Ellen DeGeneres is discussing her experience with sexual assault in the hopes of helping fellow survivors. During an interview on season two of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman,” DeGeneres mentioned that her mother, Betty DeGeneres, had married “a very bad man” when the talk show host was a teen. When Betty was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer, DeGeneres’ stepfather abused Betty’s condition in targeting the younger DeGeneres. DeGeneres said the assault took place more than once and is “angry” about her response to the incident, “I was too weak to stand up – I was 15 or 16. 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.”

DeGeneres is hopeful that speaking out will encourage others to do the same: “It is just time for us to have a voice,” she added. “It’s time for us to have power.”

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