20 Crazy Secrets About Ellen DeGeneres And Portia De Rossi’s Marriage

It’s not easy being a Hollywood power couple. Even those that have the most stable, bedrock relationships can show signs of strain from the relentless paparazzi and fame cycle.

It’s even more difficult to maintain a level perspective on everything when you’re a public figure that’s on television almost every day of the week.

Whether it was their intention or not, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have been catapulted into role models ever since their relationship was announced in 2004.

Once DeGeneres and de Rossi became an item, there’s been no turning back and the two have only become a more adorable, caring couple.

It’s difficult to stay together in Hollywood and even some of the most perfect couples have fallen apart once they’ve gone through the test of time. While countless actors hook up with new people and the constant stream of rumors continues, DeGeneres and de Rossi have quietly been strengthening their union.

The two have famously been married for over nine years, nearly together for fifteen, and still show no signs of slowing down.

In honor of their consistently beautiful relationship, here are the 20 Crazy Secrets About Ellen DeGeneres And Portia De Rossi’s Marriage.

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20 Their First Date Was In A Car

Portia De Rossi Ellen DeGeneres In Car

Couples never forget their first date and it’s easy to heap a lot of expectations on what should simply be a romantic start to a relationship.

There’s even more pressure in place for famous people who are on dates because it’s important to make a good impression and impress these people. It’s not always easy to make a big splash and get on someone’s radar.

In the case of DeGeneres and de Rossi, due to de Rossi not being out as gay yet when she and DeGeneres began their relationship, she wasn’t comfortable out in public for their first date.

Accordingly, they spent their first date just driving around town in a car, getting to know each other, and staying out of the spotlight.

It didn’t matter where they were, they were just happy to be alone together.

19 Rumors Circulated Saying That They Were Breaking Up

DeGeneres De Rossi Cold Look

Every single celebrity couple that’s out there has to deal with nasty rumors that put the stability of their relationship up for debate.

Due to DeGeneres and de Rossi sharing such an amicable, ironclad relationship, it’s easy for them to become a target for tabloids and rumors.

In recent years, rumors have intensified a little, but the two remain to be in a healthy place romantically.

In spite of this, in 2014 de Rossi spent time in rehab for substance abuse issues. This separation of sorts didn’t help instill confidence. There were also reports of their relationship being quite contentious to the point where DeGeneres would call the shots and control the passive, compliant de Rossi.

There were also rumors that apparently de Rossi has a secret bachelorette pad outside of their home, but it’s still just hearsay. The two do own a lot of property, after all.

18 DeGeneres Went Through A Painful Childhood

Ellen DeGeneres Terse Face

DeGeneres might be one of the top female comedians from her generation, but she actually suffers from quite the pained childhood. DeGeneres went through the terrible trauma of suffering abuse from her stepfather.

Obviously this was a weight on her for many years, but when she came out as a lesbian, she was severely bullied and went through major bouts of depression as a result.

None of this was easy to deal with, but it’s all helped DeGeneres form her unique perspective that’s fundamental to who she is.

In spite of this, it’s rather touching that DeGeneres can provide a catharsis of sorts for the many guests that are on her show.

Even though the subject matter is typically lighter in nature and more pop culture-based, there are still plenty of wounded individuals who she’s been able to help through her talk show.

17 There's a 15-Year Age Difference Between Them

“Age is just a number” is a phrase that often gets thrown around between May-December romances, but it’s even more prevalent throughout Hollywood.

It takes such an interesting type of individual to become an actor for a living that it should come as no surprise that some of the romantic pairings amongst celebrities are all over the place.

Love knows no bounds after all, and the heart wants what it wants, even if that might sometimes result in awkward glances.

DeGeneres is 15 years de Rossi’s senior, but age has never really been a concern for the two of them. The only time their respective ages were ever an “issue” is when the two of them were briefly contemplating starting a family.

Once that was no longer an issue, the decade and a half between the two of them never led to any conflict.

