The ultimate betrayal. Jessica Simpson revealed she was ridiculed for being a sexual abuse survivor by her school classmates after confiding in a friend about the traumatic encounter. “By the time I was in junior high, I told one of my best friends the story, and the whole school said that I was a lesbian, and at that time, I didn’t know what that meant,” the 39-year-old singer said during an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show on Thursday, February 6.
Unfortunately, things got worse for the “With You” crooner. “I would cheer at the games. I was head cheerleader, and I dropped out because — I will never be a cheerleader again — these girls went over to the other team and told me them and everybody started chanting ‘lesbian,’ and I ran out,” she continued. “I did experience a lot of bullying, and I handled it with grace because I had already done that as a child. I just prayed for all the people that were saying mean things because I wanted God to put love in their hearts.”
The blonde beauty — who shares Maxwell, 7, Ace, 6, and Birdie, 10 months, with her husband, Eric Johnson — got candid about how she was sexually abused when she was younger in her new memoir, Open Book. Jessica explained the incident happened when she was five or six years old and continued until she was 12. “It would be in my sleep and stuff, so I have a lot of that fear of going to sleep because as a child, I developed these terrible protective things because I didn’t want to hurt her family,” she told the television host.
Jessica said her family friend was also being abused, but ultimately, Jess was able to move on from the shocking event. “I had compassion for her. I didn’t want to let the secret out,” she shared. “But at a very young age, I was feeling sexual things that no kid should feel, you know. It’s a painful thing to talk about, but I have definitely risen above it and it was one of those demons in my closet that was actually a beautiful one because I accepted it and there is so much in forgiveness.”
The mom of three admitted she confronted her family friend’s mom and the girl and told her, “I hope one day you can heal.” In response, her abuser said, “I have a lot to work through.”
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