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Ellen DeGeneres Opened Up About Being Sexually Assaulted by Stepfather-Mother Betty Shares Her Regret at Not Believing Her Daughter

By June 8, 2019June 14th, 2019No Comments
child sex abuse


Los Angeles (The Karney Report)— Why Don’t Mothers Believe Us When We Tell Them We Are Being Sexually Abused––Because They Don’t Want To!

Here is the story that broke this week-for survivors—for all of us—for those who love and support women and children.


child sex abuse

Why Mother’s Don’t Believe Daughters-Child Sex Abuse

Ellen DeGeneres, “He tries to break my door down, and I kicked the window out and ran cause I knew it was going to go more to something… and I didn’t want to tell my mother cause I was protecting her and I knew that would ruin her happiness.”

‘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, you know, ever let someone do that… said Ellen to NBC. 

Ellen DeGeneras age 15-16 When Sexual Abuse Occuring

Ellen DeGeneres said the abuse happened when she was ’15 or 16′. She is shown here at that age.

I should never have protected her [my mother]. I should have 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. And finally left him because he’d changed the story so many times.’

Of her mother, Ellen said to David Letterman during an interview on his new Netflix show.

I always have taken care of her my whole life. So I just kept taking care of her.

‘I didn’t really let it get to me. Until recently, I kind of went, “I wish I would have been better taken care of. I wish she would have believed me.’

‘And she’s apologetic, but, you know…’

Betty DeGeneres said on Friday that she was forced to ‘live with the regret.’

Ellen DeGeneres’ mother, 89, shares her regret at not believing her talk-show host daughter when she revealed she was being sexually abused by her stepfather aged 15

Ellen’s story:

  • Betty DeGeneres, Ellen’s mother, said she would not wish it on any parent and urged others to believe kids  
  • Ellen said her mother married ‘a very bad man’ but did not name him 
  • When she was ’15 or 16′, he said he had to check her breasts for cancerous lumps
  • Her mother was a breast cancer survivor so, she said she was convinced 
  • He then tried to do it ‘again and another time’ and once kicked down her door
  • When she confided in her mother years later, she said she did not believe her
  • Betty remained married to the man for 18 years then left him and now knows that Ellen was telling the truth.

And this got me remembering my own mother, not being believed and my mother’s response,  I just thought he was beating you…’



Mothers and Daughters

  • Why don’t mothers believe their victimized daughters?
  • Why do sex abuse victims take care of their mothers by not telling them?
  • Why do victims betray themselves to protect their mothers?
  • Why when mother’s know, don’t they do anything about it?
  • Why did my mother and Ellen’s mother stay married to the abuser for over 18 years?
  • Why do mother’s pick the abuser over us, their daughter?
  • Why do mother’s focus on themselves and their needs and not on protecting their daughter from sexual abuse and incest?
  • Why the love and attention of a man, is more important than the daughter?
  • Why do mother’s pimp daughters out to abusers to keep the men around?
  • Why do mother’s say they didn’t know when they saw it with their own eyes or, we confided in them?
  • Why are the abusers the cherished family members while the victim is shunned and banned after breaking silence?
  • Why are most survivors more angry with their mother, than the abuser?
  • Why do abused daughters feel responsible for taking care of their mothers instead of mothers protecting and taking care of them?
  • Why is the daughter focused solely on making the mother happy, and the mother is focused exclusively on making herself happy?
  • Why do mothers blame the victim for the abuse?
  • Why do mothers feel betrayed and competitive with the victim?
  • Why when mothers apologize, is it too little too late?

Mother’s who enable sex abusers are perpetrators by proxy. The law would cast them as co-conspirators. 

Let me say this. I am prejudiced. I don’t believe mother’s don’t know. I believe they are enablers and silent partners. I believe as enablers, they are perpetrators by proxy. When your normally happy dog comes home with her tail between her legs, fearful, mopey, anxious, jumpy, you notice something is wrong, and you want to uncover the root cause of the behavior change. Why then, do mothers who live with their daughters and observe them on a daily basis, see no noticeable change of behavior, attitude, depression, fear, self-consciousness, anger, tears, rebellion, loss of appetite, shame, new modesty, awkwardness, cutting, hunched shoulders, sexual or physical signs, withdrawal, loss of light, distrustful behavior from sexual abuse.  Anyone who loves a child knows or should know when something is off or wrong. When you see a change in a young child, preteen or teen’s behavior, why not ask, why not inquire, why not listen, observe, take action? You would if your dog’s demeanor changed. Why not your sexually abused, incested, or victimized child then? There is only one reason. You don’t want to know. You don’t want your happiness, stability, lifestyle, disturbed by a horrible truth. So mothers choose to ignore, deny, disbelieve, and dishonor children who tell them with words or behavior that something horrific is happening.

Mothers, it is your duty to protect and shield your child from sexual abuse and incest. It is your duty to give your own life up for your child.  That is what being a parent means. Every lioness, killer whale, or mama bear will tell you. No excuses, no ignorance, no “I didn’t know,” no anything. It happened under your watch, and you are responsible. Period.

No amount of apologetic behavior or words will every relieve you of your fundamental duty to protect your child from physical, sexual, emotional abuse, or incest. If you are not up for the job, don’t have children. Period. Step up. Stand up. Take action. The sooner the better. Because what is at risk is the life of your daughter. She will never trust you, forgive you, be close to you. She will hate you, fear you, blame you. She may say all the right words, do all the daughterly things, put a smile on her face, take care of you, even love you, but she will never forgive you, and your relationship is forever damaged. It will take years of therapy to undo the damage you did. Was the man worth it? Were those financial perks, temporary happiness worth it? When you die and face your maker, what will you say? I threw my daughter away. I took care of myself. Me before thee?