16 DeGeneres Was In A Relationship When They Got Together

It’s easy to look past transgressions in relationships when it results in two awesome people ending up together. The truth is that everyone is human and mistakes happen.

It’s just as important to get those temptations out of the way early in the relationship.

It’s one thing when straying outside the boundaries can lead to a beautiful new relationship, but it’s a very different look when it’s a mid-life crisis.

The reality of the situation is that when DeGeneres and de Rossi shared their first kiss, Ellen actually had a live-in girlfriend at the time, Alexandra Hedison.

DeGeneres and Hedison had even gone as far as celebrating a commitment ceremony together.

DeGeneres eventually dumped Hedison for de Rossi, but Hedison would eventually get together with Jodie Foster, so it looks like this all worked out for everyone.

15 They Have A Lot Of Pets

There are persistent rumors about Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi getting children that will probably always be out there, but something that’s not a rumor and is hard truth is their love and affinity for pets.

In fact, the two even have a dog named “Kid,” just so they can respond with, “We already have a Kid.”

DeGeneres and de Rossi have a true affinity for animals and will often be seen walking their many tiny beasts together. Between the two of them, they have four dogs (Auggie, Wolf, Mabel, and Kid) and three cats (Charlie, George, and Chairman), most of which are rescues.

If that wasn’t enough, DeGeneres has even become the part owner of the all-natural pet food company, Halo Purely for Pets. That should act as definitive proof of just how much these two care about animals and want to make sure that they’re safe.

14 DeGeneres Announced Their Engagement On Her Television Show

Part of the talk show game is all about having  moments that will be talked about the next day or already be viral online by the next morning.

It’s not unusual for shows like Ellen’s talk show to build to huge confessions, announcements, or reunions between famous people, but Ellen really created a special moment in television history during a famous episode that aired in 2008.

The excitement around this installment didn't have anything to do with a big guest, but rather what DeGeneres herself revealed to the audience: she and de Rossi were officially engaged to be married.

The episode came right after the California Supreme Court’s decision to overturn their ruling ongaymarriages. DeGeneres has always been very open and close with her audience, but this is one of the best examples of that relationship.

13 De Rossi Was Married Once Before

It can sometimes be difficult for celebrities to look past the previous relationships of their lovers, but DeGeneres and de Rossi both have rather modest romantic histories.

While the previous relationships of the two are no secret, a detail that does often get lost in the shuffle is that de Rossi was actually married once before her wedding with DeGeneres.

Portia de Rossi was married to filmmaker Mel Metcalfe for three years, yet their union felt suspicious for many people. Some even went so far as to speculate that the marriage was simply so de Rossi could obtain a green card.

For what it’s worth, DeGeneres also had a beard in the ‘90s-- Johnathon Schaech. So they’ve both been through similar experiences of knowing what a “compromised” relationship is like.

12 DeGeneres Was Originally Going To Surprise De Rossi With A Commitment Ceremony

DeGeneres and de Rossi celebrated a beautiful, private wedding ceremony in 2008, but before the California Supreme Court had made gay marriage legal, DeGeneres had another plan that she was ready to put in motion.

DeGeneres and de Rossi have a very playful relationship with one another, so the idea of DeGeneres wanting to surprise de Rossi with an engagement feels pretty appropriate for their dynamic.

Since the two of them both have birthdays in late January, the two were planning to celebrate a joint birthday that year.

It was there that DeGeneres was ready to surprise her girlfriend with a commitment ceremony.

While this is an incredibly sweet gesture, DeGeneres ultimately thought a marriage would be a more momentous occasion and her plans made a slight pivot.

11 It Was Love At First Sight

The whole “love at first sight” cliché can be awfully annoying in a lot of circumstances or even downright questionable. It always makes for such a romantic story, but how often is it actually the truth?

With two people like Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, it just makes sense that they fell in love at first sight. Of course they did. It’s just another cute detail about their relationship.

