“She was just degrading to people,” he says, referring to her show as “a place of active trauma for me.”
Greyson Chance just revealed how he really feels about Ellen DeGeneres … and, well, it’s not a pretty picture.
In a bombshell interview with Rolling Stone, the 25-year-old singer claimed he had “never met someone more manipulative, more self-centered and more blatantly opportunistic than her,” in the years after he broke out big on her show way back in 2010. At the time, DeGeneres had Chance on as a guest after a video of the Oklahoma native singing Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” for a school performance went viral.
“We just couldn’t believe what was happening,” he told the publication. “We were so unsure of what we were getting into, and the person that helped cure all of that skepticism and chaotic energy was Ellen.”
DeGeneres allegedly promised to him, “I’m going to protect you. I’m going to be here for you. We’re going to do this together” — before signing him to her record label and setting him up with a whole team of managers, publicists and agents.
He claimed that after releasing an EP and starting to tour, her behavior became “domineering and way too controlling” and said she even berated his mother when he couldn’t make time to watch a Justin Bieber documentary she thought he should watch for career advice.
Chance said she would also control what he wore and recalled a moment where she allegedly yelled at his stylists for suggesting he wear a leather jacket — as it went against her vegan lifestyle.
“She would come in and look at a rack, yell at stylists, berate people in front of me and say, ‘This is what you’re wearing on the show,'” he claimed. “She was just degrading to people.”
He went on to say that DeGeneres “completely abandoned” him when his 2012 album was not the success they were hoping for. After he was dropped by his label, he said he “couldn’t get ahold of her. Couldn’t talk to her.”
Chance did, however, continue to make appearances on “Ellen” over the years, though he now calls the show “a place of active trauma for me.”
“Whenever I would come on the show, it was such a fake smile. She wouldn’t even ask, ‘How are you doing? How are you holding up?’ It was just like, ‘Here’s what we’re going to talk about. We’ll see you on there,'” he said, claiming the two didn’t even speak backstage.
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He also expressed frustration with DeGeneres saying she was proud of him for coming out as gay — telling Rolling Stone, “She had nothing to do with that. … [When I came out,] I hadn’t spoken to her in years … That’s so messed up, that you’re now showing the world as if we’re so tight, we’re so good. And behind the scenes, you are this insanely manipulative person.”
Chance continued, “When I look at the interviews and I look at my eyes, I can see so much anxiety. I can just see so much PTSD because I’m there holding on for dear life going, ‘I need this TV gig.’ I was 100 percent faking it, and [I felt like] she [was] 100 percent faking it with me, too.”
He said he received multiple invitations to reappear on the show one last time for the final season — including a spot on the last two-weeks — but he turned them all down.
“How in the world am I supposed to sit down and say I’m so thankful and let her take that moment,” he said. “I couldn’t do that. So I turned down a national-TV gig on the eve of an album release, which is probably not a smart thing to do, but I had to do it for my integrity.”
He does acknowledge that he owes her a lot of thanks for the first part of his career, but in terms of where he’s at now and his new music he said he owes “f—ing nothing to her” because “I was the one that had to pull myself up. She was nowhere to be found.”
Rolling Stone said DeGeneres declined to respond to a “detailed list of questions about Chance’s allegations.” TooFab has also reached out for comment. A source close to Ellen’s show, however, told PEOPLE they “went above and beyond to help set him up for success, but in business that doesn’t always work out, and his career did not take off.”
After the article went live, Chance tweeted, “I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a long time. Writing [his new album ‘Palladium’] forced me to look dead in the eyes of my past, and reconcile with what I went through as a kid. I feel a tremendous weight off my shoulders now that the truth is out.”