Chelsea Handler barked at by bullies

Feb 9, 2012 at 9:10 p.m. ET

Chelsea Handler is known for being a funny lady, yet it seems there's a tender side underneath that vodka-soaked exterior. The comedienne was once just another kid being bullied in the high school halls.

Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler has a pack of bullies to thank in part for the character she is today. The Chelsea Lately host recently spoke to Redbook magazine about her not-so glorious younger years.

The 36-year-old shared, "I was tortured, and probably half of it was deserved, but I was bullied—so much so that there were days when I was like, 'I can't go to school today.' I was too scared."

Chelsea Handler dated 50 Cent just to get laughs >>

"They'd call me a dog, and bark at me and say, 'You're fat. You're ugly.' The girl who used to torture me, the ringleader, showed up backstage at one of my concerts in Newark," Chelsea Handler continued. "I looked at her and said, 'I know you.' And she went, [high-pitched voice] 'Ahhh, I'm so sorry for having tortured you in high school!' And I said, 'I'm so over it. Actually, thank you, because you gave me the impetus to be successful.'"

Jennifer Aniston slams "gross" BFF Chelsea Handler >>

Even today Chelsea Handler has soft spot in her heart for the underdog. Passing on a treasured bit of wisdom, she told the magazine, "I read this cheesy quote once: 'Blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make yours glow brighter.' We women have to stick together."

"People ask me why I'm so hard on men. It's because they've gotten a really easy ride. And it's not that I think women should take over the world. But I do think it should be 50/50. I'm very much about letting other people shine, because it makes us all shine brighter. I like having a fraternity. I like girls and boys together, misfits and underdogs. I love underdogs -- I was an underdog. I've always felt bad for the girl who was left out."

Check out the latest issue of Redbook magazine for more with Chelsea Handler!

Image via WENN