Portia De Rossi admits hiding she was a lesbian contributed to her eating disorder.

The model-turned-actress - who is married to Ellen Degeneres - spoke of her long-term problems with body image, admitting she thinks she would still be suffering from anorexia nervosa if she hadn't grown to accept herself.

Portia, who started dating Ellen in 2004, told the US TV talk show host: "I think I would have still suffered from an eating disorder if I wasn't coming to terms with my sexuality.

"I really had the eating disorder because I started dieting when I was 12 and because of a lifetime of chronic dieting. But it sure didn't help that I was hiding who I was because who I really was was completely unacceptable, I mean there were no lesbian actresses in the history of acting, I had no real gay role models, it was a very tough time."

Later, when Ellen asked her how she could still finds thing wrong with her body when she weighed just 80 lbs, Portia - who speaks about her problems in her new autobiography 'Unbearable Lightness' - admitted she knew she was underweight but still focused on her perceived flaws.

She said: "I looked in the mirror and I saw that I had very emaciated arms, I saw bones and I knew I was underweight, but my eye went to the inch of fat that I still had on my stomach and I went to my thighs, and it still does, that's kind of what I do when I look in the mirror."

Portia clarified, however, that she is accepting of who she is and her figure today.