Speaking to the Mail On Sunday's You Magazine, the Finding Dory star admitted things "turned" on her after coming out publicly in 1997 during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The actor, who is married to Arrested Development star Portia De Rossi, spoke about how anxiety about negative reactions delayed her speaking openly about her sexuality, saying, "worrying about what would happen afterwards is why it took me so long to come out.”
She said: "I was a very insecure person and depended on validation from people who watched my show or my stand-up - validation I felt I’d lose if everybody knew who I really was".
"Afterwards, there were jokes at my expense and I couldn’t turn on the TV at night without some comedian or talk show host making fun of me.
"Not for a minute did I regret doing what I did, but it was hard. There was a whole lot of anger and depression, and it was scary because I was also running out of money.”
Despite the hardships, Ellen wouldn't change a thing, adding that her career now "couldn’t be in a better place".