Her husband, Mel Metcalfe, left her and broke the marriage of her brother by running away with his wife at the end of the nineties.
Portia de Rossi before Ellen DeGeneres era was a woman with heartache. In her new memoir "Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain", the "Ally McBeal" star revealed her bitter past where her ex-husband ran off with her sister-in-law after three years of marriage.
Portia, who has legally changed her last name to DeGeneres, was married to documentary filmmaker Mel Metcalfe between 1996 to 1999. Metcalfe left her for Renee Kappos, wife of Portia's older brother Michael Rogers. They ended up marrying each other.
Speaking of how his brother's wife came to a relationship with her husband, Portia recalled, "He had married his longtime girlfriend, Renee, just before leaving Australia and the two newlyweds moved into an apartment in the same Melrose Place-style complex that was home to me and Mel."
"The fact that Renee would wear skimpy, lacy underwear clearly visible underneath her oversized, gaping overalls should have indicated to my brother and me that a personal partnership was also forming." She continued, "But when Mel left me and Renee suddenly sabotaged her marriage to my brother to be with Mel. Brother and I were left idiotically scratching our heads in disbelief."
She mended her broken heart by sharing it with Michael. "When my husband left me, my brother moved into my place," she said. "My husband ran off with his wife, so we kept each other company and we liked to go out for margaritas and Mexican food to commiserate."
Despite leading a heterosexual life, Portia was living in denial. "By the end of our first year together, despite my desire to be attracted to him, my latent fear of my real sexuality was simmering and about to boil," she said. Portia arranged for a dissolution of marriage with the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1999 and would later meet singer Francesca Gregorini and dated her for four years before meeting the love of her life, Ellen.