Ellen DeGeneres has been making audiences laugh on The Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2002 and she’s showing no signs of slowing down. The comedian has also showed off her acting skills in films like The Love Letter (1999), Finding Dory (2016), and Finding Nemo (2003), as well as hosted shows like the Academy Awards and Grammy Awards. Her wife, Portia de Rossi, is just as well-known for her accomplishments in the acting industry. Portia is best known for her roles in shows like Arrested Development and Scandal.
Ellen first came out as gay in 1997, whereas her future wife wasn’t open about her orientation until 2005 when she had already started dating Ellen. The two ladies met at an event in 2004 and have been inseparable since. The couple ended up tying in the knot in 2008 during a lavish ceremony at their Beverly Hills home, where they still live with their four dogs and three cats. Despite the rumors surrounding their relationship, Ellen and Portia have always presented a united front to the media and seem happier than ever.
Although Ellen might be one of the most well-known faces on TV, she and her wife still like to maintain their privacy when it comes to their personal life. So, there’s a lot fans don’t know about their decade-long marriage. Keep reading to learn more about this famous power couple!
20 They Once Told Fans They Were Adopting
Back in 2016, audience members were holding onto their seats after Ellen declared that she and her wife were “adopting a kid” during the taping of an episode. Given how much curiosity there has been over whether the couple would ever expand their family, the audience was clearly elated.
However, Ellen quickly clarified that she wasn’t exactly telling the whole truth. Kid was actually the name of her new nine-week old puppy. “I have not talked about this yet, but we have a new puppy,” she clarified while laughing. “Portia and I got a puppy and his name is Kid so now we have a kid. Yep. I mean, he is absolutely adorable.”
19 They’ve Also Said They Don’t Want Kids
Even though fans would love to see Portia and Ellen expand their family, there have been multiple times the ladies have expressed no interest in having children. Back in 2012, Ellen made this very clear during an appearance The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
“I’ve said it so many times: We are not going to have a child. And (tabloids) say that we’re looking for the right donor,” the talk show host explained. “I don’t want to have one. I don’t want to have six. I don’t want to have any. They’re precious to look at and I love them; we have nieces and I love them very much. [But I] don’t want ’em.”
18 But They May Have Tried IVF
Despite maintaining that they don’t want children, there have been some media reports that said the couple has tried IVF in the past. Just this past March, a source told OK! Magazine the couple turned to fertility help after many years of debating whether to have children or not.
“After talking about babies for the longest time, they finally went the IVF route with the help of a male donor, and are happily telling friends, ‘We’re going to be moms!’” the insider explained.
They added, “Portia wants to go through the whole pregnancy process, so they’re using her eggs, which they previously had frozen. Ellen’s totally fine with it. She likes to joke that if the baby is going to look like one of them, she wants it to be Portia!”
17 Things Might Be Rocky Between Them
Ever since tying the knot, there has been debate over whether the couple was calling it quits or not - and they haven’t slowed down, even now. Just this past January, National Enquirer released an article in which a source said the couple has already gotten started with the divorce process.
“Portia is at her wit’s end,” the source explained. “As much as they try to deny any problems, it’s pretty clear they’re leading separate lives. She has clearly been sobbing her eyes out.”
They continued, “People involved in making the deal were [restricted] by nondisclosure agreements, which may have been to stop them spilling the beans to Portia. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this is Ellen’s bachelorette pad for rebuilding her life after Portia.”
16 Portia Wants Ellen To Quit Her Talk Show
What would TV be without Ellen DeGeneres?
Well, fans may have to find out soon because Ellen admitted last year that she was almost close to calling her show quits at her wife’s insistence. During an interview with The New York Times, she said that she almost didn’t renew the show’s contract for 2020.
“[Portia] gets mad when my brother tells me I can’t stop,” she explained. Portia, who was present for the interview, added, “I just think she’s such a brilliant actress and stand-up that it doesn’t have to be this talk show for her creativity; there are other things she could tackle.”
15 Ellen Helped Portia Overcome Her Eating Disorder
For many years, the media questioned if Arrested Development star Portia de Rossi was struggling with an eating disorder. In 2010, the actress confirmed to People that she was recovering from an ED.
