celebrity

A 15-year age gap and divorce rumours: Inside Ellen DeGeneres' long marriage to Portia de Rossi.

As Ellen DeGeneres fights to save her reputation in the court of public opinion, there is one person who has showed unconditional support: her wife, Australian actress Portia de Rossi.

Recently, the stories and allegations of a hostile workplace environment levelled against The Ellen Show have escalated to new highs (or... lows). In a BuzzFeed investigative piece, one current and 10 former employees were quoted anonymously, making complaints about executive producers on the show. Now, an independent investigation is underway to decipher the core of the workplace issue. 

Watch: Dakota Johnson and Ellen’s uncomfortable interview. Post continues below.


Video via Ellen

As a result of the slew of criticism, the television star’s popularity undoubtedly now sits on shaky ground, with the future of her show uncertain. In fact, rumours are rife that fellow comedian James Corden could replace her. 

Amidst the turmoil, many have wondered: What does Portia think?

This week, the Australian actress answered that question with four simple words: "I Stand By Ellen".

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"To all our fans... we see you. Thank you for your support," de Rossi posted to her nearly two million followers. 

It's the latest sign of their unwavering support for one another. 

Here's everything we know about Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's 12-year marriage. 

Their relationship origins.

DeGeneres and de Rossi first met in 2000, although they didn't start dating until 2004. 

"[I knew Ellen was the one] when I first laid eyes on her, but it took me three years to actually tell her how I felt about her because I was on Ally McBeal at the time and I was not living as an openly gay person," de Rossi told Oprah Winfrey in 2005. 

"I was closeted and very, very afraid that if I talked about being gay, it would be the end of my career, so I wasn't about to date the most famous lesbian in the world."

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi in 2005. Image: Getty.

In 2005, de Rossi explained to The Advocate how her feelings for the comedian ultimately pushed her to come out.

"I had a very, very long and difficult struggle with my sexuality," de Rossi shared. "Just being a couple—being able to walk down a red carpet holding her hand, that’s exciting for me.

"My feelings for her overrode all of my fear about being out as a lesbian," she shared. "I had to be with her, and I just figured I’d deal with the other stuff later. It’s hard having a relationship that’s public. It’s hard living a life that’s somewhat public, and hard when you put that life together with someone who is so famous and so loved and admired. It’s also really exciting.

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"I respect her [DeGeneres] so much. She was so courageous and so loud in ’97, and now she is doing something that is more subliminal. She’s changing the world, and it’s exciting to be a part of that."

The couple share a 15-year age gap, with de Rossi now 47 years old and DeGeneres 62 years old.

Portia and Ellen's wedding. 

The couple had been together for about four years when they became engaged in 2008. 

On August 16, 2008, the couple wed at their Los Angeles home, on their living room floor, in front of just 19 guests. It was shortly after the Supreme Court of California legalised same-sex marriage. 

"The love we felt from the people surrounding us, and the love we have for each other, made this the most beautiful and emotional day," de Rossi told People at the time. "And one that we’ll never forget."


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In 2017, DeGeneres told Good Housekeeping what her wife's vows included, and what they meant to her.

"Portia understands me completely. In our vows, she recited a quote — 'It is good to be loved. It is profound to be understood' — and to me, that’s everything. What 'I love you' really means is 'I understand you,' and she loves me for everything that I am. She supports me and makes me happy," DeGeneres said.

Divorce rumours. 

Despite their constant public affection and words of adoration for each other, the couple have still been put through the tabloid turmoil of divorce rumours. 

In 2013, rumours of marital problems between DeGeneres and de Rossi were gaining traction. 

DeGeneres was quick to deny them, explaining the bizarre reality of discovering people think you're unhappy in a magazine.  

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"The other day I’m at the hair salon getting these extensions," DeGeneres joked in a 2013 episode of The Ellen Show

"And there are tabloids all over the hair salon—that’s where they are, I guess. All of a sudden I notice one sitting on the counter in front of me [and] it caught my eye because Portia and I were in the top right-hand corner and I thought, 'Oh, that’s sweet, they’re honouring us.'"

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Image: Getty. 

"And then I read the headline underneath and it said 'Ellen and Portia’s Marriage Crumbles.' I was like, 'Oh, what happened? They seemed so happy,'" DeGeneres laughed.

She was adamant it was all lies.

"There's not one ounce of truth to any of it. I am very happily married. The only thing we ever argue about is who loves who more, it really is true."

While on David Letterman’s Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, DeGeneres explained her unconditional love for her wife. 

"She’s fantastic [and] she’s very, very funny," DeGeneres gushed. "She makes me laugh, which is really important."

And now, as DeGeneres faces one of the more testing times of her life in the public eye, her wife only continues to stand by her side with the same love and support the couple are known for. 

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Feature Image: Instagram/@portiaderossi


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