In Hollywood, we witness numerous celebrity couples entering and exiting relationships. However, not all of them are destined to be together, and not all of them can endure the trials and tribulations of living in the public limelight. Despite this, Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith have proven to be an exception as they continue to maintain a lasting and strong bond after almost 30 years since they first met.
Fallen in Love
Given that Pierce Brosnan is such a well-known figure, it’s not unexpected that his life has been quite openly shared with the public. It’s also unsurprising that his romantic involvement with Smith has been quite widely publicized.
Nevertheless, their love story has not resulted in the kind of sensationalized tales that are commonly heard of in the entertainment industry. What is striking is that the couple appears to genuinely love each other, even after all these years, presenting a heartwarming depiction of their life together.
Pierce Brosnan is a widely known personality who hardly requires any introduction. The actor from Ireland has appeared in numerous top-grossing movies of recent times and has expanded his career as a producer.
Brosnan’s notable appearances include movies such as Mamma Mia! and Mrs. Doubtfire, however, his most iconic performance was when he portrayed the character of James Bond. He played 007 in films like GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day, making him the fifth actor to play James Bond.
Brosnan’s Previous Marriage
Brosnan had been previously married to actress Cassandra Harris in 1980 and was together with her until she died in 1991. The actor has been candidly expressed his sorrow over her loss and its impact on various aspects of his private life, including romantic relationships.
The celebrity expressed gratitude for life even in the face of adversity, stating that they have been fortunate throughout their life to maintain a strong sense of self and enjoyment of life despite experiencing many challenges. Brosnan acknowledged the profound impact of losing Harris to ovarian cancer, explaining that such a sorrow becomes permanently ingrained in one’s consciousness.
In a later interview, Brosnan acknowledged that Smith had played a significant role in helping him cope with his grief. He specifically mentioned Smith’s admiration for Harris.
He expressed that he would never forget Cassie and her battle with cancer. Keely has always been a caring and sympathetic person, and she encouraged him to grieve for Cassie. He also emphasized the significance of his wife’s support, describing Keely as the guiding light in his life, always watching over him.
It is undoubtedly challenging to start dating again after the demise of a partner. However, Brosnan and Smith appeared to have provided considerable support to each other.
Talking about meeting Smith long after their relationship had begun, the actor who played James Bond commented on the encounter. He stated that his previous marriage had been wonderful but unfortunately came to an end. However, he considers himself fortunate to have found love again, and believes that their meeting was destined to happen. The actor expressed gratitude towards God for his new partner every day.
Keely Shaye Smith
By now, we’ve had numerous discussions about Pierce Brosnan, but have you ever wondered who Keely Shaye Smith is? You may have already come across her from various sources as she is a versatile personality who has worked as an actress, TV presenter, reporter, and writer.
Her work can be viewed on either General Hospital or The Home Show from ABC, or for those interested in true crime, they might be familiar with her as a correspondent on Unsolved Mysteries for two years.
A Chance Meeting
It was a coincidental encounter when Smith and Brosnan came face to face. Smith attended the same party as Brosnan with an intention to interview Ted Danson, but unfortunately, the interview did not materialize.
However, it appears that the 1994 beach gathering in Cabos San Lucas held greater possibilities beyond just one event. It was at this occasion that Brosnan and Smith had their initial encounter.
Love at First Sight?
Regarding meeting a potential long-term partner for the first time, individuals may inquire about your initial thoughts when you first met each other. Was it evident to you at the time?
It appears that these two individuals were immediately drawn to each other. According to Brosnan, he felt a strong attachment to the woman and would send her tickets to join him wherever he went because they just seemed to be compatible.
Smith’s First Thoughts
However, Smith also shared her first impressions after their meeting with People, indicating that he was not the only one who did so.
Smith expressed her admiration for him, describing him as charming and irresistible – with his tall, dark and handsome features that are likely to appeal to anyone. She also noticed a mischievous twinkle in his eye which added to his allure. Overall, she was extremely impressed and had only praise for him, which is a strong indication of her eventual marriage to him.
