The singer has been sober since 2017.
Jessica Simpson is opening up about her painful childhood for the first time and how it led to years of substance and alcohol abuse as an adult.
With her new memoir “Open Book” releasing in February, the singer came forward about being the victim of sexual abuse as a child in excerpts shared on PEOPLE.
According to Simpson, the abuse began when she was 6 and shared a bed with “the daughter of a family friend.” In book excerpts she said, “It would start with tickling my back and then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable.”
She didn’t tell her parents about it until she was 12, believing she was “in the wrong” up until that point. “I told you something was happening,” her mother Tina allegedly said when Jessica revealed her abuse.
“Dad kept his eye on the road and said nothing,” wrote Simpson, “We never stayed at my parents’ friends house again but we also didn’t talk about what I had said.”
The trauma paired with other factors led to a dependency on alcohol and stimulants later in life, with Simpson noting she was “killing myself with all the drinking and pills.” Because of her substance abuse, Jessica said a doctor wouldn’t approve a partial tummy tuck she planned for 2015 — telling her, “I am looking at your liver levels. You could die.”
Her rock bottom came after Halloween 2017. In the excerpts, she admitted she began drinking at 7:30am that morning , with her father smelling vodka on her breath as she attended a school assembly for her daughter, Maxwell. It only got worse later in the day, with Simpson revealing she was “ashamed to say” she has no idea who got her kids into their costumes. She then took Ambien to go to bed that night and slept in, “afraid” she had failed her children.
It’s then that she finally opened up to her friends about her issues. “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,” she wrote. She’s been sober since that day — saying “giving up alcohol was easy” — crediting her friends, doctors and therapy, which “allowed myself to feel the traumas I’d been through.”
“When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life,” she explained. “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.”
“Open Book” releases February 4.