In a forthcoming memoir called “Open Book,” pop star and clothing designer Jessica Simpson opens up about alleged sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of a girl whose parents were family friends with the Simpsons.
Simpson said she shared a bed with the girl when the two families would spend time together. The “Newlyweds” star says she was sexually abused by the girl, starting when she was just six years old.
“It would start with tickling my back and then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable,” Simpson said in the memoir, according to exclusive excerpts reported by PEOPLE magazine.
“I wanted to tell my parents,” she wrote. “I was the victim but somehow I felt in the wrong.”
Simpson said she finally told her parents about the alleged abuse during a car trip when she was 12 years old. Tina Simpson, the pop star’s mother, apparently had her suspicions confirmed.
“I told you something was happening,” Tina said as she slapped Joe’s arm, according to Simpson.
“Dad kept his eye on the road and said nothing,” she wrote. “We never stayed at my parents’ friends house again, but we also didn’t talk about what I had said.”
According to PEOPLE, the pain from the abuse, combined with career pressures, led Simpson to “self-medicate with alcohol and stimulants — a dependency that would later prompt her doctor to tell her her life was in danger.”
“I was killing myself with all the drinking and pills,” Simpson said in the memoir.
“In one of the book’s most moving scenes, she writes about hitting rock bottom after a Halloween party at their home in late 2017,” reported PEOPLE. “That’s when she told her closest friends: ‘I need to stop. Something’s got to stop. And if it’s the alcohol that’s doing this, and making things worse, then I quit.'”
“When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life,” Simpson said. “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,” she added. “And getting to the other side of fear is beautiful.”
In November 2017, the singer finally got clean, with the help of supportive family, friends, and twice-weekly therapy sessions.
“Her friends gathered around her in a group hug and haven’t left her side since,” PEOPLE noted. “With the support of her parents and help from a team of doctors and twice weekly therapy, she’s been sober since that day and calls her newfound clarity ‘a continual gift.'”
“Giving up the alcohol was easy,” Simpson said. “I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb.”
“With work, I allowed myself to feel the traumas I’d been through,” she said of her therapy work.
“It’s been a long, hard deep emotional journey, one that I’ve come through the other side with pure happiness and fulfillment and acceptance of myself,” Simpson reveled in the personal memoir. “I’ve used my pain and turned it into something that can be beautiful and hopefully inspiring to people.”