The Couple’s First Date
All couples, even the ones we’ve admired for years, had to begin their relationships at some point. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Smith and Brosnan also had a first date. According to Smith, their initial outing was a very romantic one.
She recounted their initial encounter, sharing how they sat together beneath the night sky, while he held her hand. Above them, fireworks illuminated the sky and Kenny Loggins’ melodies filled the airwaves. They conversed with one another until the early hours of the morning – it was as if their connection was meant to happen.
Seven Years of Dating
In Hollywood, it is common to witness many couples hurrying to get married. While some relationships thrive, others fizzle out soon after they began. However, this particular couple chose to break away from this tradition.
Smith and Brosnan were in a relationship for seven years before they got married. Despite this, their fans were able to keep up with their romance through public appearances and interviews.
Activism Before Tying the Knot
Before getting married, the couple demonstrated a significant amount of charitable activities which they kept up even after their nuptials.
During their courtship, the pair collaborated with two organizations – the Natural Resources Defense Council and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. A donation was made in 2007 to facilitate the replacement of a playground on Kauai. Supporting the Roots and Shoots initiative, which was established by Jane Goodall, has also been an area of focus for the couple.
Brosnan, who is recognized by numerous admirers, is not just a husband but also a father. He fathered a son with Harris prior to his encounter with Smith and additionally, he adopted two children from Harris in 1986.
Prior to their wedding, Brosnan and Smith also grew their family. In January 1997, which was approximately three years after they initially met, they shared the news of the birth of their son, named Dylan. Over the years, Dylan has followed in his parents’ footsteps and become an actor, model, and singer, gaining recognition in the public eye.
Already a Father
Brosnan had a child, Sean, with his former wife Cassandra Harris prior to becoming a father to Dylan with Smith. Harris had two children from her previous marriage, Charlotte and Chris.
After the death of their father, Brosnan took on the responsibility of raising both Charlotte and Chris as their second father. Therefore, he had prior experience in parenting when he accepted his new children with Smith.
And Next Comes Paris
Moreover, when it came to expanding their family, the pair didn’t just limit themselves to their existing two children. They went on to have another son in 2001.
On this occasion, they declared the arrival of their younger child, Paris. Similarly to his sibling, Paris has established himself as a model and his Instagram account showcases his professional achievements. Moreover, his parents have openly expressed their affection towards their son by sharing their fondness for him on social media.
Postponed a Few Times
At the moment of the wedding ceremony, the couple encountered some obstacles that caused them to postpone their wedding three times in total.
Smith and her four-year-old son experienced being trapped in their home during a flood. The second event was rescheduled due to Brosnan’s son Sean being involved in a car accident and getting injured. However, the last delay resulted in Smith’s pregnancy with Paris, which was a happy news.
Despite facing multiple delays, the couple’s determination to tie the knot remained unwavering, leading them to eventually fulfill their wish on their fourth attempt.
The couple got married in Brosnan’s homeland of Ireland, specifically at Ballintubber Abbey, and the ceremony in 2001 was stunning. They had initially kept it somewhat low-key before revealing their union, but once word got out, people couldn’t stop raving about all the wonderful aspects of the wedding.
An Important Anniversary
Despite multiple postponed dates, the couple finally tied the knot on August 4th, 2001, which has since become a significant anniversary for both of them. They have also made sure to remember this date in the future.
As we will observe, they happily share posts about their anniversary every year and express that their love for each other is just as strong as it was on their wedding day and all the years leading up to it.
Charlotte on Their Wedding
Brosnan’s children were in attendance and his daughter, Charlotte, had the role of a bridesmaid.
Charlotte spoke to People in an interview and expressed her thoughts about Brosnan’s remarriage. She shared her personal feelings and described the love between the two remarried people as unbelievable. She was delighted to see her father happy and it seemed that the rest of the family was also fond of Smith.
