After revealing, in her new memoir “Open Book,” that she was assaulted by a family friend when she was just 6 years old, the star, 39, opened up about the incident in an interview with TODAY.
“At the time I didn't really understand what was happening,'” she said. “I knew something was wrong. I knew it was wrong what was going on.”
Simpson revealed that her female abuser was “a very close person” to her, and she was also “being abused.”
The assault, Simpson said, went on for a “long time,” until she finally got the courage to tell her parents.
“I was a preacher's daughter,'” she said. “I was taught to be a virgin until I got married, and so I never wanted to share these sexual things that were happening because I didn't want to hurt anybody.”
Her father was a Baptist youth minister in Texas at the time.
“My parents' reaction — they did the best that they could,” the singer-turned-designer admitted. “That's a heavy thing to hear from your child. They ignored it with their words, for sure, but they took action, and I never had to do the sleepovers again. I never had to go back.”
Regarding her addiction struggles, Simpson said in her interview that she didn't "recognize" herself when she was under the influence. She always had a cup of booze in hand, but didn't realize it was an issue until she could no longer ignore it.
“I had started a spiral and I couldn’t catch up with myself…and that was with alcohol,” she said. “I would say it openly to everyone. ‘I know. I know, I’ll stop soon. I’ll cut back.’ For me to cut back, like I’m an all or nothing girl, and so I didn’t know it was a problem until it was.”
When she finally decided to get sober in 2017, her loving husband, Eric Johnson, offered to quit with her. Neither of them has looked back since.
“Open Book” is set to be released on February 4.