It's been the year from hell for embattled Ellen DeGeneres, and ending her wildly successful show under the weight of bullying claims is only the beginning.
After being forced to defend herself over claims she's a monster boss to everyone from her assistants and producers to her home security, Woman's Day can reveal she's also staring down the barrel of a divorce from her Aussie wife Portia De Rossi.
Ellen, 63, has admitted she's been staying with longtime friend Courteney Cox in Malibu, and it's believed Portia, 48, is remaining at their Montecito mansion alone.
Ellen has also been spotted out and about not wearing her wedding ring.
"Portia obviously knew Ellen could be a little difficult at times, but always put it down to stress," our source reveals.
"It's not easy being the face of a world-famous show and as an actress, Portia knows entertainment types can be highly strung.
"But as more and more anecdotes and accusations about how mean Ellen supposedly is tumbled out over the past year, Portia was finding it harder to deal with it all."
According to our insider, Ellen "presented a different side of herself" to her wife of 13 years.
"When Portia heard the sorts of accusations being made about Ellen she felt her heart sink," says a source.
"But it was important for the pair to put on a united front – they are married after all, and Ellen's show was their livelihood. But now it's all over, Portia's struggling to find more reasons to stand loyally by her."
In the past two decades, Ellen rose to fame as the first gay woman to host a globally syndicated talk show, hosting a who's who of A-list guests, including Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, the Kardashians and Leonardo DiCaprio.
But in 2020, her empire began to crumble when sexual harassment and misconduct accusations were made against several of her executives, along with claims of a "toxic" work culture on the show.
A Twitter thread with hundreds of posts about Ellen's allegedly cruel behaviour went viral a year ago, including accusations she tried to have a waitress fired over her chipped nail polish, while another person claimed that she has a "sensitive nose" and if she thinks someone smells, she forces them to go home and shower.
It's rumoured she treats her domestic staff just as badly – an insider tells us Ellen sometimes deliberately leaves something under furniture to check if her cleaners are being thorough and "goes crazy on them" if she finds they've missed it.
The MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted team also took a savage swipe at the star last week, including her show in a parody "in memoriam" segment alongside the note, "Ellen's reign of terror 2003-2021".
Portia has seen glimpses of Ellen's less sunny side since they've been together, and often confides in her brother about her misery.
"She's often in tears," says the insider. "There have been problems there for a long time."
But now, our source reveals Portia's patience has run out. "She's worried people will think she's just like Ellen, but the reality is she's nothing like her.
"Portia's kind and sensitive and at first Ellen brought her out of her shell, but now she's walked all over her.
"Now Portia is considering the ramifications of divorce, and she's relishing alone time while Ellen is at Courteney's."
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Now To LoveJul 26, 2021