Ellen DeGeneres opens up to Savannah about being sexually abused as a teen

Ellen DeGeneres said she's "furious" over sexual assault victims like herself not being believed, and opened up about her own history of abuse.

"As a victim of sexual abuse, I am furious at people who don't believe it and who say, 'How do you not remember exactly what day it was?'" she told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie in an interview. "You don't remember those things. What you remember is what happened to you, where you were, and how you feel. That's what you remember."

DeGeneres previously shared her story during an episode of her show that aired Wednesday, whichfeatured actress Busy Philipps, who opened up about being raped when she was 14. Both she and DeGeneres discussed how they were inspired by the Senate testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who said Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school.

DeGeneres told TODAY the issue is a very personal one.

"I was 15 years old. I'm not even going into the details — it doesn't matter — but we are really vulnerable at that age, and we trust," she said. "And then when you are violated, you don't know what to do and you don't want to say anything because first of all, you just start wondering, 'How did this happen, how was I that stupid?' All of these things you think you could have controlled and you can't."

DeGeneres said any survivor of sexual assault who watched Ford testify, and then heard people doubt her story, can't help but get emotional.

"Imagine if Dr. Ford would have been that angry on the stand and would have talked back to somebody questioning her. Women aren't supposed to do that, but he (Kavanaugh) can get away with it because he was angry," she said. "She was angry too, but she controlled herself and was hurt, but she's not allowed to do that, because we're not allowed to do that."

DeGeneres said while she feels hopeful that more people are starting to become aware of the prevalence of sexual assault, she was troubled to see President Trump openly mock Ford during a rally earlier this week.

"I don't like to talk about him," she said. "This is not political. This really isn't. It's got nothing to do with being Republican or Democrat or anything. It's just about respect and someone who is the leader of our country who is mocking someone who was abused. You don't do that. You don't mock somebody."

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Ellen DeGeneres through the years
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Ellen DeGeneres through the years
If These Walls Could Talk 2, An Hbo Films Trilogy Examining The Lesbian Experience In America In Three Different Decades, Debuts Sunday, March 5 At 9:00 P.M. (Et). Pictured: Ellen Degeneres (Who Also Executive Produces) In The Story Entitled '2000.' (Photo By Getty Images)
PASADENA, : Ellen DeGeneres (C), a nominee for an Emmy in the category of Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in 'Ellen,' stands with her mother (R) and her girlfriend Ann Hache as they arrive at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, CA, 14 September. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is organizing the 49th Emmys Award. AFP PHOTO/Kim KULISH (Photo credit should read KIM KULISH/AFP/Getty Images)
If These Walls Could Talk 2, An Hbo Films Trilogy Examining The Lesbian Experience In America In Three Different Decades, Debuts Sunday, March 5 At 9:00 P.M. (Et). Pictured, From Left: Sharon Stone And Ellen Degeneres (Who Also Executive Produces) With Anne Heche, Writer And Director Of The Story Entitled '2000.' (Photo By Getty Images)
Anne Heche, Sharon Stone and Ellen DeGeneres in 'If These Walls Could Talk 2.' Anne Heche wrote and directed the story entitled '2000.' Photo credit: Lorey Sebastian HBO
Host Ellen Degeneres at the 53rd Annual Prime-Time Emmy Awards held at the Shubert Theatre, Los Angeles, CA., Nov. 4, 2001. (photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
399574 88: Actress Ellen DeGeneres speaks during the 28th Annual Peoples Choice Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center January 13, 2002 in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - SEPTEMBER 2: Talk show host Ellen Degeneres appears on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios on September 2, 2003 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 21: Actress Ellen DeGeneres and guest attend the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium September 21, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - APRIL 3: Actor David Spade and comedian Ellen DeGeneres pose backstage during Nickelodeon's 17th Annual Kids' Choice Awards at Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA, April 3, 2004 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JUNE 16: Television show host Ellen Degeneres runs with the Olympic Torch in Los Angeles during U.S. segment of the ATHENS 2004 Olypic Torch Relay June 16, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 5: Actress Ellen DeGeneres arrives at the 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Exposition Center on February 5, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 20: Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres (L) and actress Portia De Rossi arrive at the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Radio City Music Hall May 20, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 20: Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres accepts an award for best talk show at the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Radio City Music Hall May 20, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD , CA - APRIL 28: Actress Portia de Rossi and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres arrive at the 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on April 28, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 26: TV personality Ellen Degeneres participates in a charity tennis shoot out on Arthur Ashe Kid's Day at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on August 26, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 25: Host Ellen DeGeneres wears an oscar onstage during the 79th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on February 25, 2007 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 20: Talk show host/comedian Ellen DeGeneres (C) performs with dancers during a taping of 'Ellen's Even Bigger Really Big Show' during The Comedy Festival at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace November 20, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06: Ellen Degeneres (R) reads to Venus Williams (L) at Venus Williams' book signing during day eight of the 2010 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Ellen Degeneres walks the runway at the Richie Rich Spring 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on September 9, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for IMG)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - JULY 22: TV Personality Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossi arrive at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheatre on July 22, 2012 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Comedienne/talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 4, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: TV personality Ellen DeGeneres (L) and singer Beyonce speak onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: American TV personality Ellen DeGeneres arrives at Sydney Airport on March 22, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. DeGeneres is in Australia to film segments for her TV show, 'Ellen'. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
VAN NUYS, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Television personality and comedian Ellen DeGeneres (L) launches the 'Duracell Power a Smile Program' at the Van Nuys Airport on November 22, 2013 in Van Nuys, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: TV personality Ellen DeGeneres (R) and actor/singer Justin Timberlake attend The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The People's Choice Awards)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: TV personality Ellen DeGeneres (L) and Actress Drew Barrymore attend The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for The People's Choice Awards)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Host Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
'JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: AFTER THE OSCARS(r)' SPECIAL - The 9th annual 'Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars(r)' Special airs Sunday, March 2 after the late local news ET/CT and at 10:00 p.m., PT on ABC. Broadcasting from Disney's El Capitan Theater located on Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of L.A.'s star-studded Walk of Fame, the studio is just steps away from Dolby Theater, home to the Academy Awards(r). (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) PORTIA DE ROSSI, ELLEN DEGENERES, JIMMY KIMMEL
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Host Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Host Ellen DeGeneres onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: HANDOUT – EDITORIAL USE ONLY - In this handout photo provided by Ellen DeGeneres, host Ellen DeGeneres poses for a selfie taken by Bradley Cooper with (clockwise from L-R) Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong'o, Angelina Jolie, Peter Nyong'o Jr. and Bradley Cooper during the 86th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo credit Ellen DeGeneres/Twitter via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 14: Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres are seen on February 14, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actors Portia de Rossi (L) and Ellen DeGeneres attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.(Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)
NEW YORK NY - JUNE 19: Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi sighting on June 19, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 07: TV personality Ellen DeGeneres (L) and actress Portia de Rossi attend The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre LA Live on January 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The People's Choice Awards)
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She then paused and gave a nervous laugh.