There is no forgiveness for the unforgivable. I sound harsh, strident, even cruel. Nothing is more horrific, harsher, or more brutal than being sexually abused and incested as a helpless child.  A young child cannot understand, process, or protect themselves. They can’t get away, they can’t make it stop. Children are helpless as puppies. Adults have 100% power over children. Children are red meat to predators. Your child,  the victim didn’t want it, didn’t ask for it, didn’t create it, and didn’t cause it. She had no choice. A little child, preteen, teenager is powerless against an older, stronger, more powerful, male. The child was pressured, groomed, preyed upon, and caught in the teeth of the abuser. A trapped, helpless animal. At the mercy of the tormentor, torturer, abuser.

Preteens and teens may be all bluster and muster but are helpless victims in the face of sexual assault and sexual abuse. They are old enough to experience profound shame, self-hatred, guilt. Old enough to feel they should have been able to get away, protect themselves, do something. Old enough to be aware of how disgusting sexual abuse is at every level, and yet caught and powerless to get away or make it stop. Trapped, abused, tortured. It’s a holocaust. One where the enemy lives with you daily and is loved by your mother and cherished at home. Beloved by the community, church, neighborhood, friends, fellow workers, other executives. A member of the bench, a doctor, a boy scout, coach, member of the priesthood or clergy. But mostly, fathers, step-fathers, cousins, brothers, uncles, grandfathers are the culprits. A badger in the nest eating your young.

My mother said on her deathbed, ‘will you ever forgive me.’ Can we start again and have a new relationship?’ She died before I could give her my answer.

Legal Ease

Child Victim’s Act–Civil Rights for Survivors

The statute of limitations, backwards and forwards should be eliminated for child victims of sexual abuse. Courthouse doors are barred to victims. Justice is denied. Survivors of child sex abuse should have the civil right to pursue justice against family members, third parties and institutions for the abuse they suffered.  Victims should be allowed to seek compensation for the injuries suffered at the hands of their abuser, as well as be able to jail their abusers if applicable.


Legal Points to Think About–


Let your heart go out to all survivors who feel caged, living in shame, grief, and pain. Let us remember that we (you, me, all of us) are the only ones who can make a difference, demand justice, bring compassion to victims, and hold perpetrators legally and morally accountable. To do so, we must eliminate all statutes of limitations for sexual violence. Civil rights lawsuits need to be filed against the United States government for violation of our civil right to life, liberty and the pursuit of property. We must not punish victims of rape and incest by forcing them to give birth.  All women must have free reproductive rights. We cannot enslave women and control their bodies.

  • We ask that you donate even $1.00 for victims of child sex abuse. (The cost of an item at The .99 Cents Only Store).
  • We ask you not to forget the plight of survivors of child sexual abuse, sexual assault, harassment, and rape. We ask that you write to your U.S. Senator and Congressperson to support The Civil Rights Act for Victims of Sexual Violence (“CRAVSV”).


Together we must act to end the “scourge on humanity” of sexual assault. Please help us sponsor legislation that creates a civil right for survivors to be free of sexual violence.

Call to action:With stories coming out daily coupled with victims left in the wake of the national disaster of sexual assault, we ASK that Presidential candidates like #Senators Harris, #Warren, #Klobuchar,#Sanders, #Gillibrand, Former Vice President #Biden, Governor #Booker #Inslee, Mayors #Castro and #Buttigieg, and candidate #Beto O’Rourke take up the mantle of child sexual abuse as a cornerstone of your national campaign. Child victims of sexual abuse deserve to have the same national platform, cultural transformation and legislative attention that health care, equal pay, the environment,  and a living wage for all require.

The issue of child sexual abuse is too important to remain silent. Millions of Americans are denied their humanity by sexual violence.

It’s a bipartisan issue. It’s a human rights issue­­––The civil right to be free of sexual assault and violence. The Child Victim’s Act–Civil Rights for Survivors.

Sexual violence and assault don’t discriminate based on political party, race, sexual orientation, or geography.

My prayer and life’s mission is that some good will come out of it. 

From pain to purpose.

Shari Karney, Attorney and Founder of ROAR as ONE, a non-profit organization focusing on the rights of action for survivors of all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

Shari Karney, Attorney, survivor, legal analyst.

 “From pain to purpose. Being sexually abused at such an early age was the scar on my soul.  But I feel like it ultimately made me into the person I am today. I understand the journey of life. I had to go through what I went through to be here. But now it’s time to take action to save the next generation of women and children from what we went through. Shari Karney, Esq. Author of an upcoming memoir, “The Perfect Family…From Pain to Purpose.

Please support survivors and Roar as One ( Our mission is pursuing justice for survivors of sexual assault and violence.

We need to come together, speak up, stand up, rise now. ACT AS ONE. ROAR AS ONE.





We must recognize and enact laws that protect the basic human right to be free of sexual assault and sexual violence.  Enact nationwide Federal Civil Rights Legislation for victims of sexual abuse, rape, child sexual abuse. Join our Civil Rights Movement to get legal rights and recognition of sexual violence as a violation of human civil rights. Help us remove the Statute of Limitations nationwide for sexual assault, sexual abuse, and continuous child sexual abuse, in both civil and criminal courts. Allow survivors and sexual violence victims to file in Federal court.

©Legal Education Unlimited, Inc. (This is a publication of Legal Education Unlimited, Inc.)