Ellen DeGeneres might not have dealt with bullies as a child, but after coming out as an adult in Hollywood, she says she faced cruelty she hadn’t known before.
“The bullying I endured [in Hollywood] after I came out made up for the lack of it during my childhood,” she said. “I moved out of L.A., went into a severe depression, started seeing a therapist and had to go on antidepressants for the first time in my life,” she says. “It was scary and lonely. All I’d known for 30 years was work, and all of a sudden I had nothing. Plus, I was mad. It didn’t feel fair — I was the same person everyone had always known.”
DeGeneres came out publicly ahead of the airing of her then-show “Ellen”’s “The Puppy Episode” in April 1997, in which her character came out, too. A year after that episode aired ― to 40 million viewers, no less ― ABC canceled the show.
“I lost my entire career, and I lost everything for three years,” DeGeneres told W magazine in May 2007. “I was so angry, I was just so angry ... I came out, which was good for me, and ultimately it was the only thing I could do. And then I got punished for it.”
“Eventually I started meditating, working out and writing again, and I slowly started to climb out of it,” she told Good Housekeeping. “I can’t believe I came back from that point. I can’t believe where my life is now.”