Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres fell in love at first sight.
They hit it off immediately after meeting backstage at a concert in 2001, and DeGeneres and de Rossi have been together ever since. Nevertheless, de Rossi hadn’t yet publicly acknowledged her sexual orientation, so DeGeneres was in the dark about how the Ally McBeal star really felt. After three years of trying, the two were finally able to express their emotions for one another.
They met again at a party in 2004 and started dating soon after. DeGeneres had already declared de Rossi to be her soulmate the following year. They finally were married once homosexual marriage was legalized in California in 2008. Since then, their love has only increased.
“She’s the most selfless and giving person I’ve ever met, as well as the most loving, loyal, and trustworthy. She is an exceptional person indeed. Sometimes I can feel it rubbing off on me “as de Rossi informed PEOPLE in 2021. Here’s the full story on Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, from their first meeting to their charitable work together.
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi First Meet
Both DeGeneres and de Rossi first crossed paths in 2001 at a Rock the Vote event. Although de Rossi had not yet come out as a lesbian, she recalled that she felt a strong connection to her partner upon meeting her. “I remember thinking that she was the greatest, most fascinating, beautiful, funny person I’d ever met,” she recalled telling PEOPLE.
Even though they exchanged a few words during the concert and saw one other frequently in the following years, it took them a while to admit their feelings for one another.
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According to an interview de Rossi gave with Oprah Winfrey in 2009, the couple met online and he “knew she was the one for me” at first sight. “Unfortunately, I was on Ally McBeal and not out as homosexual for those three years, so I didn’t tell her how I felt until after I had left the show. I hid my sexual orientation out of fear for the fate of my work if anyone found out. Thus, I didn’t see myself dating the most well-known lesbian in the world.”
Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi Cross Paths Again and Begin Dating
In 2004, DeGeneres and de Rossi crossed paths again, an encounter that de Rossi would subsequently describe as life-altering.
“About a year ago, I stumbled across Ellen at a picture session and she took my breath away,” de Rossi told The Advocate in 2005. “It had never occurred to me before that I would meet someone and have the kind of encounter that is described in songs and poems. As a result, my knees began to buckle. It was incredible. And after that, it was tough for me to stop thinking about her.”
The comedian and the Arrested Development star were both in committed relationships with other people at the time, with de Rossi dating singer Francesca Gregorini and DeGeneres with photographer Alexandra Hedison. Both DeGeneres and de Rossi ended their relationships before to starting theirs.
“We both had significant others, but there was never any thought that we would have an affair. Our only plan was to spend time together “DeGeneres revealed this to PEOPLE in 2005. “Choosing between the two was challenging. The pressure to be silent was so great that I began to feel ill. Alex was then directed to tell Francesca what I had said. The process of uprooting was arduous.”
Portia De Rossi Opens Up About Her Relationship With Ellen Degeneres
In an interview with The Advocate, de Rossi discussed her romance with DeGeneres some months after coming out privately. Their “incredibly respectful, very loving, tranquil connection” made her feel “not alone” for the first time in her life, she said.
As a public figure, De Rossi discussed how coming out as LGBT affected her career.
To her ex-girlfriend, “my affection for her overrode all of my worry of being out as a lesbian,” she revealed her sexual orientation. “I knew I had to be with her, and I planned to deal with the rest of the problems when I got a chance. Having a public relationship is challenging. It’s challenging enough to have a semi-public existence, let alone share it with someone who is so well-known and well-liked. Also, it’s quite thrilling.”
Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi Announce Their Engagement
After the Supreme Court of California overturned a law prohibiting same-sex marriage, DeGeneres planned to propose to de Rossi at their commitment ceremony. On Ellen DeGeneres’s show, she broke the news of their engagement.
“Ellen was going to surprise me with a commitment ceremony during a combined birthday party that we were going to have,” de Rossi said later on The Oprah Show. “We settled on August 16 since that was when homosexual marriage in California was finally legalized. We had planned on having a ceremony, but the sudden gift of legality was unexpected.”
Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi Wed
DeGeneres and de Rossi wed three months later in a small ceremony at their Los Angeles home. There were 19 people present, including DeGeneres’ mother Betty DeGeneres, and de Rossi’s mother Margaret Rogers, who traveled all the way from Australia to be there.
For their afternoon ceremony, the bride and groom wore unique creations by Zac Posen and exchanged rings by Neil Lane.
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Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi Are Happy to Be Together for 18 Years
DeGeneres and de Rossi celebrated another anniversary, 18 years together, in December 2022.
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A former talk show presenter writes a heartfelt anniversary letter to a husband, “Today marks the beginning of year 18 of our marriage. The longer I spend with her, the more I fall in love with her. Having her love in my life is something I will always cherish.”
DeGeneres paid another tribute to de Rossi on National Coming Out Day a few months prior. “The decision to come out was the best one I’ve made. Here’s what I’ve gotten as a result. #NationalComingOutDay, “she captioned a picture of herself and de Rossi on a beach and wrote.
On January 31, 2023, Ellen Degeneres Celebrates Portia De Rossi’s 50th Birthday
DeGeneres made a post to Instagram in honor of de Rossi’s big birthday. “Portia, I hope you have a wonderful birthday. Bless you, “Her wife’s photo has a caption written by her.
Ellen DeGeneres Reveals she and Portia de Rossi Renewed Their Vows
In an unexpected move, Arrested Development star Jason Bateman renewed his wedding vows to Ellen DeGeneres at Portia de Rossi’s birthday celebration. Kris Jenner presided over the event, and Brandi Carlile sang a special song. DeGeneres shared a clip from the party on her Instagram showing de Rossi, still dressed in the Zac Posen wedding gown she wore to her and DeGeneres’ 2008 nuptials, searching for her former co-host among the audience.
“Surprise! In fact, you needn’t say a thing “When the ceremony began, De Rossi made his remarks. DeGeneres called her husband “the greatest gift” in the post and encouraged fans to watch the complete video on YouTube.
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