Tragic Details About Jessica Simpson

When people look at Jessica Simpson, they may think she is a woman who has it all: a successful career, an impressive fortune, and a beautiful family. While she does have those, her road to success has not been easy, and there have been many challenges for her to overcome. She is a survivor of childhood abuse, has weathered a string of very public failed relationships, and has been open about her addiction issues. Despite the singer's hardships, she has remained strong and resilient. She has also bravely opened up about her life, revealing that it has been far from perfect.

"It's been a long, hard, deep emotional journey, one that I've come through the other side with pure happiness and fulfillment and acceptance of myself," she said to People about her memoir, "Open Book." "I've used my pain and turned it into something that can be beautiful and hopefully inspiring to people." These are the tragic true details of Jessica Simpson's life and how they made her the person she is today.

Jessica Simpson was sexually abused as a child

Jessica Simpson initially tried to numb her childhood trauma with substance use, but in her memoir "Open Book," she addressed what happened. Simpson revealed the abuse spanned six years, from when she was 6 to when she was 12.

"It happened 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 wrote. She would later tell her parents, and they would not return to the family friend's home. Her memoir was not the only time the "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" singer addressed the abuse. On a 2020 episode of ​​Katherine Schwarzenegger's podcast, "The Gift of Forgiveness," she spoke about contacting her abuser to confront her.

"I went to her and I just said, 'I know you know what was going on, and I know that you were being abused,' because she was being abused by an older guy," Simpson said. "He was always there at the house as well. ... In so many ways, I felt bad for her." 

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

She is open about her substance misuse

From an outsider's perspective, Jessica Simpson's life may have seemed perfect. She had a successful career, she is a beautiful woman, and the world was hers for the taking. But her 2020 memoir "Open Book" gave fans a glimpse into her life. The "I Wanna Love You Forever" singer shared her truths in an honest and vulnerable way.

"I was killing myself with all the drinking and pills," she wrote in the memoir.

For years, Simpson was addicted to pills and alcohol. She had initially taken the pills — Tylenol PM — to help her sleep. This was because she was dealing with the effects of childhood trauma stemming from her sexual abuse. "I took each pill like a magic potion, because it freed me," she also wrote in "Open Book." "I was able to sleep in my own bed, or a bed on the road, without needing Ashlee [Simpson]. I didn't think I was dependent. In fact, those pills actually helped me feel independent."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The world made fun of her intelligence

Jessica Simpson has been a public figure for decades, but many fans were introduced to her when she appeared on the reality TV show "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica." The MTV show first aired in 2003, and as its title suggests, it followed the lives of newlywed couple Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson.

Of all the memorable moments during the three seasons the show was on the air, one stood out: Simpson's confusion over whether she was eating chicken or fish. An innocent question that would result in her being the butt of many jokes and being ridiculed for her intelligence.

"Is this chicken that I have, or is this fish?" she asked in the show's premiere episode. "I know it's tuna, but it says chicken by the sea. Is that stupid? What is it called — chicken by the sea or in the sea?" Her then-husband would explain that Chicken of the Sea was the product's brand name, assuring her she was definitely eating tuna. Years later, in 2016, Simpson showed great humor when she posted a meme to Instagram of a chicken swimming in the sea.

Her marriage to Nick Lachey was a troubled one

There was a time when Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey were among the hottest celebrity couples, and their relationship attracted much attention from fans and the media. They met in 1998 and would date, briefly split, and then get engaged and married in 2002. Their wedding was attended by 350 guests, and the bride wore a custom-made Vera Wang gown.

Did it seem like the picture of perfection? Perhaps. However, their time together was short-lived, and Simpson filed for divorce in 2005. However, their relationship problems had started years earlier. The "With You" singer's comments on her marriage suggest they were a poor match who dealt with their problems differently. She addressed this in her memoir, "Open Book."

"I would accuse him of having a wandering eye, and he would rip into me," she wrote. "We were not one of those couples that screamed at each other, let whatever fly out of our mouths, and then make mad, passionate love. No, we would yell at each other, and then he would go out with his boys and not answer the phone."

Her reality show tried to manipulate her emotions

Much of Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson's marriage played out on their reality television show "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica." It first aired in August 2003 (and the couple were only married in October 2002), and the last episode aired in 2005, the same year Simpson filed for divorce.

While the show gave fans a glimpse into their relationship, it also added pressure to it, especially given the agenda of the producers and crew. Simpson discussed this in "Open Book," recalling that they showed her a story of Lachey visiting a strip club. "The tabloid said Nick did some vague thing with a porn star named Jessica. I stopped reading," she wrote. "'Why are you showing me this?' I asked. The production assistant looked embarrassed. I realized they wanted a reaction on camera. 'If we can't get them to interact romantically, let's have them fight.'" The move may have made for good television, but exploiting Simpson's emotions was also incredibly cruel.

John Mayer broke her heart

Jessica Simpson's dating history includes several famous men, but one of her more memorable pairings was with John Mayer. That said, that relationship too had its problems, with Simpson and Mayer often breaking up and getting back together.

They first started dating in 2006, following Simpson's divorce from Nick Lachey. The singer is believed to have broken up with Simpson nine times, and he did it using technology. In "Open Book," Simpson discusses the relationship, painting a picture of how badly matched she and Mayer had been. "He was so clever and treated conversation like a friendly competition he had to win," she wrote.

She also discussed his mixed signals in "Open Book," writing, "Again and again, he told me that he was obsessed with me, sexually and emotionally." Although Mayer may have been saying the right things, it wouldn't last. "John loved me when I was shining, and he drew inspiration from that light," Simpson recalled. "When he tapped me dry, he looked at me like I was withholding something from him."

