Jessica Simpson Opens Up About Addiction, Body Image And Sexual Abuse In ‘Open Book’

"It’s heartbreaking and I mean, I punished myself for it."

 

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Two whole decades after Jessica Simpson’s debut album, Sweet Kisses (major throwback), was released, Jessica is now going on tour with her new memoir, Open Book. Although it’s already on shelves in the US, we won’t be able to get our hands on it over here until late February. But the book is already making headlines because of Jessica’s openness around childhood sexual abuse and her struggles with addiction and body image.

In an extract of Open Book, published by People, Jessica speaks about about childhood sexual abuse by a family friends’ daughter. “It would start with tickling my back and then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable. For six years, I was abused by this girl during our family’s visits.”

When she told her parents what was going on, Jessica said she “felt in the wrong”, despite being the victim of abuse. “We never stayed at my parents’ friends’ house again, but we also didn’t talk about what I had said.”

 

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Following this, along with pressure from the music industry in the early years of her career, Jessica opened up about the pressure to be slimmer, which led to self-medicating.

“On my 17th birthday, I flew to New York for meetings with record labels,” she recalls. ‘I sang ‘Amazing Grace’ for Tommy Mottola at Columbia and he wanted to sign me. And then he said, “You gotta lose 15 pounds”. That’s when the crop-tops came in and the dancing and choreography, and that was all confusing for me.”

‘I immediately went on an extremely strict diet and started taking diet pills which I would do for the next 20 years.’

Soon, this would be paired with alcohol and over the counter drugs, as what she described as her way to deal with trauma and to fall asleep.

Continuing to talk about body image, and her role as Daisy Duke which “created a gold standard Jessica, the ‘before’ for every ‘is she fat or is she thin’ story for the rest of my career. It’s heartbreaking and I mean, I punished myself for it,” she explained. “I heard it and I couldn’t not hear it in the back of my mind every time I was on stage, every time I walked out the door.”

 

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She continued, “I feel like we all look in the mirror and are not 100 per cent all the time. I mean, we all see our flaws. Some, the others don’t see. And mine were just out there for the world to rip apart, when they weren’t even flaws. When they were made into flaws that I didn’t know I had.”

Now, Jessica reveals that she’s been sober since 2017, and she point blank refuses to read any comments about her body. “It’s one of those things that I do accept about myself, I do want to look my best of course. And be my best and be active with my kids and run around and not feel too weighed down. It’s not that I am all about strict dieting or anything like that.”

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