Ellen DeGeneres Denies Being 'Difficult' To Work With

Following rumours Ellen DeGeneres is secretly nasty and treats her staff "like peasants", the popular talk show host has spoken out.

Speaking to New York Times, in a raw interview, the 60-year-old addressed rumours she isn't as friendly as she seems, with whispers circulating for years that she's nasty to staff members off camera.

“Ellen’s public image is that of a sweetie who’s nice to everyone and is a real pussycat,” a source spilled to Radar Online last year.

“But when the cameras aren’t rolling, she treats staffers as if they are her peasants."

When asked about the allegations in an interview with New York Times, Ellen vehemently denied them.

"That bugs me if someone is saying that because it's an outright lie. The first day I said: 'The one thing I want is everyone here to be happy and proud of where they work, and if not, don't work here,'" the host explained.

"No one is going to raise their voice or not be grateful. That's the rule to this day."

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It's not the first time rumours about the comedian's secretly mean personally have circulated. Fellow comedian Kathy Griffin claimed on Access Hollywood Ellen once made her cry.

"I can't prove it," she wrote in a not-so-subtle blind item in her book Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index, "but this person …. has a mean streak that all of Hollywood knows about."

Upon hearing of the blind item, DeGeneres was apparently "furious" -- calling Kathy saying, "I don't have to have anyone on my show that I don't like."

After the call, Griffin says she "literally started sobbing."

However, DeGeneres' wife Portia de Rossi insisted she is simply misunderstood.

"She's just a bit more complicated than she appears on the show," de Rossi tells the newspaper.

"There's more range of emotion."

Image: Getty