The actress credits her relationship with Ellen for helping her overcome her battle. “I have changed so much as a person since I met Ellen. I used to think the way to be strong was to be tough, I used to think that to be independent was to not need anyone,” Portia explained.
She added, “She has made me not worry about what other people think. I’m still working on that, I have to be honest. She has taught me that who I am is perfectly good enough.”
14 Portia Sometimes Gets Jealous
There are a lot of people who love Ellen DeGeneres. And even though she’s clearly head-over-heels in love with her striking wife, one source said that Portia still gets insecure and jealous in their relationship.
“Portia has long had issues with Ellen’s endless work hours and girl crushes,” the insider told Globe last year. “Their fights are legendary.” The source mentioned the couple’s friends “are urging them to get counselling,” but evidently Portia and Ellen haven’t gone that route yet.
This report came out at the same time some tabloids were suggesting the couple was heading to splitsville, although all seems good between the wives nowadays.
13 They Swear They Never Fight
Although some media reports have suggested things were rocky between the couple over the years, Portia and Ellen swear that they barely ever argue with each other.
“We really don’t almost break up, we don't fight, we're madly in love, and I guess it's boring," Ellen once told Howard Stern, as Entertainment Tonight reports.
On another occasion, she added, “Portia and I constantly say to each other, ‘We are so lucky.’ Sometimes it’s lying in bed at night before I go to sleep, and I just say thank you to whatever, whoever is out there. I’ve gotten to a place where I really am just settled.”
12 But They Almost Divorced Over Adopting
Even though the couple has said in the past they don’t want children, some reports suggest it’s still a contentious topic in their household. So much so that the couple was reportedly close to breaking up last year when they couldn’t agree on the question of kids.
“Their relationship has weathered a few storms, but Ellen always felt adopting a child would put all the broken pieces together,” a source told Globe. “After a lot of convincing, Ellen finally got Portia on board. They were looking into adoption agencies.”
However, the source then said Portia changed her mind because she felt Ellen was “neglecting her” and she “refused to proceed with the adoption plan.”
11 They Tried Living Apart
Alongside the rumors last year that Portia and Ellen’s relationship was in trouble, some reports said the couple were actually living apart while trying to make things work. The couple added to fans’ curiosity when they bought a new $15 million home in Beverly Hills last October… without selling their current home.
A source told Life & Style that they purchased the home so Portia could have some time away from her wife. “They’ve told pals they won’t be using this as their permanent base right now,” the insider explained. “It will be a place Portia can go on her nights off, as well as a place they can meet for monthly date nights as they try out having a more separated marriage.”
10 Portia Actually Likes The Divorce Rumors
Well, we wouldn’t have guessed this!
While many fans would assume the constant break-up rumors surrounding Portia and Ellen’s marriage would be a headache, Portia has actually said she likes them. Why? Because it means the media is treating her and Ellen like every other celebrity couple, despite them being gay.
“The divorce rumors came and then we really knew the perceptions had changed,” Portia explained to Us Weekly. “I’m not kidding. I know it sounds ridiculous, but when that started happening I thought, ‘Oh, now we’re finally accepted.’ We get the same [stuff] as every celebrity couple.”
9 They Bought Ellen’s Mom A House
Now this is sweet! Just this month, Ellen’s mom Betty revealed that the couple had purchased her a home close to Ellen’s studio so she could easily attend the tapings. Her mom often attends tapings each week, and actually came to set every day during the show’s first and second seasons.
“She bought me a condo in Sierra Towers, but that was a long trip everyday back and forth. So, she bought me a house two blocks from the studio,” Betty told Us Weekly. She added that Portia helped decorate the condo. “She is wonderful. She has a business now. I just re-decorated my condo in December. Her art is all over the wall. It's beautiful.”
8 Portia Took Ellen’s Last Name
Considering how famous both Ellen and Portia’s names are, many fans weren’t expecting either of the women to change their last names upon getting married. But two years after tying the knot, Portia did petition the court so she could change her name to Portia Lee James.
“We’re just really good friends and we talk about everything, and we never ever, ever lie to each other, like, not even the tiniest lies," Portia told Entertainment Tonight in 2016 about her wife.
