Ellen DeGeneres has been accused of tormenting staff at her California mansion and "taking pleasure" in firing them over the smallest errors. A former employee has spoken up about how the talk show host would run her household, and the allegations are further tainting DeGeneres' "nice" image.
"My belief is that someone's real personality comes out at home," the source, who requested to remain anonymous, told Daily Mail. "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."
DeGeneres would reportedly scold her workers for serving food in the wrong bowl, for failing to froth her latte correctly and for placing the salt shaker in the wrong place. One chef was penalized for using a guest toilet while a maid was put in her place after forgetting to put a piece of trash into the recycling bin.
DeGeneres would also allegedly "lay traps" to ensure staff cleaned the entire mansion. According to her former employee, DeGeneres placed matchsticks behind cupboard doors, cushions and bookshelves, and then blasted her workers if she found they did not dust every square inch of her home. She did not keep staff for more than a few months and, in one incident, axed a household manager after two hours.
"Sometimes she would yell at us but it was more about the incredibly condescending tone she would use. She treated you like you were nothing," the source said. "She was going to torture you and you were just going to sit there and listen to it because you were being paid. Ellen was the worst person that I've ever met in my life. She takes pleasure in firing people."
The former employee, who worked for DeGeneres for several months, said initially the talk show host was "charming, funny and perfectly lovely," but her true colors soon began to show. It eventually reached the point where repair and security workers were reluctant to take on contract jobs from DeGeneres.
"When someone came to the house, for example to repair an appliance, she wouldn't hold back. It could be something as simple as the compressor on the refrigerator making too much noise," the source said.
"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. I'm not even kidding, she literally didn't like the way they walked. Also how they opened and closed doors."
The source admitted to always feeling stressed out and on the verge of tears.
"I remember going home sometimes thinking I just hated my life," the former staffer said. "You stick it out because quitting looks bad on your resume but everyone in Hollywood knows what's going on there."
Since leaving the household, the source hasn't looked back.
"I missed the pay check afterwards but felt a sense of relief that I never had to go back there."
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