Strength and Passion
Despite the passage of time since they met, Brosnan has remained unafraid to express his true emotions toward his spouse to the public.
After tying the knot, the celebrity remarked that his spouse possessed great strength, which he deeply admired. When asked about his union with Smith, he expressed that he cannot imagine living without her robustness. Whenever Keely gazes into his eyes, it weakens him.
Stepping Out on the Red Carpet
Throughout the years, the couple has not hesitated to attend public events, as a result, the paparazzi are always on the lookout for them on the red carpet.
During the year 2004, both of them were seen together at the Academy Awards wearing attire that resembled a James Bond outfit and a magnificent red and gold gown. They also made an appearance later that year, donning matching black suits and dresses at the 2004 Oscars.
A Malibu Appearance
The two celebrities had previously been seen in Malibu on some occasions, which is not surprising since they had lived there for a long period. However, in 2007, both fans and photographers were eagerly anticipating their appearance at an event in Malibu.
The two individuals attended a press conference called “Terminate the Terminal” with the purpose of halting the installation of a terminal near the shore of Malibu, California. Just like other activists, the duo came forward to express their position on this issue.
Spirit Awards Appearance
The couple made another appearance in public in 2010, which happened during the 25th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards in LA in March of that year.
Although he didn’t win any awards that evening, the actor’s appearance did not go unnoticed. Despite not being the main attraction, the photographers were eager to capture a photo of the couple as they made their way towards the red carpet.
Love Is All You Need
Brosnan took on a romantic comedy character named Philip in Love Is All You Need in 2012, and the film turned out to be a huge hit. As a married couple, they also attended various premieres and screenings together.
This photo was taken by a photographer while the two were watching a movie together soon after it came out. As usual, they were captured embracing each other’s arms and grinning widely.
Similar to numerous celebrities, the family of Brosnans frequently keeps their followers informed on social networking platforms, particularly Instagram. They frequently post a copious amount of content, particularly when it comes to celebratory occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
As they began their relationship in the 1990s, the couple had already been together for quite some time by the time Instagram gained popularity. The two celebrities joined Instagram in 2013, just a month apart, and have since shared numerous posts on the platform commemorating their love story.
Brosnan Speaks on Love
During January 2018, Closer Magazine got an opportunity to interview Pierce Brosnan who shared some insights regarding his romantic life during the conversation.
He advised them to have faith in their intuition and make an effort to surround themselves with good company. Additionally, the celebrity mentioned his preference for being married and emphasized the importance of having a supportive partner in life.
Keely Comments Too
Naturally, the actor’s remarks on their relationship were not the only ones made. During that time, Smith also expressed her own perspectives regarding her spouse.
She expressed in a heartfelt statement how Pierce’s allure stems from his intellect and inner self, and how he is aging gracefully. From this, one can infer that this pair in Hollywood genuinely share a love and delight in each other’s presence.
Additionally, Smith contributed further details to her remarks concerning her spouse. Every statement vividly depicts the intense love between the couple.
She expressed her gratitude and appreciation towards her husband in an Instagram post. She thanked him for being with her on this exciting and happy journey of parenthood, for his love, care, and motivation. She described him as someone with a big, generous, caring, and compassionate heart who inspires her every day and makes her laugh. She ended the post by saying that her heart is filled with thankfulness and wishing God’s blessings on her husband.
Building a Home Together
Brosnan spoke to Parade about their plans to build their personal lives along with their professional careers and he praised his wife with great admiration.
Our garden is very lovely. On the North Shore, we have a small cottage on a spacious five-acre property that has been well-maintained by Keely, who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and tells us what needs to be done. He also mentioned their Malibu residence, which suffered significant fire damage back in 2015.
2018 Mamma Mia! Appearance
Aside from his role as James Bond, one of Brosnan’s more famous roles is the one he took on for Mamma Mia! and its sequel.