"I'm angry. I'm sorry," she said, prompting applause from the audience.

DeGeneres said she feels it's important to use her voice and show as a platform to make a difference.

"If anything, before I stop doing this show someday, I hope that I'm empowering women," she said. "We just have to not be quiet anymore."

Savannah said that following the interview, DeGeneres addressed the audience. "She was in tears," the TODAY host said. "And she said, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry to get emotional, but I felt I said to say something.'"

DeGeneres also talked about her tendency to buy and renovate homes.

"We buy a house and we love it and we stay in it until we get a little bored, because we like a different style or a different aesthetic," she said. "I love furniture and I love decorating, so if I find something else and we make money, it turns out, why not move to another house?"

She joked that part of her love for houses and renovation may stem from growing up as a child who always lived in apartments because her family couldn't afford to buy a house.

"We would look at houses every Sunday," she said. "We would go to open houses and we could never afford a house. As a kid I thought that was going to be my house. So now I just buy as many houses as I can."

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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee
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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee
Christine Blasey Ford attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for her to testify about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Christine Blasey Ford, testifies before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. A professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Rachel Mitchell ask questions to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. A professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo By Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Christine Blasey Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. A professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. In prepared remarks, Ford said, �t is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr. Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court. My responsibility is to tell the truth.� (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Christine Blasey Ford, testifies before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. A professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Senator Benjamin E. Sasse (R-NE) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) talks as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. A professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo By Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in by chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on September 27, 2018, during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, focusing on allegations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford in the early 1980s. (Photo by Tom Williams / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOM WILLIAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in by chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on September 27, 2018, during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, focusing on allegations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford in the early 1980s. (Photo by Tom Williams / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOM WILLIAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Rachel Mitchell, a prosecutor from Arizona, waits for Christine Blasey Ford, to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS
Senate Republicans attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Christine Blasey Ford to testify about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Mike Lee (R-UT) before the start of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Melina Mara/Pool via REUTERS
Senate Republicans attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Christine Blasey Ford to testify about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS
Senators Dianne Feinstein, left, and Richard Durbin attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Christine Blasey Ford to testify about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS
Senators Richard Durbin and Kamala Harris attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Christine Blasey Ford to testify about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS
Phoenix prosecutor Rachel Mitchell listens during opening statements before Christine Blasey Ford testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., September 27, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris talk at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Christine Blasey Ford to testify about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS
Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), committee chairman before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Melina Mara/Pool via REUTERS
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