Over the past few weeks, dozens of current and former employees have accused Ellen DeGeneres of turning a blind eye to racism, intimidation, and sexual misconduct on the set of her daytime talk show. Now, things have gotten even worse for DeGeneres, as a former staffer has come forward to accuse her of mistreating the employees in her own household.
The unnamed ex-staffer told Daily Mail that DeGeneres ran her household like a military-style boot camp, berating employees for the smallest of errors and “taking pleasure” in firing them.
“My belief is that someone’s real personality comes out at home,” the former staffer said. “So after everything that has been said about her at work, you can imagine how terrible Ellen is going to be at home when her guard is down. Sometimes she would yell at us but it was more about the incredibly condescending tone she would use. She treated you like you were nothing.”
“She was going to torture you and you were just going to sit there and listen to it because you were being paid,” the ex-staffer added. “Ellen was the worst person that I’ve ever met in my life. She takes pleasure in firing people.”
This former employee spent months working in one of the many Los Angeles, California mansions that DeGeneres has lived in with her wife Portia de Rossi in the past decade. Though it was a lucrative job, with DeGeneres’ assistants earning anything up to $175,000 per year, it also came with a long list of warnings.
“Ellen was a hero of mine. I thought she was an amazing person. But before I took the position, people were warning me not to take it,” the source claimed. “I was told that she had a very high turnover and that I should stay under the radar as much as possible, avoid as much direct contact with Ellen as possible. Working there was described as being more like a boot camp.”
While the former employee liked DeGeneres when they interviewed with her, the harsh reality of the talk show host’s “regime” quickly became clear, with staff confronted each morning with a laundry list of passive aggressive notes listing what the comedian didn’t like about the previous day. “Violations” that DeGeneres would list off included a chef using a guest toilet and a maid forgetting to put a piece of trash in the recycling.
“Ellen is terribly obsessive compulsive and if anything is out of order in her environment she gets upset,” the ex-staffer explained. “There might be 20 to 30 things every day. We are talking about the finest, finest details here – a salt shaker out of place or a light switch left on. She wanted the coffee maker deep cleaned every day after complaining that there was too much or too little froth on her latte.”
“The staff was getting better and better and making fewer mistakes but she couldn’t help herself so she would lay traps,” the source alleged. “She would actually leave matchsticks around the house, behind cupboard doors, cushions or books to see if the staff was cleaning and moving things. One day the staff found around eight of them, all in weird places. The rest of the day became a race to find them all before she got home and fired someone.”
By the time the former staffer was fired months later, they were one of the longest-lasting employees in the home.
“There were numerous people that she fired, rehired, then fired a second time. I heard about a manager who started on a particularly bad day and was fired in the first two hours,” the source said. “I would never cry in front of them but I was always stressed out and on the verge of tears. I remember going home sometimes thinking I just hated my life.”
“You stick it out because quitting looks bad on your resume but everyone in Hollywood knows what’s going on there,” the source added. “I missed the pay check afterwards but felt a sense of relief that I never had to go back there.”
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