Chelsea Handler tells 'New York Times' about her abortion, how she really feels about 'Chelsea Lately'


Image Credit: Jason Merritt/

Chelsea Handler isn’t exactly known for being reserved. Still, it was a little surprising to see just how outspoken she got when Cathy Horyn interviewed her for The New York Times. In the piece, Handler doesn’t hold back, especially when railing against every candid comedian’s favorite punching bag: political correctness.

“People are too P.C.,” she told Horyn. “We need to be focusing on other things. We’re seeking out such grossness in human behavior and want such mindless entertainment. The Real Housewives of Atlanta and some of these other shows are more racist. Or 16 and Pregnant. Getting rewarded for being pregnant when you’re a teenager? Are you serious? I mean, that makes me want to kill somebody.” Then Handler dropped the real bomb: “I had an abortion when I was 16. Because that’s what I should have done. Otherwise I would now have a 20-year-old kid. Anyway, those are things that people shouldn’t be dishonest about it.”

That admission came just a few paragraphs after Handler confessed that she sometimes feels like her talents are being wasted on Chelsea Lately. “There’s only so much of this nonsense you can talk about before your brain starts to feel like it’s bleeding,” she told Horyn. By saying this, the comedian definitely risks sounding like she’s biting the hand that feeds her — and nobody likes a celebrity who doesn’t at least project an aura of being grateful.

While it’s refreshing to see a boldfaced name be this open while talking to the media, there’s also something disconcerting about it. So here’s my question to you, PopWatchers: Did Chelsea reveal too much to the Times? Or is frank talk such a huge part of her persona that you would have been disappointed if she had been more aloof?

Read more:
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Comments (104 total) Add your comment
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  • ItsMe

    At least she’s being honest. I would get bored with her show, too.

  • Summer

    Me, I commend her. I know a lot of people hate her, but I don’t know. I find her oddly refreshing.

    • JAM

      I agree. She has the ability to tell it how she sees it. I wish more of us would be less PC and more honest with others.

  • H

    I have never seen her show or read her books, but I do know who she is. And this makes me think she’s pretty awesome.

  • FanForever

    At least she was honest. She’s right; having an abortion at 16 is much wiser than having a kid when you’re a teenager. Thank god someone said it.

    • Miss

      Right because adoption is just not a viable option. Oh wait, yes it is.

      • Clued In

        Yeah, because there aren’t already an incredibly insane number of kids that are just waiting to be adopted, but because they don’t fit exactly what most people want, they stay in foster care until they’re 18 and then sent out to fend for themselves.

      • AshleyBrooke

        I think what they mean is, it’s much wiser (if you didn’t have adoption on the table) to pick having an abortion than having a kid at 16 years old.

      • Right

        Youre right that is awful! I would rather not be born at all than live in a foster home and then go and fend for myself in the real world. The gift of life really isn’t worth that! Just kill me now.

      • Marqueatha

        To grow up in a foster home is no way to live. I have lived at one for the past 14 years because my mom was 17 when she had me and wasn’t able to provide. No one wanted to adopt me so I’ve been house to house with no real home.

      • thetwilightsown

        Now we’re deciding what is an acceptable way to live for other people in foster homes? I was born to a teenager in high school, my father was a drug dealing piece of human garbage whom I would not recognize if he walked up to me on the street… but I’m a living, breathing human being with a mind and a will and a life. I’ve seen the world, sang songs, loved and been loved – yes, sometimes life was quite difficult… but the same could be said for essentially every great person in the history of the world. Gawd, what small, consumerist future of weakness is ahead for us???

      • adg

        This is why you use protection kids! Or, you know, wait.

      • Elle

        I love how Chelsea thinks she herself is a role model. She is pathetic. Having an abortion at any age is dumb and selfish. The girls on 16 and Pregnant are role models because they show how challenging have a baby is and THANK GOD they chose life! Chelsea Handler is worthless and a poor excuse for a human being.

      • Aurora

        Actually, healthy little babies almost always get adopted. There are long waiting lists. Older kids, and kids with health problems and disabilities tend to be the ones who get stuck in the foster care system.

