Speaking out. Jessica Simpson got honest with Today host Hoda Kotb about being sexually abused as a 6-year-old in a new interview that aired Wednesday, January 29, and said she believes her parents protected her from further harm.
“You talk about abuse, sexual abuse, at the hands of a family friend,” Hoda began, referring to the singer’s new memoir, Open Book. Later, the 55-year-old praised Jessica for “finally” having the “big-time guts” to tell her parents what transpired.
“My parents’ reaction, they did the best that they could. You know, that’s a heavy thing to hear from your child,” the Texas native replied. “Did they kind of ignore it?” Hoda interjected. “They ignored it with their words. For sure,” Jessica recalled. “But they took action. And I never had to do the sleepovers again. And I never had to go back.”
The talk show host asked Jessica how she got through such a traumatic ordeal and the singer said she “didn’t really understand what was happening” when the abuse was going on. “I knew something was wrong,” she noted. “I knew it was wrong, what was going on.” The former reality TV star claimed that her abuser was, unfortunately, also being abused.
“I was a preacher’s daughter,” Jessica added. “I was taught to be a virgin until I got married. I never wanted to share these like, sexual things that were happening because I didn’t wanna hurt anybody.”
In previously released clips, Jessica also talked about her struggle with alcohol addiction. “I had started a spiral and I couldn’t catch up with myself,” the singer revealed. “And that was with alcohol … I would say it openly to everyone. ‘I know.’ Like, ‘I know. I’ll stop soon. I’ll cut back … I didn’t know it was a problem until it was.”
“I just realized that I had to surrender,” the actress continued. “It was time. I had to give it up. And I was ready. I’m not gonna miss another day.”
Jessica specifically stated she didn’t want to miss another Halloween or Christmas, and that’s likely impacted by the fact that she has three kids to make memories with during those holidays — Maxwell, 7, Ace, 6, and Birdie, 10 months.
We’re glad she’s gotten a handle on her struggles and is so willing to be open about them now.
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