So, when Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again released in 2018, of course, Brosnan took to the red carpet with his wife. The two easily stole the show both for Brosnan’s performance and the appearance of the beloved Hollywood couple. Not to mention, people were quick to compliment the dress Smith donned.
Life Is Beautiful
In 2018, the happy couple had the chance to celebrate 25 years of their relationship. The two were quick to make their declarations public.
On Brosnan’s Instagram, he wrote, “Thank you for the love, my love, of these past 25 years onward.” As for Keely, she added a simple “Happy Anniversary” to her husband and added, “Life is beautiful with you in it!” It’s the sort of sweet exchange fans have come to expect from this couple.
As we’ve mentioned, Brosnan isn’t the only one with big projects underway in Hollywood. In 2018, Smith also released a movie titled Poisoning Paradise.
Brosnan was quick to support his wife’s endeavors, too. When Smith celebrated the release of the environmental film, Brosnan was quick to jump online and offer a shout-out to both her and the film, saying, “Stepping out for another showing of Keely’s movie Poisoning Paradise. Still working and loving life after 25 years.”
Of course, the Brosnans rarely miss a chance to celebrate their love for one another publicly. So, it’s not much of a surprise Pierce jumped online to share his feelings.
In August of 2020, the two celebrated the 19th anniversary of their wedding. The actor posted a picture of the two with the caption, “Happy anniversary my love Keely…my brown-eyed girl, should I fall behind wait for me…as ever, my love.”
Just like the year before, the pair jumped online in August 2021 to celebrate their anniversary with public messages to one another.
Pierce jumped on Instagram once again to let his wife and the world know exactly how he felt about her. He wrote, “Happy anniversary, my dear Keely, my love is forever growing with you…” It was definitely a sign that the two were still head over heels for one another.
And a Bit of Throwback
April of that same year, Brosnan made sure to add a few moments with his wife online even without the prompt of an anniversary or holiday. The star shared a throwback photo of himself and his wife spending time together on a boat.
The photo is captioned, “Like only yesterday, the years fly by my love, so many dreams with you, onwards my love.” It didn’t take long for the likes and positive comments to start rolling in.
In 2022, the couple got to celebrate another anniversary. As we’ve come to expect, the two were quick to share their marital joy with the world.
As per usual, the Mamma Mia! actor took to Instagram. He shared a wedding photo of the two before adding the caption, “Happy Anniversary my love Keely, we danced that night and still dance the dance today. I could do it all again.”
And the Other Half
As you may have expected, Brosnan wasn’t the only one from the pair that made sure to post an anniversary note in 2021. She posted on the anniversary of them starting a relationship, not their wedding.
Smith posted, “Happy 27th my love! Celebrating the day we met (April 8th, 1994 as well as the we married August 4th, 2001). Love you and the life we share,” before adding a throwback photo of the two lounging in a hammock.
Appearing Online as Well
Another, more recent time the couple stepped out together was for a Valentine’s Date that involved dinner and a Van Gogh exhibit.
The paparazzi didn’t catch them at the immersive L.A. exhibit either – the two shared their Valentine’s Day plans on Instagram. Along with this photo of his wife, he added the caption, “A beautiful St. Valentine’s Day with my love @keelyshayebrosnan at the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit…kissing Van Gogh.”
Looking Back on Love
There are times, even outside of anniversaries, that you might sit back and contemplate your life with your partner. Brosnan definitely did.
In April 2022, the actor jumped on Instagram to share a quick but touching thought about his wife. He wrote, “28 years ago this day, the 4th of the 8th we met in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico…and married in Ireland at Ashford Castle three years later on the 8th of the 4th…4884…my love always, you have made my life one of joy and happiness, light of my life, love.”
Enjoying Each Other’s Company
When you’re together as long as this couple has been, you might start to get a few questions. For instance, how do you make it work so well?
