The woman formally known as Portia de Rossi, and before that known as Amanda Rogers, is now legally Portia Lee James DeGeneres. Portia and Ellen married on August 16th, 2008 and filed to legally change her name in August 2010. If you’re like me and enjoy reading the fine print, TMZ hooks us right up with those court documents.
This is a milestone year for Portia, as she is about to release her autobiography, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, on November 2. The book details her life as a child model in Australia and a move to Hollywood with dreams of making it actress while struggling with her sexuality and body image.
… as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of someone living with an eating disorder.
Rosie O’Donnell read an advance copy of the book and raved about it on her radio show this week, calling it “raw, honest and fascinating.”
In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn’t enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.