Ellen DeGeneres says her ‘heart broke’ over toxic workplace scandal: ‘It was a horrible time in my life’

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres has said it “broke her heart” when former and current employees alleged the set of her show was a toxic workplace.

DeGeneres was embroiled in scandal last year when allegations surfaced that racism, bullying and harassment were rampant on the set of her daytime talkshow, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

This week, DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi discussed their 12-year marriage for the first annual love issue of People magazine, and the talkshow host said the scandal “broke her heart”.

“I couldn’t have gone through everything I went through without her,” said DeGeneres.

“It was a horrible time in my life, and she was a rock. She kept me going and tried to help me put things in perspective.”

De Rossi described her wife as “really sweet” and “thoughtful”, and added: “She is the kindest, most generous, most loving, loyal, trustworthy person I have ever known.

“She’s a very special human being. Some of it sometimes rubs off on me.”

DeGeneres said of de Rossi: “To start superficially, I love the way she looks. I love her brain; she’s smart. That’s really important… We’re lucky to have each other. We practice a lot of gratitude.”

Ellen DeGeneres had a rocky 2020.

The talkshow host was already facing claims that she is “one of the meanest people alive” when more serious allegations against The Ellen DeGeneres Show broke in the summer of 2020.

Warner Brothers, the show’s distributor, launched an investigation into the toxic workplace rumours.

After its conclusion in August 2020, The Ellen DeGeneres Show heads Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were dismissed by WarnerMedia.

DeGeneres later addressed the controversy in her opening monologue kicking off the eighteenth season of the long-running talkshow in September, telling viewers that she is a “work in progress”.

It was reported that ratings for The Ellen DeGeneres show had tanked in the aftermath of the scandal, and that it was struggling to find advertisers and celebrity guests.