First of all, it’s clear these two are well-matched for one another. If you ask Brosnan, though, he points at one key concept as what keeps their relationship going. The star says the two spend a lot of quality time just enjoying each others’ company.
The pair isn’t shy to share what really helps them bond. It’s quite simple really — they talk about spending a lot of quality time together.
The Bond actor once shared a story about a road trip the two of them shared. While many people use a road trip to listen to their favorite songs or even catch a nap if you aren’t driving, Brosnan said, “We didn’t listen to any music, but we just listened to the sounds of each other’s voices and sorted out the world.”
Just Watching the Sunset
We see a lot of stars while they’re working. We don’t really know what they’re like when the cameras aren’t rolling unless someone says something.
The answer was expectedly wholesome and touching. The actor told People back in 2017, “It was yesterday. I painted in my studio, then I went down and sat on the beach, read and did some drawing – and then I had lunch with Keely.” He continued saying that the two watched the sunset together and “It’s very simple – and the best.”
Fans Continue to Follow
Even though this couple has been together for nearly three decades, it seems like their joint charm hasn’t faded as far as their fame is concerned.
With the couple being rather public and still going strong, plenty of people tune in every time they make an appearance or add a social media post. Each time, fans are quick to leave a like and comment about how wholesome the couple is.
Even Other Celebs Love Them
While fans flock to these posts, not all of their fans are watching from outside of the sphere of fame. Even other celebs love this couple.
When the pair posted one photo, comedian Chelsea Handler was among one of the famous faces to show up in their comments section. The comedian left a comment on an anniversary post congratulating them by saying, “Congratulations, you two! Way to set an example!”
Ellen DeGeneres has been married to Australian actress Portia de Rossi for over 10 years, during which time the two have celebrated together and faced various tabloid rumors. Keep scrolling for an inside look at Ellen and Portia’s unbreakable bond.
How They First Met
Ellen and Portia first met each other at a party, but it wasn’t time for them to be together just yet. De Rossi wasn’t yet out as a gay woman in Hollywood, and it took her several years to tell DeGeneres how she felt.
Reconnecting Years Later
After their first encounter at a party in 2002, the actresses met again at an award show in 2004. De Rossi remembers running into the comedian at a photoshoot, telling The Advocate that “she took my breath away.” When they saw each other at VH1’s Big in ’04 Awards, de Rossi was weak at the knees. The actress revealed, “That had never happened to me in my life, where I saw somebody and [experienced] all of those things you hear about in songs and read about in poetry.”
Ending Other Relationships
When Ellen and Portia eventually got together, they were both already in longterm relationships. DeGeneres had been seeing photographer Alexandra Hedison for four years, and de Rossi had dated director Francesca Gregorini for over two years at that point. DeGeneres remembers “physically getting sick” before telling her partner about de Rossi and Portia remembers, “I really, really hated all the pain I put Francesca through, and I really didn’t want to hurt her. But I just couldn’t ignore the feelings I had for Ellen.”
Making it Public
After ending their respective relationships, the actresses went public, and started appearing on red carpets together. Their first public foray was at the Golden Globe Awards Party in 2005. The pair looked super loved up, with de Rossi looking chic in a tight white dress, and DeGeneres looking cheeky in a black suit. De Rossi had to deal with being out publicly for the first time, but later stated that “my feelings for her overrode all of my fear about being out as a lesbian.”
Being Gay in Hollywood
While Ellen came out on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997, de Rossi didn’t until much later in life. When she was dating director Francesca Gregorini between 2001 and 2004, most of her family and castmates didn’t know she was gay until tabloid pictures of the couple emerged. The actress refused to discuss her orientation at the time, but has since spoken about her struggle, saying that “I didn’t choose the fact that I was gay, but I did choose whether to live my life as a gay woman.”
