AFTER years of being closeted, actress Ellen Page finally summoned the courage to publicly announce she’s gay – thanks to her bosom buddy Drew Barrymore.
The pair have been close pals since they worked together on the 2009 movie “Whip It.”
The “X-Men: Days of Future Past” star remained close friends with Drew, 39, who’s now married to art consultant Will Kopelman and expecting a second child.
Drew, who’s admitted she’s indulged in lesbian relationships, “urged Ellen to come out of the closet in a big, public way,” revealed an insider.
“Ellen is very private, but Drew reminded her that she could save lives and serve as a role model if she owned up to her true self. Ellen would probably have kept hiding details about her private life if it weren’t for Drew’s support and encouragement.”
After years of speculation about her sexuality, Ellen took the stage at the Human Rights Campaign Time to Thrive conference on Valentine’s Day and declared: “I am here today because I am gay. And because maybe I can make a difference to help others have an easier and more hopeful time.
“I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. I’m tired of hiding. And I’m tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out.”
Back in 2010, The ENQUIRER reported that Ellen, 27, who also starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in “Inception,” had become a lesbian icon.
Meanwhile, years earlier, we revealed that three-times married Drew had long led a secret gay life. Former “Jane” magazine creator Jane Pratt claimed that she and the “Charlie’s Angel” star were lovers, and Drew had previously raised eyebrows at an Academy Awards ceremony by sharing a sensual on-camera kiss with actress Liv Tyler.
She also was once quoted as saying: “I do like women sexually. When I was younger, I used to go with lots of women.”
And in a 2009 magazine interview promoting “Whip It,” Drew gushed: “Ellen has such a beautiful body,” and Ellen cooed: “That openness – it’s so sexy.”
The two even posed for a photo spread hugging and sharing a passionate kiss. “Drew was crazy about Ellen,” said the insider.
“If Ellen had been more open about her sexuality then, she and Drew may have become a Hollywood lesbian power couple, like Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.
“Drew is proud of Ellen for coming out and promises that, no matter what the public response, she’ll stand by her side forever.”