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Ellen DeGeneres’ wife Portia de Rossi breaks silence on ‘Ellen’ show scandal

The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been rocked by claims of bullying and sexual harassment.

By Thomas Stichbury

Portia de Rossi has spoken out amid the growing controversy surrounding wife Ellen DeGeneres and her hit US talk show.

In July, a number of former employees came forward to claim they were bullied and sexually harassed while working on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

A Buzzfeed report shared the experiences of workers who described a “toxic” environment pockmarked by intimidation and racism.

Others made accusations of harassment and sexual misconduct against specific producers, which have been denied by the individuals in question.

Although DeGeneres herself wasn’t personally named, stories have since emerged alleging that the presenter is “mean” behind the scenes – at odds with the show’s “be kind” mantra.

Taking to her Instagram, Portia – who married DeGeneres in 2008 after California overturned a ban on same-sex marriage – broke her silence to support her other half.

Sharing a graphic of the words “I Stand By Ellen,” the Arrested Development actress wrote: “To all our fans….we see you. Thank you for your support.”

Portia, 47, also added “#stopbotattacks”, prompting some social media users to clarify that “it’s not bot attacks, her employees are speaking out.”

Last week, DeGeneres issued an apology in a memo to staff obtained by the Press Association.

“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect.

“Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show,” she said.

DeGeneres, 67, added: “I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop.”

The Golden Globe winner referenced her own experiences of coming out as gay in 1997 following a media storm.

“As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or – worse – disregarded,” she continued. “To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.”

Everybody Loves Raymond favourite Brad Garrett, who has appeared as a guest multiple times, recently tweeted that he knew people who had been mistreated on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow,” he said. “Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge.”

Back to the Future actress Leah Thompson commented on his statement with the short, but succinct caption: “True. It is.”

Warner Brothers have launched an internal investigation and staffing changes are expected on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

James Corden has been hotly tipped to take over the reins should DeGeneres step down.