Jessica Simpson Shares Struggle With Addiction in New Book

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Jessica Simpson

In her upcoming memoir, 'Open Book,' the pop star turned fashion designer reveals that she was sexually abused as a child and later turned to "drinking and pills."

In her upcoming memoir, Open Book, Jessica Simpson shares that she was sexually abused as a child and later turned to "drinking and pills" to help cope with her painful past.

In an excerpt obtained by People for a cover story published on Wednesday, the pop star turned fashion designer writes that the abuse began when she "shared a bed with the daughter of a family friend" at just 6 years old. 

"It would start with tickling my back and then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable," Simpson writes, adding that she was hesitant to tell her parents, Joe and Tina Simpson, for some time because she was worried that she was at fault for the abuse. "I wanted to tell my parents. I was the victim but somehow I felt in the wrong."

Around the age of 12, though, Jessica Simpson finally said something during a family road trip. The star remembers her mother slapping her father's arm and saying, "I told you something was happening." However, Simpson writes, "Dad kept his eye on the road and said nothing."

Simpson adds, "We never stayed at my parents' friends' house again but we also didn't talk about what I had said."

Years later — when her career took off as a singer, actress and reality star on MTV's Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica with now ex-husband Nick Lachey — Simpson says that she quietly self-medicated to mask her trauma. "I was killing myself with all the drinking and pills," she writes in Open Book.

Simpson eventually became sober in November 2017. While she says giving up alcohol was "easy," committing to twice-a-week therapy sessions was at first a challenge but ultimately rewarding.

"When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life," Simpson told People. "I found direction and that was to walk straight ahead with no fear. Honesty is hard but it’s the most rewarding thing we have. And getting to the other side of fear is beautiful."

Simpson — whose eponymous fashion and lifestyle brand is reportedly worth $1 billion — is now married to former NFL player Eric Johnson, with whom she shares three children: daughter Maxwell, 7, son Ace, 6, and daughter Birdie, 10 months.

Open Book hits stores on Feb. 4, when her monthlong book tour kicks off in New York. 

If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault HotlineOpens in a new Window. at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National HelplineOpens in a new Window. at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).