Portia de Rossi: The first time I truly came out

Story highlights

Portia de Rossi truly came out during her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres

The actress said as much to James Lipton on "Inside the Actor's Studio"

DeGeneres and de Rossi went on to marry in 2008

In 2010, de Rossi took DeGeneres' last name

CNN  — 

To Portia de Rossi, Ellen DeGeneres is more than a spouse.

She’s also the woman who stood by the actress when de Rossi truly came out as a gay woman to the public.

De Rossi, now 40, recalled the moment on “Inside the Actor’s Studio” Thursday, as she sat among her “Arrested Development” co-stars.

The program’s host, James Lipton, had been asking de Rossi about her name change – she took DeGeneres’ last name in 2010 – and the couple’s 2008 marriage.

As de Rossi explained, it actually wasn’t that long before she tied the knot with DeGeneres in an intimate ceremony in Los Angeles that she was totally transparent about her sexuality.

Photos: Gay celebs and marriage

“When I really, truly came out was at the Golden Globes, when ‘Arrested Development’ was nominated,” said de Rossi, who started seeing DeGeneres around the end of 2004.

“Ellen and I had been together for a month, and I was very, very nervous going to that because I knew that I was going to meet up with her after the show and that there was press,” de Rossi continued. “That was the first time that we actually stepped out together as a couple, but for me, it was the first time that I’d stepped out as a gay woman, really.”

As for de Rossi’s wife, DeGeneres had confirmed she was gay almost a decade before. The comedian and TV personality, now 55, memorably came out on the cover of Time in 1997.