Busy Philipps and Ellen DeGeneres Reflect on the "Unoriginal Horror" of Their Sexual Assaults
"When I saw her standing there speaking her truth after 30 years, I was like it's been 25 for me and I can do this," said Philipps about how Christine Blasey Ford inspired her to open up about her own rape.
Busy Philipps opened up about being raped at the age of 14 when visiting The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday. The actress took to Instagram last week to tell her story in light of Christine Blasey Ford's testimony against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Philipps details the rape in her upcoming memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little. "I've been kind of waiting my whole life for someone to ask me to write a book about myself," said Philipps. "I did want to have it be a little bit revealing because I feel like there are the fun Hollywood stories — I've been an actor in this business since I was 19 years old and there's all that fun stuff — but I also was really interested in where I came from and sort of the harder things in my life that I've faced.
"Last week with the Kavanaugh hearings, I saw Dr. Ford take the stand and I write about my own experience being raped at age 14 and I was so moved by her bravery," she said. "It wasn't something that I felt like I was every gonna blast out on social media, but when I saw her standing there speaking her truth after 30 years, I was like it's been 25 for me and I can do this."
She continued, "We can all do this and I feel like it's politically, whatever you believe, I feel like it's a real moment of reckoning for women that we have sort of collectively carried this burden for so long and it's time to share it." The statement earned Philipps a round of applause from the host and audience.
"It was hard and really, really scary," she said about sharing her story. The Instagram post, which includes a photo of Phillips at 14, appeared onscreen. "I have a 10-year-old, so when I look at that baby, I'm like seeing my kid."
When DeGeneres pointed out how horrible her experience was, Philipps responded, "It's sadly the most unoriginal horror."
The host then shared that she also is a survivor of sexual assault. "I was 15 and I had something happen to me and when I watched Dr. Ford, anyone who's had something happen to them, you just get so angry when someone doesn't believe you or say, 'Why did you wait so long?'" she said. "It's because we're girls and we're taught not to say anything and go along with it."
DeGeneres then asked the audience members to raise their hands if they had ever been sexually assaulted. While the camera didn't show the audience members, DeGeneres noted that some people may not have felt comfortable to raise their hands.
"I don't know if I would have until last, you know, I mean, I've struggled with it for so long," said Philipps. "And even when I wrote the chapter in my book, I had in my head an escape plan, which was that it doesn't have to go into the book if I panic and don't want to put it out into the world."
"I'm so sorry that happened to you. I'm so sorry that it happened to all of us," she continued. "We can do better for our kids and the next generation and we will, right?"
Philipps also reflected on why it took her so long to tell her family what happened. "I told my parents and my older sister five months ago when the book was finished and I had come to peace with that I was going to speak my truth," she said. The actress added that her mother felt that she had failed to protect her daughter. "But I was like, 'But mom, you're really the hero of my book. Like she really is. She was there for me and without her I wouldn't be sitting here with you."
"I think that this conversation needs to happen more and people need to first of all teach your children to speak up and don't ever keep something in and don't ever be ashamed and think that it's your problem and your fault," concluded DeGeneres at the end of the interview. "Because it is never your fault. You were a child."
Watch the full interview below.