Closer Weekly - - Contents -

The Grey’s Anatomy star opens up about the chal­lenges she’s faced be­ing a mom.

Grow­ing up in Bos­ton, Ellen Pom­peo says she was sur­rounded by racism — even from her own fa­ther. “I was try­ing to make him ex­am­ine that ev­ery step of the way,” she says. “My fa­vorite thing to do was to have pool par­ties and in­vite all my black friends over, so that when he would come home from work, there’d be a pool full of black boys.” Later, af­ter Ellen mar­ried African-Amer­i­can mu­sic pro­ducer Chris Ivery, “My hus­band ended up be­ing [my dad’s] fa­vorite per­son in the en­tire world.”

Ellen and Chris are do­ing things dif­fer­ently with their kids: Stella, 9, Si­enna, 4, and Eli, 23 months. “As moms and dads, we have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to ex­pose our chil­dren to all dif­fer­ent types of peo­ple,” she says. “To show them the dif­fer­ences in the world.”


While it’s not al­ways easy, Ellen says she doesn’t shy away from talk­ing about race with her chil­dren. “A lot of peo­ple get ner­vous when you bring it up, and I un­der­stand why they do,” she says. “At the same time, these are im­por­tant con­ver­sa­tions to have. And if you’re afraid to talk about them, then that’s a prob­lem.”

Ellen, 49, de­vel­oped a sense of em­pa­thy from a young age. “My mother died when I was 4,” she says. “I think that when you suf­fer any kind of trauma, es­pe­cially as a child, you learn com­pas­sion. At the root of it, com­pas­sion is a great prac­tice.”

So she’s pass­ing along that les­son to her kids — and en­joy­ing ev­ery mo­ment with them. Says Ellen, “Be­ing a mother is the most fun job I’ve ever had.”

— Ni­cholas Adams

Ellen cel­e­brated Hal­loween with Stella. Hus­band Chris Ivery bondswith their youngest, Eli. Si­enna spent her 4thbirth­day in NYC.

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