Portia De Rossi has confessed she struggled to understand her sexuality and wishes she'd had an openly lesbian role model in public life she could have looked up to.
Portia De Rossi ''didn't want'' to be a lesbian.
The 40-year-old actress was very nervous about publicly coming out, something she did in 2005, because she always thought that being gay was ''strange'' and also because she didn't know any famous women who were openly lesbians.
In a revealing interview on 'The Conversation With Amanda De Cadenet', she said: ''I just didn't want to be a lesbian. I'd never met one for a start and I just thought they were strange and that they hated men and they were very serious and I had these ridiculous images in my head and there were no out celebrities or politicians or anybody that I could look to and go, 'Oh, I could be like that'. There was nobody that I could say, 'I could date her and I want to be like her.'
''I just kind of thought I don't want to live like this. I don't have to, I don't need to, I just shut down the emotional life.''
Not coming out had a very negative effect on Portia's life.
The actress battled different eating disorders while she was starring in 'Ally McBeal' from 1998 to 2002, and she believes they were symptoms of her hiding her sexuality.
She explained: ''The thing that kept me company was my eating disorder. It was like a lover, it was like somebody who never ever left me. Like a thought that would always keep me excited, interested and focused. It's adrenaline.''
Portia has been happily married to 55-year-old chat show host Ellen Degeneres since August 2008.
'The Conversation With Amanda De Cadenet' airs on Lifetime in the UK on Monday (04.11.13) and in the US on Sundays from November 10.
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.
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