    • dana

      Uh, wiser for YOU if you cannot handle the consequences and want to eliminate your children. Not wise for me and others who have brought beautiful, smart, wonderful children in this world who enjoy and appreciate their lives. I doubt you even appreciate your own, but you have a lot to learn.

      • Marco

        Seriously?Lol lol marqueatha? Im supposed to believe thats a real person? And what idiot wouldnt want to have been born? There are children with lives a thousand times more miserable than a foster childs. And guess what, when they become adults they dont get to change that. Being a foster child in the u.s. isnt such a bad thing considering all the other cards life could have dealt you.

  • MultiPass

    The whole point of your “article” is because… you want to know if we think Chelsea Handler should pretend to be more aloof and grateful???? What a shockingly obtuse thing to write. You didn’t get her point at all – you know the one about being truthful and sincere is better. …how the cynically fake sincerity of celebrity masks massive greed while it exploits ever more ridiculous sides of human nature, enhancing and twisting already-bad stereotypes…. etc.
    It’s as if you didn’t read it.

    • Shasta

      This is a blog post, not an article.

  • Danny

    CHELSEA RULES … I love her … she’s funny, refreshing, and honest. Example: Everyone knows how dreadful Madonna is … Chelsea is one of the few people to actually say it.

  • Ann

    I appreciate her honesty. With that being said…it saddens me to think that she realizes that if she hadn’t aborted, then she would have a 20 year old kid (either by her raising it, or given it up for adoption), but she holds no remorse for the fact that the kid does not exist because she decided to kill her child rather than give that child a chance at life. She could have given that child up for adoption.

    • Sarah

      She could have. But she didn’t. And that was HER choice. Move on.

      • Minutiae

        It was also her choice to have sex when she was 16 and not able to handle being pregnant. So she was irresponsible and had no sense of personal accountability, and took the easy way out. Glad to see she doesn’t regret it, though! At least she’s honest! *eyeroll*

      • ML

        The easy way out? are you kidding!? Both sides have difficult components. The point is it’s her choice and comments like yours doesn’t facilitate either decision.

      • Sarah

        If you think an abortion is “the easy way out” – you are sadly mistaken. As the commenter below says – it’s not up to you (or anyone) to judge her for her choices.

      • Sarah

        To clarify: my comment was directed to Minutiae, not ML.

      • thetwilightsown

        Why? Why move on? In an article commending someone for doing something so “brave” – honesty is apparently now the quality of super heroes – why would you tell someone to “move on” if they are clearly being honest about their feelings on a topic so controversial as abortion – something that many people will NEVER accept as humane? Get off your high horse -not everyone who opposes abortion fits into a tidy, easy to dispose of d-bag.

      • Sarah

        Who said she’s being brave? She’s being honest. I will grant you that saying people shouldn’t be talking about it (“move on”) was probably hypocritical on my part, because she (Chelsea) is the one who brought it up in the first place. I think that criticizing her for HER choice is unnecessary. It was 20 years ago, and saying she could have chosen adoption – what does that do? Nothing.

      • thetwilightsown

        The quotes around the word brave are there because anyone with eyeballs can see that what she’s doing involves some sort of inherent risk to her career and is therefore… “brave.” And as far as criticizing “HER choice” – Chelsea is an intelligent professional who knows the repercussions of things she says, but she is starting a dialogue… sometimes dialogues involve people disagreeing. But here we are again with the implication that this is somehow the accepted belief when many people do not and will not ever accept this as a humane practice and, in fact, consider it to be murder on par with bombing countries who have what we want. Criticism and judgement are two different things.

      • tonya

        Yes, she took the easiest way out that she knew of like any weak coward. This does not surprise me in the least. Those that act all powerful and strong are fronting for their enormous weaknesses underneath.
        I think it’s pretty disgusting as a human being to degrade her child even in death. She’s subhuman to me.

    • ML

      What a judgmental comment! Knowing your child is out there in the world due to adotion can prove to be more life traumatic then an abortion. She owns her choices, it’s really not up to you to judge her for them.

    • Carrie

      She didn’t “kill her child.” She terminated an unwanted pregnancy. A clump of cells is not a child.

