Jessica Simpson has revealed that she was sexually abused as a child, and that it led to a dependence on drugs and alcohol as an adult.
The pop star, actor and shoe mogul writes in her new memoir that she was “killing myself with all the drinking and pills”, and only sought treatment after hitting “rock-bottom” in 2017. She has been sober ever since.
In Open Book, Simpson theorises that her addictions stemmed from trauma related to being abused by the daughter of a family friend from the age of six.
“It would start with tickling my back and then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable,” she writes, in an extract published by People Magazine. “For six years, I was abused by this girl during our family’s visits.”
Simpson says that she eventually told her parents about the abuse, but added that despite being the victim, “I felt in the wrong”.
“We never stayed at my parents’ friends’ house again, but we also didn’t talk about what I had said,” she writes.
Simpson also reveals that she has struggled with anxiety since her teens, and that she was placed on a strict diet after being told by managers that she must lose weight in order to become a star.
“On my 17th birthday, I flew to New York for meetings with record labels,” she writes. “I sang ‘Amazing Grace’ for Tommy Mottola at Columbia and he wanted to sign me. And then he said, ‘You gotta lose 15 pounds.”
“I immediately went on an extremely strict diet, and started taking diet pills,” she continues, “which I would do for the next 20 years.”
Simpson’s memoir additionally sees her recall her shock after former boyfriend John Mayer referred to her as “sexual napalm” in a career-destroying magazine interview.
Open Book is released on 4 February.