She may be set to celebrate her 60th birthday this week with an extravagant party, but Ellen DeGeneres is secretly in turmoil over hitting the milestone.
As party planners go over the last-minute details ahead of the big bash, insiders reveal the talk-show star is in crisis mode behind the scenes as she struggles to come to terms with her mortality.
‘In some ways, that number doesn’t even compute,’ says the comedian of turning 60. ‘I can’t even believe I’m going to be 60–I’m so immature, I’m a child.’
Adding to the star’s unrest is the sudden passing of her father Elliott on January 12 at age 92.
‘I lost my dad this week...He had a good, long life, and he lived his life exactly how he wanted,’ the star told her studio audience in an emotional speech.
Despite her grief, Ellen is still forging ahead with her birthday plans. First marking the occasion with a quiet night in with wife Portia de Rossi, pals say the star’s decision to also throw a blow-out bash is all part of her coping mechanism as she quietly unravels.
‘Ellen is a big believer in the power of positive thinking,’ a source tells New Idea. ‘Deep down she hates the thought of turning 60 and having her best years behind her, but she thinks that if she puts on a happy face and throws a big, glitzy bash, she’ll eventually be more at peace with this new phase of her life.’
With the party likely to take place at Ellen and Portia’s lavish Beverly Hills compound, the star-studded guest list reportedly includes the likes of Channing Tatum, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Aniston.
But behind the scenes, it appears Portia has been forced to bear the brunt of Ellen’s personal crisis, with the TV star using her wife as a much- needed sounding board.
‘Ellen has really turned to Portia to be her rock through this. She needs someone to vent to,’ says an insider. ‘Portia is doing her best to just ride it out, but the fact she is only 44 seems to be
a constant reminder to Ellen of her own age.’
According to the insider, Portia is doing her best to help Ellen see the positives of getting older and wiser, with the Aussie actress a big believer in embracing the ageing process.
‘The trick for me turning 40 was to really evaluate what I want to do with this next phase in my life. The one thing I don’t want to do is chase what I looked like at 20,’ says Portia. ‘I don’t think it’s fair for people to think that women are just vain because they’re worried about getting older. It’s actually really linked in with a lot of very primitive stuff for women.’
Indeed, Ellen appears to be heeding some of Portia’s advice and is returning to stand-up comedy with her own Netflix special, in a bid to reclaim her youth.
‘It has been 15 years since I did a stand-up special. Fifteen years,’ says Ellen of the news. 'And I’m writing it now, I can’t wait.’
And while Ellen’s future looks brighter than ever – with her talk show currently commissioned until 2020 – pals can’t help but fear the star won’t be able to see the forest for the trees.
‘Instead of focusing on all the amazing things in her life, Ellen is heading to a dark place with this 60 business,’ says a pal. ‘We really hope she snaps out of it before things get any worse.’
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!