Taking Time to Come Out
Speaking about her time on Ally McBeal, de Rossi recalled that “Greg Germann and I were talking in the bar one night and he said, ‘There’s something about you I can’t quite put my finger on…. Are you gay?’ Of course, I stammered and stuttered and looked at the ground and went, ‘Uh…uh…uh…maybe, I don’t know, I think so, I’m not sure.’ And he looked at me and said, ‘Have you struggled with it?’ And to me, that was so profound, because I thought, Yeah.”
Inspired by Ellen
In fact, de Rossi has admitted that she was inspired by future wife Ellen’s coming out when she watched it on TV in 1997. In an interview with The Advocate in 2005, the Arrested Development actress said, “When I watched Ellen come out in ’97, my jaw was on the floor. I thought, there are some people who break the doors down, hold them open, and some people who walk right through. I always thought I was the latter.”
Moving in Together
After they went public with their relationship in 2005, DeGeneres and de Rossi moved in together later that year. The lovebirds wanted to tie the knot, but unfortunately, same-sex marriage was still illegal in the US at the time. Speaking with People magazine in 2005 about the relationship, Ellen claimed that “it’s the first time that I’ve known in every cell of my being that I’m with somebody for the rest of my life.”
All Loved Up
Both DeGeneres and de Rossi are big animal lovers, and Portia is an avid horseback rider. While speaking to People magazine in 2005, Ellen relaxed in the two-acre estate she shared with her girlfriend, calling it her “priority” to always be around trees and animals. Back when they moved in together, the couple rescued three cats — Charlie, George Jackson, and Chairman Meow Tse-Tung. They have since rescued four dogs named Wolf, Augie, Kid, and Mrs. Wallis Browning.
Tying the Knot
In 2008, California legalized gay marriage, and soon after, DeGeneres and de Rossi tied the knot. De Rossi stunned in a deep plunge, blush pink dress, and DeGeneres looked chic in a white linen suit. The officiator of the wedding spoke of the day’s significance, saying, “With your exchange of vows today, you symbolize for many who have gone before you, who were forced to live their lives in quiet desperation, lurking in the shadows that we as people, are truly better than we used to be.”
Welcome Portia Lee James DeGeneres
After their wedding, de Rossi legally changed her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres, but kept “Portia de Rossi” professionally. Of course, the actress changed her name once before, when she was only 15 years old. The actress suspects she changed her name because of her struggle with her identity. She remembers, “I picked Portia because I was a Shakespeare fan,” and “de Rossi because I was Australian and I thought that an exotic Italian name would somehow suit me more than Amanda Rogers.”
Just Horsin’ Around
As well as being a full-time entertainer, Ellen DeGeneres also buys, renovated, and sells property. After a year together, Portia and Ellen bought a $6 million, 120-acre equestrian ranch and sold it a year later for almost $12 million. The ranch was comprised of multiple buildings — it included an entertainment barn, a guest house, a manager’s house, a tennis court, a private well, a one-acre olive grove, and of course, barns and paddocks for the horses.
The Hollywood Rumor Mill
As is the case for all Hollywood couples, over the years, DeGeneres and de Rossi have faced rumors about their marriage. Claims surfaced in 2013 that there was trouble in paradise, but Ellen told People that, “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.” Rumors of fighting and divorce reared their head again in 2014 and 2015, but both actresses stayed quiet.
Gifting a Gorilla Sanctuary
Despite tabloid rumors, the couple has stayed strong for over a decade. To celebrate Ellen’s 60th birthday, de Rossi appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and gifted the animal lover a gorilla sanctuary. One of the comedian’s heroes is primatologist and conservationist, Dian Fossey. When presenting the gift, de Rossi said, “It’s your 60th birthday, and this gift had to be really special, and it had to represent who you are and what you really care about.”
Celebrating Ten Years Together
Ellen and Portia celebrated ten years together in 2018, and both posted memories of their wedding day on their social media accounts. Despite yet more rumors surfacing about their rocky marriage and supposed divorce, Portia took some solace in the fact that the lesbian couple gets the same gossip magazine treatment as straight stars. She told Us Weekly that, “The divorce rumors came and then we really knew the perceptions had changed […] I thought, ‘Oh, now we’re finally accepted.’”