This romantic meet-cute took place when de Rossi met DeGeneres for the first time at VH1’s Big in ’04 Awards.

The most endearing thing about this first encounter is that de Rossi wasn’t even publicly out as gay at the time, but DeGeneres just stirred something inside of her that helped her make up her mind about her orientation. Four years later, they were married.

10 They Got Married In Their Own Home In A Private Ceremony

When it comes to celebrity weddings, it feels like there’s no middle ground. The elite of Hollywood either go the extravagant route and make the ceremony as lavish as possible or they try to stay out of the spotlight and turn the event into a more private, intimate affair.

While both styles have their pros and cons, DeGeneres and de Rossi took the more humble route and couldn’t have been happier with their decision.

There were only 19 guests in attendance, but they were originally going to make it a much more exaggerated affair until Ryan Seacrest, of all people, talked them out of it

DeGeneres and de Rossi finally got married in August of 2008.

In spite of the private nature of their wedding, paparazzi still tried to invade and get pictures. Perhaps to get ahead of this, Ellen publicly shared footage of the ceremony on her talk show.

9 Their First Kiss Was In The Back Of A Limo

De Rossi DeGeneres First Kiss Results

The beautiful thing about first kisses is that it doesn’t matter where they happen. What’s important is the two parties who are involved. Whether the kiss takes place at sunset on the top of a mountain or after tripping into a bag of garbage, any backdrop can be made romantic after a successful first kiss.

The first time that DeGeneres and de Rossi locked lips feels very Hollywood in nature, but that’s certainly appropriate for this power couple.

The kiss took place in a limo on the way back from the MTV Video Awards, and it just goes to show that romance can strike anywhere.

There was actually some more light shed on this moment during an episode of Ellen where she plays a game of "Never Have I Ever" with George Clooney and Rihanna, which leads to them all admitting they’ve gotten busy in a limo.

8 They Have A "No Lies" Rule

It’s never surprising to hear that couples that have been together for as long as DeGeneres and de Rossi have subscribe to certain rules or bonds to make their relationship work.

Some of these rules may feel redundant, but it’s often helpful to verbalize such things simply because they feel like so natural.

For example, DeGeneres and de Rossi have a strict “no lies” rule that they never stray away from.

The two won’t even tell miniscule, white lies to one another.

Such transgressions might seem relatively harmless, but it can begin a slippery slope of dishonesty and why be dishonest to any degree if it can be avoided?

Something as simple as this might not seem that important in the end, but if DeGeneres and de Rossi were more relaxed on this topic, maybe tiny omissions would have eroded away with their relationship years ago.

7 They’ve Helped Each Other Through Their Respective Traumas

De Rossi DeGeneres Ellen Show Cry

Celebrity couples can sometimes get so caught up in their own careers that marriages can still feel lonely and isolating.

Thankfully, DeGeneres and de Rossi seem to have figured out a system and schedule that allows the both of them to flourish. It may not be perfect, but it allows them both to give one another the help that they need.

De Rossi has struggled with severe eating disorder issues and has also had problems with substance abuse, too. This in conjunction with DeGeneres’ struggles with depression, has led to the two of them teaching each other how to be more confident, move on from their pain, and understand that there are ways to be strong other than being tough and independent.

De Rossi even gets into this in great detail in her book, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain.

6 They Don't Exchange Gifts For Holidays

Gift giving can be a nightmare for regular people, but it most be even more infuriating for people like Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, who basically have everything.

For that very reason, the two decided to forego typical gift giving customs. The couple no longer exchange presents during Christmas, Valentine's Day, or birthdays because "love and respect" is all that they need.

Now, that doesn't mean that they never give each other presents, it just means that they're more spontaneous with it and incorporate it into everyday life rather than needing holidays to designate when.

While the “no gifts on holidays” rule is mostly adhered to, there are still special occasions where these two can break bad.

