Local police have confirmed the home of Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi was burglarized, and they are investigating the possibility the pair may have been targeted because of their celebrity status. DeGeneres has been broadcasting her show from her home during the recent pandemic, but it was unclear if she was home at the time of the burglary.
"The residence appears to have been targeted due to the victim's celebrity status," the Santa Barbara Country Sheriff's Office said in a statement confirming the July 4 burglary. "The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is in contact with other law enforcement agencies to determine if this is related to additional recent celebrity home burglaries."
The homes of celebrities Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Alanis Morissette, and David Spade were reportedly burglarized in October 2018.
While a detailed listing of the items stolen was not provided, authorities described them as "high value jewelry and watches." They also said "detectives and forensics technicians" are in the process of "conducting an extensive and on-going investigation."
DeGeneres had recently landed in hot water after complaining that confinement on her estate was akin to jail because "everyone in here is gay." This followed earlier news that she was "secretly mean" and several petitions were calling for her replacement.
DeGeneres has been a hero to the LGBTQ+ community for decades long before she officially came out in 1997. In 2009, Ellen and her wife, Portia, were voted America's favorite celebrity couple in one poll, beating out Brangelina at the peak of their coupledom.
The Sheriff's Department listed a series of steps homeowners can take to deter home burglaries. They recommend not announcing travel plans in advance on social media as doing so lets criminals know when you are away. They also suggested leaving lights or a television on to "give the appearance of someone being home."
Police are asking that anyone with information regarding the burglary or possible suspects should contact Detective Daniel Kohli at (805) 681-4150.
RELATED | 1997: Ellen DeGeneres Comes Out