Keeping Things Exciting
Despite the ongoing rumors of trouble in paradise, Ellen and Portia seem to have each other’s back, and remain loved up. On her show’s segment “Burning Questions,” Ellen answered the question “What’s the most romantic thing you’ve done for someone?” with some details about her marriage. Apparently, every time de Rossi goes out of town, DeGeneres calls ahead and asks the hotel to set up rose petals in a heart shape on Portia’s bed. How romantic!
Going Strong at the Golden Globes
We know that Portia and Ellen made their first public appearance as a couple at the Golden Globes Awards in 2005. 15 years later, DeGeneres was honored with the Carol Burnett Award, and the couple dazzled on the red carpet in sharp suits. In her acceptance speech, the talk show host said, “All I’ve ever wanted to do is make people feel good and laugh, and there is no greater feeling than when someone tells me that I’ve made their day better with my show.”
Getting it on at the Grammys
Later the same month, the couple graced the Grammys red carpet on Ellen’s 62nd birthday. Red carpets are nothing new to this pair as over the years, DeGeneres has hosted the Primetime Emmys, the Grammy Awards, and the Academy Awards (where she snapped the famous celebrity selfie in 2014). Unfortunately, the comedian had a glitch at the 2020 Grammy Awards when introducing an “Old Town Road” performance featuring Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, BTS, and Mason Ramsey. She accidentally said “Macy Ramsey.”
The Downfall of Ellen DeGeneres
Up until this point, Ellen’s public image was one of kindness, fun, and cheekiness. The star pranked celebrities on her show, voiced the beloved amnesiac fish Dory in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, and was a judge on American Idol. However, everything was about to come falling down. Referencing Ellen’s final line on her talk show, “be kind to one another,” comedian Kevin T. Porter tweeted asking people for stories of Ellen “being mean.” Once they started, they didn’t stop.
It Started With a Tweet
Porter’s tweet read, “Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen DeGeneres always talks about! She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive. Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodBank.” Porter later told Page Six that “commonly in LA, people who work in the industry or TV either know or know second-hand a not-very-nice story about Ellen.”
That’s Not the Truth, Ellen
There had already been rumors circulating about Ellen’s behavior towards staff, and Porter’s tweet opened the floodgates. On a now-infamous episode of her show, Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson caught the comedian in a lie, after she claimed that Johnson hadn’t invited her to her birthday party. Johnson immediately clapped back with “That’s not the truth Ellen,” and a producer verified that the comedian was away at the time.
The Accusations Against Ellen
A 2018 article for the New York Times entitled “Ellen DeGeneres Is Not as Nice as You Think” laid out some of the criticisms swirling about the star. These didn’t hit front pages at the time but in 2020, Buzzfeed News came forward with the accounts of former employees. The former staffers claimed that “they definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra,” and revealed racism, bullying, misconduct, intimidation, and toxicity behind the scenes.
A Culture of Fear
In the Buzzfeed report, former and current The Ellen DeGeneres Show staffers talked about “a culture of fear,” enforced by the host and various producers. Former producer Hedda Muskat noticed the atmosphere as soon as she started at the show, and remembers a producer screaming at a crew member until he was red in the face. She waited for DeGeneres to step in but claims the host just giggled, put her legs on the chair, and said, “Well, I guess every production needs their dog.”
Ellen Denies the Rumors
In the 2018 New York Times article, DeGeneres admitted that she isn’t always sunshine and light, but claimed that was due to being harassed by fans. She said, “There have been times someone wants a picture, and while I’m doing a selfie, they’re like, ‘You’re not dancing!’ Of course, I’m not dancing. I’m walking down the street.” However, she pushed back against the idea that she treats employees poorly, saying, “That bugs me if someone is saying that because it’s an outright lie.”
