Look Back on Jessica Simpson's Most Candid Quotes: Addiction, Motherhood and More

Jessica Simpson shocked fans when she revealed in her new memoir that she was sexually abused as a young girl and that years later she numbed her emotional pain with alcohol and pills.

By Corinne Heller Jan 22, 2020 4:51 PMTags

Jessica Simpson reveals in her upcoming memoir that she was sexually abused as a young girl and that years later she numbed her emotional pain from it, and from other stressors, with alcohol and pills.

The 39-year-old singer and fashion mogul had never spoken about either subject before. In her memoir, Open Book, Simpson said she got sober in November 2017 and has not had a drink since then.

"Giving up the alcohol was easy," she said, according to an excerpt People magazine published on Wednesday. "I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb."

The only time Simpson had ever spoken publicly before about having an actual addiction was in 2010, when she said on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno that she was "addicted to Nicorette gum"...despite never smoking cigarettes.

What Simpson has talked about publicly over the years, a lot, is overcoming challenges like weight gain, and her love for her family, namely her husband, Eric Johnson, and their three children, daughters Maxwell Drew, 7, and Birdie Mae, 10 months, and son Ace Knute, 6.

Jessica Simpson's Family Album

Read some of the star's most candid quotes over the years:

On Her Past Sexual Abuse

Jessica revealed in her 2020 memoir, Open Book, that the abuse began when she was 6 years old, "when I shared a bed with the daughter of a family friend."

"It would start with tickling my back and then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable," she said. "I wanted to tell my parents. I was the victim but somehow I felt in the wrong."

Jessica said she told her parents when she was 12 years old during a car trip and that her mother slapped her father's arm and yelled at him, "I told you something was happening."

"Dad kept his eye on the road and said nothing," She continued. "We never stayed at my parents' friends house again but we also didn't talk about what I had said."

On Her Past Substance Addictions

In her 2020 memoir Open Book, Jessica revealed she was sexually abused by the daughter of a family friend. She said that years later, she "was killing myself with all the drinking and pills."

She said that she got sober in November 2017 and hasn't had a drink since, adding, "Giving up the alcohol was easy. I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb."

On Her Addiction to Nicorette Gum

"I am addicted to Nicorette gum," Jessica said on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in 2010. "The first time I ever chewed Nicorette gum, one of my close friend's mother gave it to me. I think she thought she was giving me a piece of Dentyne Ice or something. So I'm chewing it, and it's like a party in my mouth. It's like fireworks. And I'm like talking a million miles an hour and I'm like, I love this gum, what is this gum? I have to have this gum! And it's Nicorette and it gives me energy. It's like drinking three Red Bulls."

On Body Image

"Media scrutiny sucks. I can't sit here and say I don't notice it. I will never understand why people take someone down for what you look like," Jessica told Women's Health in April 2016. "If I had a character flaw, take me down. But a body flaw? That's not important."

On Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss

"6 months. 100 pounds down (Yes, I tipped the scales at 240)," she wrote on Instagram in September 2019 after giving birth to her third child, daughter Birdie. "My first trip away from #BIRDIEMAE and emotional for many reasons, but so proud to feel like myself again. Even when it felt impossible, I chose to work harder."

On Her Sexy Instagram Pics With Husband Eric Johnson

"Those kind of happen sometimes," Jessica said on NBC's Today show in 2015. "I am not shy to be in love with my husband!"

On Her Marriage to Eric Johnson and Motherhood

"Marriage is unbelievable," Jessica said on NBC's Today show in 2015. "I couldn't be more in love, and he's given me to of the best blessings I could possibly imagine."

She added, "Having a boy and a girl, I'm—I'm blessed. They inspire me."

On Self-Acceptance

"I've grown into myself and established my identity on my terms. I embrace my strengths and celebrate even the small victories," Jessica wrote in Glamour magazine in 2014. "I'm certainly not perfect, but when I look in the mirror, I'm proud of the woman I see. I'm not only someone's mother, wife, and daughter—I'm me." 

On Her Weight Struggles and Her Husband's Support

"I'd been scrutinized about my weight before I got pregnant, so I refused to let anyone steal the joy of my babies," Jessica told InStyle magazine in an interview published in its January 2015 issue. "My husband [Eric Johnson] and I were looking at old pictures recently, and I asked him, 'Babe, why didn't you tell me to put the brownie down?' He said, 'You looked great.' He's always loved every curve on my body. And we've always had a healthy sex life." 

Grateful for Her Kids

"Falling asleep looking at pictures of my kids...now I know what my life is about. I am so grateful," Jessica wrote on Instagram in 2014.

Jessica Simpson vs. Natalie Portman

In December 2018, the Oscar winner criticized the star over a magazine cover she appeared in almost 20 years ago, which showed her wearing a bikini and read, "I'm a virgin."

Jessica wrote to her in response, "As public figures, we both know our image is not totally in our control at all times, and that the industry we work in often tries to define us and box us in. However, I was taught to be myself and honor the different ways all women express themselves, which is why I believed then- and I believe now- that being sexy in a bikini and being proud of my body are not synonymous with having sex."

She added, "I have always embraced being a role model to all women to let them know that they can look however they want, wear whatever they want and have sex or not have sex with whomever they want. The power lies within us as individuals. I have made it my practice to not shame other women for their choices. In this era of Time's Up and all the great work you have done for women, I encourage you to do the same."

Portman later wrote, "I didn't mean to shame you and I'm sorry for any hurt my words may have caused."

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