Ellen DeGeneres’ former lesbian lover Kat Perkoff was “murdered by the mob” and the talk show host still feels guilty 37 years after her death, according to a bombshell report in US magazine The National Enquirer today.
The star was 22 and a struggling stand-up comic living in New Orleans when she began a romance with Kat, who managed a bar and, according to the magazine's sensational report, was known as a “notorious drug trafficker.”
On the night of June 26, 1980, the two had a falling out at Ellen’s brother’s concert, and Kat ended up leaving alone, according to The Enquirer.
Kat’s Mercedes hit a tree and was split into two pieces, and she was killed, but Kat’s family and even a local official believed that she was murdered by the Mafia.
“Talk in the community was that it had been a (mob) hit – that she was killed,” Ralph Whalen, a former assistant district attorney in New Orleans, says.
Kat’s sister Rachel Perkoff suspected foul play.
“Kat was a runaway, a poet, an entrepreneurial drug trafficker and Ellen’s first love,” Rachel says. “The official report of the New Orleans Police Department states that Kat’s death was caused by accidental collision. But rumors at the time pointed to a hit, Mafia score and a police cover-up.”
Rachel revealed Kat to be a “key player in the murky underworld of the New Orleans lesbian mafia – a demimonde populated by pimps, prostitutes and corrupt cops in the fast lane of the French Quarter.”
When speaking about that fateful night, Ellen recalled that Kat “was trying to get me to come back home. I acted like I couldn’t hear her because the music was too loud. I was being really… dismissive of her.”
The Enquirer reports that Ellen called a cab to take her home after the concert, and that on the way she spotted the aftermath of an accident.
“(The car) was split in two, and we heard sirens behind us, so it had just happened. Nobody was there yet. We just kept going,” Ellen says.
It wasn’t until the next day that Ellen learned that it was Kat who had perished in the crash.
“It was a pretty devastating event in my life because I felt tremendously guilty,” she reportedly said.