Portia De Rossi Romantic History: Who She Dated Before Ellen DeGeneres – Hollywood Life

Portia De Rossi’s Past Relationships: Everyone She Was Connected With Before She Married Ellen DeGeneres

Portia de Rossi fell in love, more than once, before she found her happily ever after with Ellen DeGeneres. Here's a complete breakdown of Portia's romantic history.

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  • Portia de Rossi is an actress who appeared in ‘Ally McBeal’, ‘Arrested Development,’ and more.
  • She’s been married to Ellen DeGeneres since 2008.
  • She was married to a man, and dated at least two women, before she met Ellen.

Portia de Rossi, 50, has been happily married to Ellen DeGeneres, 65, since 2008, and the two of them couldn’t be more in love. But this wasn’t the first serious relationship for either woman in their life. While Ellen notably dated the late Anne Heche, Portia was actually married to a man years before she met the comedian. After getting divorced, Portia started to explore the lesbian dating scene, before her love story with Ellen began in 2004. Four years later, the two were married, and the rest is history!

But what about the others who Portia loved before Ellen? We have a complete breakdown of Portia’s romantic history leading up to, and including, her relationship with Ellen. Find out more below!

Mel Matcalfe

Portia was married to documentary filmmaker Mel Metcalfe from 1996 to 1999, before she was out as a lesbian. Portia, who is Australian, has admitted that she initially married Mel to get a green card, but she didn’t end up going through with that plan. The Arrested Development star revealed in her memoir, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, that Mel left her for Portia’s brother Michael Rogers‘ wife, Renee Kappos. “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,” Portia wrote in her memoir, according to HuffPost.

Guinevere Turner

Guinevere Turner
Guinevere Turner (Photo: MediaPunch/Shutterstock)

After her divorce, Portia briefly dated the first woman in her life, actress and screenwriter Guinevere Turner. Portia was starring on Ally McBeal at the time and she was still in the closet. Guinevere reflected on her relationship with Portia during an interview on the Hot Takes & Deep Dives podcast in September 2022. “Portia and I dated for a while. When I dated her, it was before she became vice lesbian of the universe,” Guinevere joked. She explained that Portia was “struggling” with an eating disorder with her Ally McBeal co-star, Calista Flockhart, at the time. Guinevere also said that Portia not being out as a lesbian affected their relationship. “It was hard for me to be with someone who wasn’t out. But I wasn’t judging her for it,” she said.

When asked what she and Portia had in common, Guinevere said on the podcast that the Scandal star was “really funny and fun.” She also said, “We talked about books and movies. She’s just really smart and fun to hang out with.” Guinevere shared a bit more about why the relationship didn’t work. “I think she thought I judged her because my whole thing was being out. But I just didn’t know any better,” she said. “No one ever told me that once you come out, you don’t go back in.”

Francesca Gregorini

Francesca Gregorini
Portia De Rossi and Francesca Gregorini (Photo: Chris Weeks/AP/Shutterstock)

After her split from Guinevere, Portia dated Italian director Francesca Gregorini, 54, from 2001 to 2004. Francesca is the daughter of actress Barbara Bach and stepdaughter of Ringo Starr. While Portia and Francesca dated, paparazzi took photos of the pair together and the world learned that Portia was a lesbian. But Portia never confirmed that she was a lesbian until she was with Ellen.

Portia eventually dumped Francesca for Ellen, which Francesca talked about in a January 2014 interview with The Advocate. “It was pretty harrowing,” said Francesca. “I’ve never really talked about it, and I want to be respectful to all the players — and, to be honest, I’ve definitely made my peace. Portia and I are friends, I’m friends with Ellen.”

Ellen DeGeneres

Portia de Rossi
Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres at the 2020 Golden Globes (Photo: Shutterstock)

Portia and Ellen’s love story began in 2004 at VH1’s Big in ’04 Awards. They made their red carpet debut as a couple at the 2005 HBO Golden Globe Awards party. Later in the year, around when the couple moved in together in LA, Portia opened up about what it meant to be a gay woman in Hollywood in an interview with The Advocate. “Believe me, I had a very, very long and difficult struggle with my sexuality,” she said, which was the first time she spoke openly about her sexuality and relationship with Ellen.

Portia and Ellen got married in 2008 after the Supreme Court of California legalized marriage for same-sex couples. Two years later, Portia legally changed her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres, though she still goes by Portia de Rossi professionally. In 2020, Portia supported her wife as the talk show host faced multiple allegations of contributing to a “toxic work culture.” Portia wrote on Instagram, “I Stand By Ellen. “To all our fans …. we see you. Thank you for your support. #stopbotattacks.” Portia again supported Ellen when The Ellen DeGeneres Show ended after 19 seasons in May 2022.