Ellen DeGeneres accused of calling 11-year-old boy ‘fat and stupid’ before finding fame

New claims follow allegations from staff on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ that the show had a ‘toxic’ work environment

Neil Breen told not to look at Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres has been accused of “bullying” an 11-year-old boy in a pre-fame incident, while she was working as a recruiter in her twenties.

Speaking to DailyMailTV, Ben Gravolet made a series of claims about DeGeneres’s behaviour when she worked in New Orleans at a company owned by his mother, in the late Seventies.

Gravolet alleged that when he was an 11-year-old child and DeGeneres was around 20 years old, she would regularly subject him to insults.

“She would criticise my weight. I would try to do homework in the office, she’d call me stupid, she’d call me fat. She would criticise my clothes,” Gravolet said.

“I was just a boy and this was a grown woman who took pleasure in seeing me become visibly upset.”

Gravolet, now 52 years old, called the television presenter “the meanest, nastiest, most horrible person”.

The Independent has contacted DeGeneres’s representative for comment.

Gravolet’s allegations follow recent claims by staff on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that racism, bullying and sexual harassment were rife behind the scenes.

DeGeneres, who was not personally accused in the allegations to date, subsequently issued an apology to her staff in which she promised that she is “committed to ensuring this does not happen again”.

The show is now undergoing an internal investigation into its workplace environment by WarnerMedia.

A number of celebrities have spoken out in defence of DeGeneres amid mounting criticsm, including Katy Perry, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Hart, and DeGeneres's wife, actor Portia de Rossi.

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