7 Ellen Pushed Portia Out Of The Closet
Ellen has been open about her orientation since the ‘90s, but it took a bit longer for Portia to become open about her preferences. The actress has said she was worried how it might impact her job opportunities, so she kept that part of herself hidden from the public for a very long time.
Portia actually credits Ellen for helping her become open about her orientation. “My feelings for her overrode all of my fear about being out as a lesbian,” she explained, as Huffington Post reports. “I had to be with her, and I just figured I’d deal with the other stuff later. It’s hard having a relationship that’s public.”
6 Portia Founded A Charity For Ellen’s Birthday Gift
It would be hard buying a gift for someone who can literally afford whatever they want. But Portia had an amazing idea for a gift when it came time for Ellen’s 60th birthday last year. The actress founded a charity in her wife’s honor, calling it the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund. The only hard part? Keeping it a secret for so long!
“All of it was a complete surprise, which was very difficult. It was so difficult to keep it from her,” Portia revealed to Us Weekly. “She’s so observant. I literally had to take my email address off all of our shared devices at home … because I knew that if she saw an email coming in from Africa, it would be all over. She would put it all together.”
5 They’re Both Proud Vegans
Both Ellen and Portia are outspoken vegans. Ellen’s show often has a section called ‘Going Vegan with Ellen’ in which she shares her favorite meatless recipes. She’s also founded a vegan outreach website with the same name. The couple even featured a vegan cake at their wedding.
Ellen, who transitioned to veganism in 2008 (the same year she and Portia wed), has said her love of animals inspired the decision. “I personally chose to go vegan because I educated myself on factory farming and cruelty to animals, and I suddenly realized that what was on my plate were living things, with feelings,” she once explained, as Ecorazzi reports.
4 They Almost Opened Up A Vegan Restaurant Together
Portia and Ellen are so supportive of veganism that they almost opened up a vegan restaurant in 2011, although plans ultimately fell through.
The couple was going to invest in the restaurant alongside singer Chrissie Hynde and producer Steve Bing. The Hollywood Reporter said that the plan was to have it open on Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. Celebrity chef Tal Ronnen was slated to be the culinary mastermind behind the project.
Unfortunately, it remains unclear why the restaurant never opened. However, we’re sure fans would still be excited to see a restaurant from Ellen and Portia, so maybe they’ll give it another go in the future.
3 Portia Was Too Nervous To Date Ellen At First
Although many fans imagine it was love at first sight for Portia and Ellen, the couple has revealed they didn’t actually start dating right away. Portia once admitted she was too nervous to let Ellen know how she felt during the first year of knowing each other.
“I just walked over to say hello to her, and I couldn’t believe it, but she turned around and it was like an arrow was shot through my heart,” Portia explained during an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, as Huffington Post reports. “I felt weak at the knees and I was [overflowing] with how I felt, but then it took me about 10 months to get the courage up to actually do anything about it.”
2 They Were Both With Other People When They Met
When Portia and Ellen first met, both of them were in different relationships. Ellen had been involved with photographer Alexandra Hedison for years, while Portia was in a relationship with Francesca Gregorini.
Although the pair deny becoming involved until they were single, Ellen has said they both made a conscious decision to end their relationships so they could be together.
"She had a girlfriend and I had a girlfriend, but it wasn't like, 'Oh, we're going to [step out on our partners,]'" Ellen explained in 2005, E! News reports. "We were just supposed to be together. It was a tough decision. I was physically getting sick because I was trying not to say anything. So I told Alex and she told Francesca. It was really hard to uproot everything."
1 They Married As Soon As It Was Legal
Ellen and Portia wasted no time heading to the altar as soon as same-gender marriages were legal in California. The couple tied the knot two months after the Supreme Court of California ruled that the previous ban on same-gender marriages was unconstitutional. Ellen and Portia held the ceremony at their Beverly Hills estate.
“The truth is, and this is corny, I fall more in love with Portia all the time. I really do. She surprises me all the time,” Ellen once explained of their relationship, Huffington Post reports. “It’s what anyone experiences when you find that person that gets you, wants to take care of you, wants the best for you. We’re really lucky because we know how rare it is.”
Sources: OK magazine, The New York Times, People, Globe, Us Weekly, The Huffington Post