Ellen DeGeneres On The Car Crash That Killed Her Ex-Girlfriend: ‘I Should Have Stopped’

Ellen DeGeneres, a popular talk show host who famously announced to Oprah Winfrey she was gay in 1997, reunited with Oprah, for a special episode of Oprah’s Master Class on Oprah’s network on Sunday.

In the recent episode of Oprah’s show, the television icon admitted that she had never imagined coming out at all and that she “didn’t think [she] would be coming out on a show ever,” as reported by Advocate. In 1997, Oprah Winfrey greatly assisted Ellen in coming out.

First, the 57-year-old talk show host came out in one of the episodes of her ABC sitcom, Ellen. The channel then immediately cancelled the show after the episode, in which Ellen’s character came out to a therapist, portrayed by Oprah Winfrey, and publicly announced she was gay to her crush, Susan, played by Laura Dern.

Shortly after the cancellation of the show, Ellen came out as gay when she appeared on Winfrey’s famous talk show, Oprah.

Ellen is currently happily married to actress Portia de Rossi and has always defied social norms by being open about her sexuality.

During the recent episode of Oprah’s Master Class, Ellen revealed she was close to not coming out back in 1997, because she thought she would lose everything, including her career and friends, if people found out she was lesbian, according to Daily Mail.

When asked what had inspired her to come out, Ellen said she took a “hippy course” called Inner Dialogue of Your Subconscious Mind, as reported by Advocate.

“I wanted to know what the inner dialogue of my subconscious mind was, and it was scary and crazy. What came out of listening to what I had been saying to myself is, ‘Would I still be famous? Would they still love me if they knew I was gay?’ And my fear was, ‘No, they wouldn’t.'”

Ellen also revealed that each time she had rehearsed the sitcom’s key scene, she cried after her character said, “I am gay.” In the interview with Oprah, she said that it is rare for people to come out.

She added that coming out as gay in front of a large number of people is “scary as hell and emotional and empowering,” which is why people tend to cry when they announce their sexual orientation to their relatives and friends.

“I am not fearless. I didn’t do it because I am fearless. I did it in spite of the fact that I was scared to death.”

Ellen also touched upon the matter of how the death of her ex-girlfriend had changed her life. Ellen and her girlfriend had temporarily broken up, and while the ex was eager to repair their relationship, Ellen needed more time.

One evening, Ellen’s brother’s band had a local gig, at which both Ellen and her girlfriend were present.

“She was trying to get me to come back home. I acted like I couldn’t hear her because the music was too loud,” Ellen said, as reported by Huffington Post. “I was being really… dismissive of her.”

Then the girlfriend decided to leave the party, while Ellen stayed out a bit before calling a cab back home. When Ellen was driving home, she noticed that there was a car accident on the road.

“It [the car] was split in two, and we heard sirens behind us, so it had just happened. Nobody was there yet. We just kept going.”

The next morning Ellen found out in the news that it was her girlfriend behind the wheel of that car, and that she had died in the accident.

“That, of course, made me feel like I should have gone home with her that night… I should have stopped… All kinds of things. A lot of guilt.”

Ellen also revealed that her girlfriend’s death made her think about how fragile life is.

“In an instant, she just was gone,” Ellen explained. “It shifted my entire focus.”

[Photo by Jason Merritt, Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]

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