      • Ann

        Carrie, if you want to sugar coat it, then yes, she “terminated” a clump of cells which Chelsea, herself, acknowledges would be a 20 year old child today if it had been given the chance to live. This is what saddens me. I’m sorry for all the hurtful comments that are written here and I will never resort to name-calling, because I realize it’s a tough decision to make. I just wish abortion wasn’t used as a form of birth control, when there are other options, that’s all.

      • Ann

        Here’s something else to think about, if you’re just thinking it as a clump of cells. President Obama was born in 1961 when abortion was illegal, so his mother had no choice to use abortion as a birth control. If he had been born after it became legal, do you think that his single mother who was white, would have chosen to keep her half-black child during that time period? Probably not. Then there would never have been a President Barack Obama. I know a lot people don’t like him, but I think the world is better with him in it. Don’t you agree?

      • Anon

        You know, Carrie, that is a loaded statement. If you want to look at it that way, aren’t we all just a clump of cells? She took away the option for the “clump of cells” to develop and grow into a child. You know, kind of like if you go out with a gun and shoot and kill a person, you take away their ability to grow, too. Sorry, sounds like murder to me.

      • B

        The same analogy can be used for serial killers and pedophiles. You’re so ignorant.

      • !

        If she had wanted that same bunch of cells, it would have been called her baby from the day she found out. I agree with her about Americans being too PC, and legally it was her choice, but I find it disturbing how callous she was about it. Then again, that’s what comedians do nowadays. They’re shocking instead of really being funny. She’s so vain that having a grown child would be more mortifying to her than eliminating it? That’s sad.

      • Megan

        Just to inform you, that “clump of cells” had a beating heart long before most women (and most likely Chelsea, too) even know they are pregnant. That happens at about two weeks after conception. I understand how hard it is to be faced with an unintended pregnancy. At this very moment, I am watching my 3 week old son sleep, and I just turned 19 in February. It is not my place to judge anyone for their choices, but I do have a right to an opinion, and I do not agree with abortion at all, in 100% of cases. And if you are going to have an opinion, you should at least be educated and informed on it. It’s not “just a clump of cells” seeing as how it has a beating heart from about 2 weeks after conception. Like I said, I can’t judge, but if you are going to have an opinion, at least be informed.

      • Lola

        I agree ANN.

        B, I love the serial killer justification although we all know that is below .01 percent of people born so the chances are slim that those aborted were all serial killers. LOL

        Just like they say with the justice system… sometimes it’s better to let a guilty man free than put an innocent man to death. You cannot justify the onslaught of millions of babies over a very dismal figure that could have potentially became “serial killers” etc.

  • Jay

    She’s right on every count. This country has become WAY TOO P.C.

    I commend her honesty about her abortion, as well. I dont necessarily agree with it, but it was HER choice, not mine.
    The world could use more blunt honesty like this

  • Red

    She’s pretty sharp — and pretty frank, obviously — though her show tends to be vulgar and nasty. At any rate, I guess this explains why she hates Bristol Palin so much.

  • TP

    Chelsea is great, she is honest. She makes fun of everyone, no one is spared and she points out the ridiculousness of celebrity. I don’t think she is raunchy at all, just straightforward, and she is correct, when men are that way, they are “assertive”, when women behave that way, they are “raunchy”, “sluts” or worse.

  • BLM

    Chelsea speaks the truth. She’s allowed to kvetch about her job once in a while, as is everyone else. And people are too PC–it seems everyone is offended by everything these days. As for the abortion, it’s perfectly legal and totally within her rights to have one and talk about it.

  • Ray

    I don’t think she’s biting the hand that feeds; she’s just aware that what she does is not curing cancer.

    • Lola

      Sure she is.
      Her program should be eliminated along with all the other “mindless” entertainment.

  • banana

    I love Chels. She can do no wrong.

  • Audrey

    It sounds like she was sick of being asked stupid questions and just let loose. I don’t think that abortion is something to be taken lightly; however, if she feels comfortable talking about her choice in that way, so be it. It doesn’t affect my opinion of her at all; she’s still hilarious. And I actually stopped watching Chelsea Lately because it seems so lame.

  • goingoingone

    bla bla bla…

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