As Busy Philipps discussed why she decided to share her sexual assault story, Ellen Degeneres revealed her own experience

By Maura Hohman
October 03, 2018 09:35 AM

Busy Philipps and Ellen DeGeneres are bravely speaking their truth about their experiences with sexual abuse.

Appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday, the 39-year-old Dawson’s Creek alum, who revealed on Instagram last week that she was raped at age 14, said she was inspired by the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And in response, DeGeneres, 60, shared her own story.

“I was so moved by [Dr. Ford’s] bravery,” began Philipps. “It wasn’t something that I felt like I was ever going to blast out on social media. But when I saw her standing there, speaking her truth after 30 years, I was like, ‘It’s been 25 for me. I can do this. We can all do this.’ I feel like it’s a real moment of reckoning for women, that we have sort of collectively carried this burden for so long. And it’s time to share it.”

“It was hard. And really scary. … I have a 10-year-old,” she continued, choking up. “So when I look at that baby, I see my kid. It’s sadly the most unoriginal horror. I’ve struggled with it for so long.”

The actress, who shares her story in her memoir, This Will Only Hurt A Little, out Oct. 16, said she struggled with her secret for years.

“We can do better for our kids and the next generation, and we will,” she said. “I told my parents and my older sister five months ago, when the book was finished and I had come to peace that I was going to speak my truth. I said, ‘But Mom, I just want you to know’ — because she felt like she had failed me and didn’t protect me. And I understand that, being a mother, but I was like, ‘Mom, you are really the hero of my book.’ She really is. She was there for me. Without her, I wouldn’t be sitting here with you.”

Ellen DeGeneres
Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

DeGeneres, in turn, had a message for young men and women who may be going through what she and Philipps experienced.

“I was 15 and I had something happen to me,” she recalled. “You just get so angry when someone doesn’t believe you, or [asks], ‘Why did you wait so long?’ It’s because we’re girls and we’re taught not to say anything and go along with it.”

RELATED VIDEO: Busy Philipps Says Courteney Cox Convinced Her to Get Help For Her Anxiety: ‘I Was Barely Holding it Together’

The comedian insisted, “This conversation needs to happen more. And people need to teach your children to speak up and don’t ever keep something in and don’t ever be ashamed and think that it’s your problem or your fault.”

Philipps’ shared her story last week alongside a yearbook photo of herself she posted on Instagram.

“This is me at 14. The age I was raped,” she wrote. “It’s taken me 25 years to say those words. I wrote about it in my book. I finally told my parents and sister about it 4 months ago. Today is the day we are silent no more. All of us. I’m scared to post this. I can’t imagine what Dr. Ford is feeling right now.”

Philipps is married to producer Marc Silverstein and is the mother of two daughters: Pearl, 5, and Birdie Leigh, 10.