In a new episode of David Letterman'sNetflixseries,My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,Ellen DeGeneresgives a powerful interview about the sexual assault she experienced as a teenager.In it DeGeneres describes how her stepfather—whom she characterizes as "a very bad man"—groped her,using her mother's mastectomy as a pretext.
"My mother had had breast cancer right after they got married," she tells Letterman,according to E!."So she had a breast removed,and they had a very,very sexual relationship,which was also very uncomfortable for me.And 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 continues,“再一次,because I didn't know about bodies,I don't know that breasts are all different.Anyway,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 tried to break my door down,and I kicked the window out and ran 'cause I knew it was gonna go more to something."
"And I didn't want to tell my mother," she says,"because I was protecting her and I knew that that would ruin her happiness."
"I should never have protected her," she adds,according toEW."I should've protected myself,and I didn't tell her for a few years and then I told her,and then she didn't believe me and then she stayed with him for 18 more years."
This isn't the first time thetalk show hosthas spoken out about her stepfather—that was in 2005—but as DeGeneres tells Letterman,she continues to talk about her sexual assault as a way to help other survivors.
"That's another thing that,you know,I'm angry at myself because...I was too weak to stand up—I was 15 or 16 and…I mean,it's a really horrible,horrible story,and the only reason I'm actually gonna go into detail about it is because I want other girls to not,you know,ever let someone do that," shesays,adding later,"That's the only reason I think it's important to talk about it because there's so many young girls,and it doesn't matter how old you are,and 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," she says."It's time for us to have power."
The full episode will be out when season two ofMy Next Guest Needs No Introductionpremieres on May 31.