Ellen DeGeneres says becoming the "most hated person in America" affected her marriage to Portia de Rossi.

Ellen DeGeneres says her TV downfall affected her marriage to Portia de Rossi

Ellen DeGeneres says her TV downfall affected her marriage to Portia de Rossi

The 66-year-old TV star entered a downward spiral in 2020 following the publication of claims suggesting there was a "toxic" environment on the set of her long-running 'Ellen DeGeneres Show', which led to the series coming to an end in May 2022 - with Ellen stepping away from the spotlight after the final episode aired.

She returned to the public eye this week with a stand-up show at the Largo in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday (24.04.24) and she admitted it's been a tough few years.

Ellen told the audience: "I got kicked out of show business. There’s no mean people in show business ... [I became the] most hated person in America... the hate went on for a long time and I would try to avoid looking at the news.

"The 'be kind' girl wasn't kind. That was the headline."

According to PEOPLE, Ellen went on to add that she found herself "in a funk" and it started to take a toll on her marriage. She added of her wife of 16 years: "She was watching it happen to me... she went through it with me."

Ellen - who staged a question-and-answer session after her comedy set - said of her downfall: "It’s been such a toll on my ego and my self-esteem. There’s such extremes in this business, people either love you and idolise you or they hate you, and those people somehow are louder."

The comic added: "It was so hurtful. I couldn’t gain perspective. I couldn’t do anything to make myself understand that it wasn’t personal… I just thought, ‘Well this is not the way I wanted to end my career, but this is the way it’s ending.

"I'm making jokes about what happened to me, but it was devastating. It took a long time for me to want to do anything again.

"I just hated the way the show ended. I love that show so much and I just hated that the last time people would see me is that way."

The show was part of 'Ellen’s Last Stand… Up Tour', which will include more dates at the Largo in Los Angeles before heading to other cities in California over the summer.