Jessica Simpson's cousin's death impacted her life

There have been several incidents in Jessica Simpson's life that have had a profound effect on who she is. When she released "Open Book," it gave people a chance to understand her better and learn more about what she's had to overcome. One of the standout pieces of the book revolves around her cousin, Sarah, who died as a teenager. Sarah had chronicled her life by writing in journals, and this was something that played on Simpson's mind before releasing her own memoir.

"Sarah had recorded her life so beautifully in her journals, and her mother sharing them with her church community had made such an impact that for decades I thought that was why God had called her home," Simpson wrote in an essay for Amazon titled "Take The Lead." "She had fulfilled her purpose — written the summation." Because of how her cousin had kept a record of her life, Simpson feared a similar fate awaited her. "I declared that there were no more secrets. But there is one more secret I haven't shared: I thought that publishing a memoir meant that I was going to die," she wrote.

Her weight gain during her pregnancy became a topic of much discussion

Jessica Simpson is the mother of three children, but her last pregnancy with her daughter, Birdie, made headlines for her weight gain. Simpson spoke about her pregnant body and the changes she made after giving birth during an appearance on HSN.

"It's been a lot of hard work, I've been working very hard," Simpson said of her weight loss. "When you're pregnant, I gain a lot, I mean, a lot. I didn't expect to gain as much with my third. I thought I'd learned my lesson, but apparently, that's just the way God made me, very hungry and pregnant."

In an interview with Today in 2021, the "Dukes of Hazzard" actress once again spoke about her appearance but revealed she was committed to staying healthy and not obsessing over the numbers on a scale (which she claimed she threw out). "I have no idea how much I weigh. Like, I just want to feel good and be able to zip my pants up. If I don't, I have another size. I have every size," she said. "I've really tried my hardest to not let that define me."

Jessica Simpson gave up alcohol to become a better mother

Jessica Simpson addressed her addiction in "Open Book" and discussed how her misuse affected her health. Her drinking also impacted her parenting ability, and she recalled a turning point on Halloween 2017. "I was terrified of letting them see me in that shape," she wrote. "I am ashamed to say that I don't know who got them into their costumes that night."

Simpson quit drinking and began therapy. In 2021, she posted a photo of herself from 2017 on Instagram, noting how much her life changed since then. In the caption, she wrote that the woman in the picture was an "unrecognizable version" of herself. "There is so much stigma around the word alcoholism or the label of an alcoholic," she also wrote. "The real work that needed to be done in my life was to actually accept failure, pain, brokenness, and self-sabotage. The drinking wasn't the issue. I was. I didn't love myself. I didn't respect my own power. Today I do."

The changes in her life have allowed her to be there for her children and experience simple moments she may have previously missed. She referred to this experience and her sobriety as "no better gift."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

She had a tummy tuck that could have led to serious complications

Jessica Simpson is considered by many to be a stunning woman, but her appearance has been a topic of much discussion over the years. She is no stranger to criticism, and her body's changes during and after her pregnancies left her feeling critical of herself. For this reason, she decided to get a tummy tuck in the hopes of being able to view her body more favorably.

Simpson addressed this experience in her memoir "Open Book" and said that she would not let her husband, Eric Johnson, see her without a T-shirt. "I couldn't bear to look at myself," she wrote. Despite her doctor's concerns about her safety, she decided to get a partial tummy tuck in 2015. "The surgery wasn't for weight loss," she wrote. "I weighed 107 pounds when I planned the surgery. I wanted to get rid of the stretch marks and loose skin left sagging from my back-to-back pregnancies."

She would later have a second surgery, a complete tummy tuck, to remove excess skin. However, this time there were serious complications. "It did not go well. I got an infection — colitis — and was vomiting so much I thought I was going to bust my sutures," she wrote.

Jessica Simpson has had to face constant criticism about her weight

Jessica Simpson is honest about her struggles with her weight and the times she felt unhappy with her appearance. Living her life in the public eye has opened her up to much criticism.

"I've been criticized, and it hurts, but I've been every weight, and I've been proud of it," Simpson told Terri Seymour in an interview for "Extra" in 2022. But she also turned the criticism into something positive: her clothing line, The Jessica Simpson Collection. "I decided, 'Okay, everybody is going to talk about my weight all the time, I might as well make money off of it and turn it into a business of selling clothes and acceptance,'" she said.

Her mother, Tina Simpson, has also acknowledged how much others have judged her daughter. As she told Us Weekly in 2021, "Body shaming is a terrible thing, and no girl should have to go through that — or guy. Period. No one."

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

The media has been unkind to her

Jessica Simpson is known for being happy and outgoing, but despite this image, she has endured some terrible experiences. She has also faced criticism, backlash, and unkind media treatment.

The "Take My Breath Away" singer addressed this on Instagram, writing that her studio is a place where she can heal and escape from the negativity she faces. Her singing continues to lead her to a better understanding of who she is. This post also showed a positive outlook as well as her strength and resilience. "I am capable of pretty much anything I care enough about to put my mind to," she wrote. "I am present. I am deeply inspired. I am determined. I am honest. I care about other people. After grounding myself just now with my voice and the lyrics across my heart, I feel compassion for the opinionated hate that some people can so effortlessly just blurt out with such intensity on social media or in the media in general." 

Simpson advised fans to "live inside your dreams and move through them. Don't give up on yourself because someone else did." Powerful words from a woman who has been misunderstood and underappreciated many times throughout her career.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.