Schaech, 46, and the Emmy-winning daytime talk show host, 58, were photographed on several occasions together in the mid-’90s before DeGeneres officially came out as gay in 1997.
“My manager asked me to accompany her to events. She was scared people would not watch the show, her sitcom Ellen, because she was gay. It was an honor,” Schaech explained during his AMA.
“I grew up with two gay aunts and a gay uncle. My Aunt died of cancer. She was a proud woman and she didn’t get proper care because she didn’t want to be away from her partner. Hospitals didn’t allow partners the same rights as a spouse. When you have someone you love in your life that is gay or a lesbian it’s very clear that they deserve the same rights as anyone else. It’s not about religion,” he continued. “If you don’t love ELLEN now — you don’t watch her show. She’s a great example for the human race.”
Schaech and DeGeneres memorably held hands and posed for red carpet photos together at the 1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Two years later, the comedian revealed her sexual orientation in a historic Time cover story. That same year, her character on the comedy Ellen also came out as gay.
“I was [supposed] to perform in her coming out episode but I ran the marathon and couldn’t walk the next day, the network fired me cause they thought I was lame,” Schaech added. “I was lame, DONT RUN A MARATHON when your given a great gift.”
Schaech also opened up about his real past relationships during the candid Q&A. The Texas Rising star — dad of son Camden, 2, with his wife, Julie Solomon — previously walked down the aisle with Christina Applegate and Jana Kramer. He suggested, however, that he and Kramer, 32, never actually made their marriage legal.
“First off! I have an incredible family in Nashville now. My wife [Julie Solomon] is from there and we met in Nashville. I love my in-laws. They’re such good people,” he wrote on Monday. “Jana Kramer and I had a wedding but we were never married. It simply came down to this. She wasn’t ready to be married. She wanted a singing career and that was what she was focused on. So when Camden googles my name in five years — wikipedia will show my past relationships. He won’t see any gossip on either one. Jana or Christina. Just that I was a little bit country with Jana and a little bit rock and roll with Christina!!! And that it all worked out for the best.”
Schaech and Applegate, 44, divorced in 2007 after six years of marriage. The Samantha Who? actress, who underwent a double mastectomy for breast cancer in 2008, went on to marry Martyn LeNoble in February 2013. The couple are the parents of daughter Sadie, 5.
Schaech and Kramer, meanwhile, split in 2011, a month after reportedly tying the knot. The “I Got the Boy” singer welcomed her own daughter with husband Mike Caussin in February.
“Jana could be the fastest success ever in Country music and she’s now married with a beautiful baby girl. Happy finally,” Schaech posted on Reddit Monday. “Christina and Martyn have a wonderful family. She’s cancer free and is an absolute hero for others and to my family. And me — [I] have Camden and Jules. And by that time, maybe by the time he reads — a sibling, I’m perfectly blessed. All the Christina Appelgate and Jana Kramer fans should know — I’m rooting for them too.”
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