When DeGeneres turned sixty years old, de Rossi surprised her on her talk show by gifting her a gorilla sanctuary.

The pressure is certainly on DeGeneres for when de Rossi turns sixty.

5 They Both Decided To Go Vegan Together

It can be a lot easier to make dietary changes or take up a new form of exercise when your significant other is also tackling the challenge along your side.

In 2008, DeGeneres and de Rossi officially became vegan and have never looked back. DeGeneres made the choice after educating herself on what happens with factory farming and animal cruelty.

In 2012, de Rossi was so passionate about the topic that she even wrote an essay on the subject.

In it, she breaks down the pivotal moment on a farm that made her change her ways.

The two have also become animal rights activists and helped get the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act get passed in California.

They have also both been awarded with the Humane Society of the United States' prestigious Wyler Award and DeGeneres has also been named PETA's Woman of the Year and PETCO Foundation's HOPE Award.

4 They Love To Prank One Another

De Rossi DeGeneres Ellen Show Bad Hair Day Prank

A loving relationship means nothing if the two people in the union can’t handle or appreciate a good prank. Love is about sharing those feelings of embarrassment and silliness. Every good couple should also be great pranksters.

DeGeneres is well known for the pranks that she pulls on her talk show, but that prank passion also extends into her marriage, too.

There was an infamous situation in November of 2013 when DeGeneres hid for two hours in a cupboard with the hopes of pranking her wife, only to eventually learn that de Rossi herself was already hiding in a closet to prank her.

Does it get any more perfect than that? They've also shared "private" videos of each other working out as a means of revenge on each other. These two still keep at it and let this loving prank war continue to play out in the public eye.

3 De Rossi Changed Her Name Two Years Into Their Marriage

The topic of adopting the spouse’s last name is often a controversial one within Hollywood. Often celebrities worry about losing their name recognition if they suddenly take on a new surname.

It’s a silly thing to lose sleep over, though, as the celebrity is still the exact same person, but even to this day it still leads to a plenty of debate. A lot of the time, a modest compromise is a hyphenated last name, but even that gives some celebrities cold feet.

Curiously, in the case of DeGeneres and de Rossi, it took de Rossi two years after initially getting married, but in 2010 she finally filed paperwork to change her name from Portia de Rossi to Portia Lee James DeGeneres.

Professionally, de Rossi makes a bit of a compromise here. She still uses Portia de Rossi for professional and career purposes, but otherwise the name change is official.

2 They Enjoy Doing Puzzles Together

It’s easy to lose sight of the simpler pleasures in life when a relationship is made up of two people who are both super famous in their own rights.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are so affluent and carry such access that they could spend their free time not only doing whatever they want, but with whoever they want (the couple are good friends with the Kardashians, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez, and many others).

Whether the two simply outgrew the cushier aspects of fame or are just people who appreciate a good brain workout, DeGeneres and de Rossi carry a real torch for puzzles.

DeGeneres and de Rossi will often spend their chill time at home doing a good puzzle because it turns into a rather intimate activity.

It’s just two people working together on building something and it’s a creative way to compliment a good conversation.

1 They Don’t Have Any Children

Babies are always a steady rumor topic for celebrities, regardless of their orientation. While many gay couples will resort to adoption, it’s not unusual for some marriages to remain childless.

In fact, it requires a certain level of awareness to understand that your schedule is too busy to be ideal for children. DeGeneres and de Rossi have been consistent with their take on the whole topic, but it’s remained an area that the tabloids and press circle back to every few years.

In 2009, there were rumors that de Rossi attempted in vitro fertilization, but she soon squashed all of that as nothing more than rumors.

Even in DeGeneres' 2011 book, Seriously... I'm Kidding, she tries to put an end to the topic once and for all by saying that it’s not going to happen.

She jokes that their reason is that there's too much breakable stuff in their house.


Can you think of any other secrets about Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's marriage? Sound off in the comments and let your voice be head!

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