Did Portia De Rossi's Divorce Drive Her to Lesbianism?

Portia DiRossiDid Portia De Rossi's heartbreaking divorce drive her to switch teams? No! Of course it didn’t! But if you could make someone into a lesbian by dumping her in the worst way possible, this would be the test-case.

De Rossi tells the story in her recent memoir, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain. Though mostly a story of her struggles with anorexia, the book can’t help but detail De Rossi’s life and relationships before she married Ellen DeGeneres. Turns out she was married to a dude. And the end of that marriage makes your worst breakup story sound like an episode of Glee.


De Rossi was married to a filmmaker, Mel Metcalfe, from 1996 to 1999. Primarily known for making a supremely creepy documentary about a dollmaker, the guy doesn’t have much of a professional resume (it must bug him that there’s a way more successful Mel Metcalfe who’s an Oscar-nommed sound mixer). But in matters of the heart, he’s got quite the rap-sheet.

To be fair, De Rossi admits that the whole time she was married to Metcalfe, she secretly knew she was truly a lesbian, would make out with other women on the dance floor when she was on a “fun night out,” and regularly fantasized about being married to a neighbor the whole time she was with him. Oh, and she came home from the wedding with a case of shingles.

In fact, when she describes his leaving, it’s more about being desperately afraid to be found out than being heartbroken. “In a way, I loved him,” she admits. “But I loved the roles that we both played a lot more … he was the shield that protected me from the harsh film industry and the shield that prevented me from having to face my real desires.”

So perhaps this was not a match made in heaven. Nevertheless! When Metcalfe left, he left with Renee Kappos, who just happened to be married to De Rossi’s brother. So Portia and her brother were left heartbroken together, as their former spouses drove off in new-relationship bliss. And later moved into the same apartment complex as the heartbreak twins.

Ah, well. All’s fair in love and Hollywood. Metcalf and Kappos are still married, De Rossi is happily coupled with the world’s most adorable talk-show host, and the only one we don’t know about is De Rossi’s brother. Anyone know if he’s okay -- and still straight?

I’m kidding. But go ahead, scold me for pretending people become gay after bad breakups in the comments!

Image via Simon & Schuster

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