Jessica Simpson is sober – and now she’s opening up about it.
In her new memoir, Open Book, the 39-year-old superstar reveals for the first time a dependency to alcohol and stimulants – a progression resulting from childhood sexual abuse, stress, and career pressure.
“I was killing myself with all the drinking and pills,” she writes.
Simpson got sober in 2017 at a Halloween party hosted at her home which she states was her rock bottom. 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.”
With the help of therapy, she writes she was able to work through her childhood abuse.
Simpson recalls the harrowing time at the age of six that the sexual abuse started. Her family often visited the home of a family friend and Jessica often shared a bed with their daughter. “It would start with tickling my back and then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable,” she writes.
After keeping the secret about the abuse for six years, she finally shared her secret with her parents. “I wanted to tell my parents. I was the victim but somehow I felt in the wrong.”
After Simpson told her parents, she wrote, “Dad kept his eye on the road and said nothing. “We never stayed at my parents’ friends house again but we also didn’t talk about what I had said.”
“I Started to Hear Voices”
Upon the launch of her career, Simpson began hiding her pain behind alcohol and stimulants. Recalling the her 17th birthday, a hopeful Simpson found herself singing “Amazing Grace” in the office of then-chairman & CEO of Sony Music Entertaiment, Tommy Mottola.
“He wanted to sign me,” writes Simpson, “and then he said, ‘You gotta lose fifteen pounds.”
Directly after, the singer went on a strict diet and consumed diet pills for the next twenty years.
“I started to hear voices when I was alone at night, waiting for the sleeping pill to kick in: ‘Do more sit-ups, fat ass,'” she recalls. “By the time we got to the release of my second album’s first single, ‘Irresistible,’ I was down to 103 pounds. Everyone went on about how great I looked, but I couldn’t enjoy it because I was so freaking hungry.”
Telling Her Story
With the help of family, friends and therapy twice a week, Simpson was able to has been able to walk through her body image issues, traumatic experiences, and remain sober. “Giving up the alcohol was easy,” Simpson states. “I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb.”
With a whirlwind of support, even her current husband, retired NFL player Eric Johnson, decided to give up drinking the moment she did.
“When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life,” she says. “I found direction and that was to walk straight ahead with no fear.”
Her new memoir Open Book available February 4th, also features six new songs that, “tell her story.” The memoir’s audio-book is also narrated by Simpson.
“It’s been a long hard deep emotional journey,” she added, “one that I’ve come through the other side with pure happiness and fulfillment and acceptance of myself. I’ve used my pain and turned it into something that can be beautiful and hopefully inspiring to people.”