Fans all learned a lot about Jessica Simpson with the release of her memoir, “Open Book,” this week — but additional tidbits about her life keep dropping as she continues to make press appearances for the tell-all.
In addition to the raw stories about her exes, pill and alcohol issues and sexual abuse from the book itself, Simpson has revealed more details about all of the above in interviews on “The View,” “Dr. Oz,” with the Los Angeles Times and “EXTRA.”
Here’s what else she’s divulged as she proves she’s an “Open Book” in real life too:
In the memoir, Simpson revealed she began getting abused when she was just 6, while sharing a bed with “the daughter of a family friend” who was just a year older than her. She described trying to shield sister Ashlee Simpson from being a victim as well and didn’t tell her parents what was going on until she was 12. Simpson said they never stayed at that friend’s house again, but her own family never spoke about it further.
Because of the abuse, Simpson developed a hard time going to sleep, which led to a dependency on sleeping pills. Appearing on “The View,” she also said it made her “very protective” of her daughter Maxwell, who is now around the age she was when the abuse began.
“I didn’t really understand what was going on, but I was the victim and I allowed it to happen,” she said, as Whoopi Goldberg told her, “You didn’t allow it to happen, it happened.” Simpson added that she revealed it in the book so other parents would be more vigilant and realize “it can happen to the closest people in your lives.”
“I think it’s important to confront the abuser if you can,” she added, “because the beauty is in forgiveness and that’s how we let go. That’s how we use that pain to be stronger.”
Speaking with the Times, Simpson confirmed that, six years ago, she did confront her abuser — who she later learned was also being molested by an older boy at the time. “I need you to know that I know what was going on … And I’m sorry for your abuse,” she said she told her.
Throughout the book, Simpson detailed her early relationship with Nick Lachey, their marriage and reality show, “Newlyweds,” and why it all fell apart. Among the things she revealed: the two never got a prenup before saying “I do.”
She was asked by Dr. Oz in an interview airing Thursday if she wished she had done anything differently during the divorce. “No, I wish I would have signed a prenup,” she answered with a laugh. “That’s the funny thing, Nick wanted me to sign a prenup and I was like so offended. We’re going to be together for the rest of our lives, we’re saying our vows to god and in front of all of our family and friends, this is never going to end and we didn’t sign a prenup.”
While their downfall was chronicled on the reality show, she doesn’t blame it for causing their divorce. “All of a sudden, we didn’t feel like the trophy couple anymore, I’m a horrible liar, I couldn’t stay in something that felt destructive,” she said. “I needed to be free to be myself and to grow up. He was 8 years older than me and I had a lot of learning to do to be at the place where I could be a wife.”
She also said “there is not” any relationship with Lachey now and told “EXTRA” she learned “how to love” from their time together.
Simpson’s roller coaster relationship with John Mayer is also one in which she goes into detail in the memoir, explaining how she always felt inadequate around him and would constantly second guess herself during conversations and texts when they were together. She claimed he relentlessly pursued her, even when she was with other people, and was very hot and cold with her all around.
“I shared that relationship because I wanted people to understand there’s so many relationships out there that make you feel insecure. I was constantly wanting to be what he wanted me to be and he wanted me to be myself but in a certain way,” she said on “The View.” She called the relationship “very unhealthy,” “manipulative” and “painful,” and said she “lost a lot of my identity” while they were together.
“We loved each other but it was not a healthy love,” she added. “He loved me to break up with me and write music about it.”
Speaking with the LA Times, she said she also felt like “some muse” for him and characterized the relationship as “creepy.” She also told EXTRA he “taught me that nobody deserves to be broken up with eight times.”
When Simpson first landed a deal with Columbia, she said record executive Tommy Mottola told her she had to lose 15 pounds, while already weighing in at 118. As performers like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera started making waves with their music videos and performances, Simpson was asked to keep up.
“I had a lot of [body shaming] growing up in the music industry at the time and the pop culture I was involved in, it was all about being a pop star and showing your stomach and dancing around,” she said on “The View.” “I thought I was signed for just singing, using my voice. All of a sudden … I had to take half my clothes off and that’s how I was going to be accepted.”
“That’s when the crop-tops came in and the dancing and choreography, and that was all confusing for me,” she also told the Times. “I had so many people pushing me to surpass these crazy numbers of records that these girls were selling and I just didn’t know how to do it.”
She also told the cohosts of “The View” that she’s “so proud” of the women in the industry now for “celebrating their bodies at every side” and giving her daughters someone to “look up to.”
In the book, Simpson detailed how strained her relationship became with her father, Joe Simpson, after her parents divorced. She explained how she felt he damaged her professional career, why she fired him as her manager, and her reaction after he informed her three days before her wedding — which he was officiating — that he was bringing a male model.
“I reminded myself that I needed to accept my father for who he was as he worked it out in real-time,” she wrote. That line prompted the L.A. Times to ask whether her dad was exploring his sexuality, which brought on a “serious” response from Jessica.
“That’s not something we talk about,” she said. “That’s not my story to tell.”
Her memoir, “Open Book,” is out now.