Ella was the biological mother of Christian Grey. She suffered from drug addiction, and was badly abused at the hands of her pimp. She and Christian lived in extreme poverty in Detroit. When Christian was four years old, she committed suicide. Christian was with her body for four days before her pimp found them and called the police.
- When Christian speaks about his birth mother, he almost always refers to her as "the crack whore". Her real name is not revealed until the events of the Epilogue.
- One of Christian's only memories of Ella is her baking him a birthday cake.
- Christian claims that all of his former submissives are brunettes like his biological mother.
- Christian kept a picture of Ella hanging up in his childhood bedroom at the Grey's manor. Ana remarks that the woman in the photograph looks "familiar".