While speaking as a guest on Netflix’s My Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres opened up about the alleged sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager at the hands of her stepfather, reported The Daily Mail.
The 61-year-old actress described how her stepfather, Roy Grussendorf, had groped her breasts under the guise that he was performing a breast cancer check. Ellen’s mother, Elizabeth “Betty” James, is a breast cancer survivor.
On the exclusive Netflix show, Ellen told David Letterman that when her mom was out of town, her stepdad told her that he had felt a lump in her mother’s breast. Grussendorf, the talk show host claimed, would then go on to say that he needed to feel Ellen’s breasts, too — to make sure she didn’t have a lump as well.
Ellen alleged that her stepfather convinced her that he needed to feel her breasts, and that similar incidents occurred on more than one occasion.
Grussendorf, who was a salesman by trade — and who died in 1997 — left behind biological daughter Rori Rhodes, who is nine years older than the Finding Dory star. In an interview with DailyMailTV, Rhodes responded to Ellen’s claims, calling them “pathetic” and “selfishly motivated,” adding that Ellen was not able to prove anything.
“I don’t know if it’s true. I don’t know if Daddy did that. But it’s like, really? It’s so sad that she’s doing that. It’s pathetic. The man has been dead forever. Why do they all think they have to bring up something horrible from their childhood? She can’t prove that, my dad’s not alive to prove it, and it’s just not necessary.”
The host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show‘s step-sibling continued bashing her claims, telling the television program that Ellen is selfish — and that no one should trust anything she says.
“But the bottom line is I wouldn’t trust anything Ellen would say, ever,” Rhodes continued. “It’s always been about Ellen. She doesn’t care about anybody else, it’s all about what she needs to do.”
Sending love to #EllenDeGeneres tonight. ????????????
Ellen DeGeneres opens up about being sexually assaulted by her stepfather as a teenager https://t.co/azqFIgB6oo
— ☕️ Luna ☕️ (@Lunalore) May 29, 2019
Rhodes finished by saying that she would bet a lot of money that her father hadn’t harmed Ellen in any way.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Ellen’s mother was supportive of her daughter after she spoke out about her experiences as a teenager, and expressed her regret at not having been there for Ellen at the time.
Betty James added that she wished she had done things differently when her daughter first came to her with the abuse allegations, saying that she wished she “had the capacity to listen to her when she told me what happened.”