Portia De Rossi: Marrying Ellen DeGeneres Saved Me

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Portia De Rossi: Marrying Ellen DeGeneres Saved Me
The actress reveals how hiding her sexuality led to an eating disorder that nearly killed her.

In Portia de Rossi's new tell-all, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, the 37-year-old gay actress, who's now married to Ellen DeGeneres, reveals how years spent struggling with her sexuality tore her apart. Portia, who for awhile, denied the fact that she was a lesbian and even stayed in a marriage to a man for 3 years, says that trying to hide her true self led to an eating disorder that nearly killed her.

You may recall that de Rossi weighed just 90 pounds during her Ally McBeal years, though her eating disorder may have not stood out next to the other strikingly thin women on the show like Calista Flockhart (who got a lot of flack for her lithe frame) and Courtney Thorne-Smith (who admitted that she felt intense pressure to be thin while working on the show).

 

"It took a long, long time for me to think I had a problem," Portia told Women's Weekly. "I was around 90 pounds and I remember feeling very afraid of food every night...I didn't want to walk past pizza restaurants because that would make me remember what it was like to eat pizza, and I was truly afraid that I was going to be overcome with the urge to binge, and if I started binging then I just wouldn't stop."

What's more, Portia admits she was so scared to come out publicly that at one point, she turned down a date with her current partner, Ellen DeGeneres. Portia didn't want anyone to know she was a lesbian and Ellen had recently come out on her TV show and was openly gay. Ellen & Portia: No Kids For Us- Pets Are Best

"I was too nervous...It was a ridiculous thought for me to be closeted and terrified of being discovered, and then date the most famous lesbian in the world. It wasn't going to happen. I had such a long way to go before I could even be seen in public with a woman, much less be seen in public with that one," Portia said. 

Of course, years later, Portia would finally come out and eventually start dating DeGeneres. And now she's no longer afraid to flaunt her love for Ellen. Ellen and Portia married in 2008, and Portia has since taken DeGeneres' last name in her private life. Portia De Rossi To Become A DeGeneres

So how was the actress finally able to overcome her eating disorder and take her relationship with another woman public? Well, all you need is love, says Portia, who credits her wife, Ellen, for helping her to come to terms with her sexuality and overcome her eating disorder. 

"[Getting married] completely changed my life," de Rossi told People. "It's so important to live an honest, open life and I didn't really realize that until I started doing it."

Photo Credit: INF