According to an exclusive interview conducted by DailyMailTV, Ben Gravolet was allegedly bullied by Ellen DeGeneres when he was only 11-years-old. Gravolet accused the daytime talk show host of calling him “fat” and “stupid,” among other things.
The now 52-year-old claimed that when he was a kid, a 20-year-old DeGeneres worked at the New Orleans branch of the recruiting agency called Snelling Personnel, which his mother owned. He said that when they crossed paths, she would often insult him. He claimed that on the days when he knew she would be present in the office, he would dread going there and risking a run-in.
Gravolet told the outlet that he was always very self-conscious about his weight, and her comments made it much worse for him. He alleged that she would tell him to lose weight and “took pleasure” in seeing him get upset.
Aside from making snide remarks about his body, he said she also made fun of his clothes and would often distract him with cruelty while he was trying to do his schoolwork.
“I don’t think there’s any excuse for it. I was a defenseless kid.”
The father-of-three described one specific incident that “stands out” to him when he was sitting next to her, drawing, and she criticized his artwork.
According to the Louisiana native, she said, “I guess that would look nice if you could draw.”
“As I watched her meteoric rise to fame, people would say how great she was and all I could think was she must be an incredible actor because she was one of the most vile people I’ve ever met in my life. Who takes pleasure in giving a child pain?” Gravolet told the publication.
He still believes DeGeneres is “the meanest, nastiest, most horrible person.”
Gravolet’s account of his time spent with DeGeneres is just the latest in a stream of accusations leveraged against the famous host. Although his supposed encounter with her was before The Ellen DeGeneres Show, dozens of allegations have since surfaced against the host and the workplace culture behind-the-scenes.
Even a few celebrities have spoken out against DeGeneres, including former Everybody Loves Raymond star, Brad Garrett. He claimed her negativity was “common knowledge” in Hollywood. That said, she also has celebrity defenders, such as Jay Leno, Katy Perry, and her wife, Portia de Rossi.
On August 5, The Inquisitr reported that the show’s original DJ Tony Okungbowa said he did experience “the toxicity” while working alongside the comedian for years.