasts and then he tries to do it again another time, and then another time."

Ellen also recalled how her stepfather tried to break down her bedroom door and she fled out her window because she knew "it was going to go more to something."

"I’m angry at myself because, you know, I didn’t, I was too weak to stand up to, I was 15 or 16," Ellen continued.

The popular talk show host said she is sharing her story now in the hopes of helping other victims.

"It’s a really horrible, horrible story and the only reason I’m actually going to go into detail about it is because I want other girls to not ever let someone do that."

"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," she added.

"It is just time for us to have a voice. It’s time for us to have power."

DeGeneres did not specify how long the abuse lasted, but she did reveal she didn't tell her mother about what her stepfather had done until a few years later, however, her mum did not believe her.

Betty stayed married to the man for 18 more years.