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Queerty: Former housekeeper breaks silence about working in Ellen’s hell house, says “I just hated my life”


Another day, another story about how awful Ellen Degeneres is. This time, it’s one of her former housekeepers speaking out about alleged abuse they suffered at the hands of the embattled daytime talk show host.

Now, we have to say right off that bat that the accusations are pretty ridiculous and unbelievable. Then, again, we’re not entirely sure what to believe anymore. It is 2020, after all.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, the unnamed former housekeeper claims Ellen ran her household like a military-style boot camp, barking orders at employees, setting traps to catch them making mistakes, and taking pleasure in firing them when they messed up.

“Before I took the position, people were warning me not to take it,” the source says. “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.”

Each morning, household workers were allegedly given an itemized list of all the things they had done wrong the previous day. Offenses, called “violations,” ranged from serving food in the wrong bowl to not making sure there was enough froth in Ellen’s daily latte.

“There might be 20 to 30 things every day,” the source says. “We are talking about the finest, finest details here. A salt shaker out of place or a light switch left on.”

One time, Ellen allegedly scolded a chef for using the guest bathroom rather than the toilet designated for “the help.” Another time she allegedly got angry at a maid for putting a piece of trash in the recycling bin.

“She treated you like you were nothing.”

The former housekeeper goes on to say that, as the staff got better at their jobs, Ellen began laying traps to catch them messing up so she could have a reason to chastise them.

“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.”

She also enjoyed yelling at them until they cried.

“She was going to torture you and you were just going to sit there and listen to it because you were being paid,” the source says. “I remember going home sometimes thinking I just hated my life.”

According to the former housekeeper, hardly anyone lasted on the job for more than a few weeks. Some didn’t even make it through one shift.

“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.”

But it wasn’t just household workers who suffered. Repairmen, security guards, and other contractors were all mistreated.

“One of the top security firms in Hollywood terminated their contract with her. Some of criticisms I heard were that she didn’t like the way they walked,” the source says. “I’m not even kidding, she literally didn’t like the way they walked. Also how they opened and closed doors.”

Like almost everyone else, the former housekeeper was eventually fired by Ellen after a couple of months on the job. By then, they were one of the longest-serving members on staff.

“You stick it out because quitting looks bad on your resume but everyone in Hollywood knows what’s going on there. I missed the pay check afterwards but felt a sense of relief that I never had to go back there.”

The source continues, “Ellen was the worst person that I’ve ever met in my life. She takes pleasure in firing people.”

“My belief is that someone’s real personality comes out at home. 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.”

Queerty