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Ellen DeGeneres’ mother, Betty, broke her silence on her daughter says that she was sexually abused as a teenager.
The daytime talk show host alleged her stepfather abused her in a tell-all interview with David Letterman’s Netflix talk show, “My Next Guest needs No Introduction.”
The 89-year-old said that she loves her daughter and believes her.
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“Now, I know that it is one of the hardest things to do is speaking 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 regret, and I don’t want that for all parents. If someone in your life is the courage to speak out, please believe,” she added.
During her interview with Letterman, DeGeneres admitted the man allegedly touched her breasts.
“He told me that when she was out of the city he had felt a lump in [my mother’s] breast and needed to feel my breasts because he wanted to not be angry at her, but he had the feel of me,” she recalled. “I’m angry at myself because, you know, I don’t — I was too weak to stand on — I was 15 or 16. It is really terrible, terrible story and the only reason that I am actually going to go into detail about it is because I want that other girls do not ever let someone do that.”
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She continued, “We [women] just don’t feel like we are worthy, or we are afraid to have a voice, and we are afraid to say no. That is the only reason that 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. If I see that people to speak out, especially now, it makes me when a victim is not believed because we just don’t make things up. And I love men, but there are so many men who get away with so much.”
“It’s just time for us to have a voice. It is time for us to have power,” the Emmy-winner added.