Ellen DeGeneres is usually the person we see on television interviewing celebrities about their lives. But in a recent interview on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, the tables were turned and Ellen opened up about her life.
Among the many subjects the two covered was a discussion of one of DeGeneres’ former girlfriends, who died in a car accident when the two young women were living together. The host said that at 20, she had to move because she couldn’t afford the apartment the two were living in by herself.
“I moved into this tiny little basement apartment that I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor infested with fleas,” she said. “I thought, ‘Why is this beautiful, 21-year-old girl gone and fleas are here?’”
The comedian also discussed the moment she decided to come out on her sitcom Ellen. One year after she came out, ABC decided to pull the plug and cancel the sitcom. “[It ended] because I came out,” she said, frankly. “They really didn’t want me to come out … they finally let me come out and it was a huge success the night of. It was celebrated … then they just stopped promoting it because they were scared.”
After she came out, DeGeneres went on a press tour to talk about her decision and faced criticism from none other than Elton John. “Even Elton John said, ‘Shut up already. We know you’re gay. Be funny.’ I had never met him and I thought, ‘What kind of support is that from a gay person?’” she said.
Listen to DeGeneres’ full conversation with Shepard below: