Fans Call Jessica Simpson ‘Amazing’ and ‘Brave’ for Sharing Her Story of Abuse and Addiction

Jessica Simpson is opening up about the abuse she experienced as a child and her battle with addiction.

In her new memoir, Open Book, the singer recounts the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and how it affected her personal life and career, as well as her struggle with alcohol and pills and her decision to get sober in 2017. 

While the candid memoir doesn’t hit store shelves until Feb. 4, fans are already praising the 39-year-old for her decision to speak up about her experiences. 

Jessica Simpson shares her story

Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson | Jim Spellman/WireImage

In the book, Simpson writes that the sexual abuse began when she was six years old and “shared a bed with the daughter of a family friend.” She knew what was happening was wrong and wanted to tell her parents, but it took her years to speak up. It wasn’t until she was 12 years old and on a car trip with her mom and dad that she told them what had occurred. 

“I told you something was happening,” Simpson’s mother Tina said to her father Joe. 

“Dad kept his eye on the road and said nothing,” Simpson writes. “We never stayed at my parents’ friends house again but we also didn’t talk about what I had said.”

Later, Simpson found fame as a singer, reality TV star, and fashion mogul. But the trauma of the abuse didn’t go away. She turned to alcohol and pills to cope, before hitting “rock-bottom” in 2017 and deciding to get sober. She also started therapy. 

“When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life,” she told People. “I found direction and that was to walk straight ahead with no fear.”

Fans call Simpson ‘brave’ and ‘amazing’ for opening up about her experience 

On Jan. 22, Simpson shared the People cover story with her followers on Instagram, writing: “There is so much beauty on the other side of fear and I hope my truth can help.”

The response from fans was overwhelmingly supportive, with many calling her decision to share her story “inspirational,” “amazing,” and “powerful.” 

“Brave of you to release the truth, there is no timeframe for trauma and I hope this will release many women and men from theirs,” commented one person. 

“You’re so amazing for speaking up and helping others know they are not alone. Beneath money, fame and celebrity status we’re really the same when it comes to addiction,” another wrote. 

Several people wrote that Simpson’s revelations put her past behavior, like an awkward 2017 interview with Ellen DeGeneres where she appears to be intoxicated, in a new light. Others shared their own stories of addiction and recovery. 

“Yesterday was my 800th day without a drink, I went sober in November 2017 too,” one wrote. “Thank you for sharing your story.”

How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.