Singer-actress Jessica Simpson recently opened up about experiencing sexual abuse. This happened when the 39-year-old talked to Hoda Kotb about her new memoir, "Open Book."
In the book, she discussed how she endured her childhood and why she was hesitant to share it.
Speaking on TODAY, she said, "At the time, I didn't really understand what was happening. I knew something was wrong. I knew it was wrong what was going on. This was a very close person, and she was being abused. It happened throughout a long time in my life."
She was only six years old when the abuse happened, and a female family friend did it. That family friend was a year older than her and "a very close person to her."
Simpson narrated that it would start with tickles in her back up until things became "extremely comfortable."
Since Simpson is a daughter of a preacher, she was taught to be a virgin until she was married, so she never wanted to share sexual things that were happening to her because it would only hurt somebody.
Eventually, the singer-actress finally told her parents.
"My parents' reaction - they did the best that they could. That's a heavy thing to hear from your child."
Her parents reportedly ignored it with words but "took action." Since then, they never did sleepovers again.
In another interview with People Magazine, Simpson described the shame she felt during that time in her life, saying, "I felt like a lot of who I am, the character of who I am, was built through the trials and the pain of abuse."
She continued, "I allowed it to happen, so I felt that I was as much of the abuser as the abused. So I was very shameful during that time, from 6 to 12 years old."
Despite not enduring the abuse any longer, the scars of her abuse remained and were carried over into adulthood.
Simpson turned to pills and alcohol. Her substance abuse was put on made fans worry that maybe she was drunk during an appearance on "The Ellen Show" in an interview that she couldn't even watch.
She confessed that it was a weak moment for her and that she wasn't in the right place.
"I had started a spiral, and I couldn't catch up with myself, and that was with alcohol."
Simpson's drinking was constant, but eventually, there was an incident that prompted her to get help.
During Halloween in 2017, she started drinking at 7 AM and got so drunk that she couldn't even take care of her children.
She revealed that "I couldn't even tell you who got them ready. I was just dazed and confused, and I just wanted to go to sleep."
The next day, she quit drinking and started seeing a therapist.
"I just realized that I had to surrender. I just wanted to continue on the path that I'm on."
She furthermore said that at this point in her life, she's strong enough to deal with anything that comes her way because she doesn't have something to retreat to that will "numb her" from actually going through it.