Jessica Simpson is opening up for the first time about sexual abuse she experienced as a young girl.
In a new memoir, the actress and singer revealed 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 wrote, according to an excerpt obtained by People. "I wanted to tell my parents. I was the victim but somehow I felt in the wrong."
Eventually, Simpson told her parents during a car ride when she was 12. 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," Simpson wrote. "We never stayed at my parents’ friends house again but we also didn’t talk about what I had said."
Simpson wrote in her memoir that the resulting trauma led her to self-medicate: "I was killing myself with all the drinking and pills."
After hitting rock bottom after a Halloween party, Simpson got sober in November 2017, and hasn't had a drink since.
"Giving up the alcohol was easy," she said. "I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb."
In 2010, the singer began dating Eric Johnson, who she married in 2014. They now have three children: daughter Maxwell, 7, son Ace, 6, and baby girl Birdie, 10 months.
“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. "I’ve used my pain and turned it into something that can be beautiful and hopefully inspiring to people."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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