The Tide Has Turned
Before the Buzzfeed article, but after Kevin T Porter’s tweet, the talk show host disappointed fans during the start of the global pandemic. Videos from Ellen during lockdown showed her to be wildly out of touch with normal people. Sitting in her multimillion-dollar California mansion, the star said, “One thing that I’ve learned from being in quarantine is that people — this is like being in jail, is what it is.” Onlookers were quick to point out the very different conditions in US jails.
Is Ellen Calling it Quits?
As rumors, allegations, and pressure were building, reports suggested that Ellen might call it a day on her syndicated talk show. The star was beloved, wholesome, and center stage in US entertainment, and is now seen as cruel, out of touch, and untrustworthy. The Daily Mail reports that DeGeneres “feels she can’t go on,” and that the show needs to end in order to “recover her personal brand.” Page Six claims that the host is “hysterical,” and feeling “crushed.”
Ellen’s Internal Memo
Of course, Ellen had to speak out about the scandal at some point, and decided to address staff members in an email. In the letter, the host claimed that because of the show’s growth and success, she wasn’t able to “stay on top of everything” and relied on others to do jobs as she would want them done. The comedian claimed that Warner Bros immediately started an investigation and that they would take steps “together, to correct the issues.”
Ellen’s Apology Misses the Mark
For their part, The Ellen DeGeneres Show staffers were not impressed by their employer’s so-called apology. One claimed that “the truth is she knew what was going on, it’s her show. The buck stops with her. She can blame every executive under the sun — but Ellen is ultimately the one to blame.” Another argued that anyone complaining about the toxic workplace culture at the time would have been fired immediately. Someone else simply said, “she is a phony.”
Ellen Is No Better
Indeed, the staffers’ response seems to hit the nail on the head when it comes to the star’s apology. Most onlookers rejected Ellen’s claims that she didn’t know what was going on at her show, saying, “It’s outrageous that she is trying to pretend that this is all a shock to her.” The anonymous source said that the host “hates coming to work,” “struggles to be nice to people,” has “utter contempt for her audience,” and only stays for the money and celebrity.
I Stand by Ellen
Throughout all of these ups and downs, Portia de Rossi has stayed by her wife’s side and spoken up for her several times. The actress posted an image on Instagram that read “I Stand by Ellen,” with “Be Kind to One Another” written in the corner. The image is similar in design to the “Be Kind” subscription box that Ellen sells online. For the caption, de Rossi wrote “To all our fans … we see you. Thank you for your support. #stopbotattacks #IStandWithEllenDeGeneres #IStandByEllen.”
Ellen’s Celebrity Supporters
During the huge backlash to Ellen DeGeneres, various celebrities have come out in defense of the star. Record executive Scooter Braun called the host “a kind, thoughtful, courageous human being,” and actress Diane Keaton tweeted “I always enjoyed my visits to the Ellen Show.” Popstar Katy Perry also tweeted in support, saying, “I know I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience besides my own but I want to acknowledge that I have only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen & on the @theellenshow.”
Portia Speaks Out
Of course, onlookers expect multi-millionaire celebrities to defend and protect each other, but fans still aren’t buying it. Meanwhile, while Portia de Rossi hasn’t commented on the details of the situation, she has responded to photographers’ questions while out and about in California. The actress was asked if her wife would continue to host her show, and she firmly responded “Yes, she is.” Throughout the turmoil, de Rossi has been at home caring for her wife.
Still Going Strong
Despite the dramatic situation that has unfolded for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, the two still have an unbreakable bond that’s holding strong. There have been rumors that DeGeneres will be replaced by James Cordon, Jennifer Aniston, or Melissa McCarthy, but executive producer Andy Lassner tweeted that “Nobody is going off air.” We’ll have to wait and see what’s in store for these two. Somehow we think they’ll make it through with an even stronger bond.