Several months after revealing she was sexually abused as a child, Jessica Simpson opened up about forgiving the perpetrator during a candid conversation with Katherine Schwarzenegger.
“I would say about eight years ago I confronted her,” the 40-year-old singer recalled on the “Gift of Forgiveness” podcast on Wednesday, July 29. “I went to her and I just said, ‘I know you know what was going on and I know that you were being abused,’ ‘cause she was being abused by an older guy. And basically, and he was always there at the house as well — he never touched me, but he would abuse her and then she would come to me and do the stuff to me — and so in so many ways I felt bad for her and I was allowing the abuse to happen.”
In Simpon’s memoir, Open Book, which was released in February, she revealed she was abused by the daughter of a family friend from the ages of 6 to 12.
“I told her in the moment, ‘I know that you have a lot to deal with’ and I told her that I think she should probably talk to someone and find a way to understand those moments and to forgive those moments and to heal from those moments,” she explained to Schwarzenegger, 30. “And [I said], ‘I just want you to know that I forgive you and I don’t really care to be around you that much or ever again, but I do want you to know that, like, I know what happened between us and I’m not gonna live in denial about it.’”
Simpson noted that she did a lot of “soul-searching” after her divorce from Nick Lachey, which was finalized in June 2006, and that prompted her to reach out to her abuser.
“I was just in that place where I was celibate, and I was, like, on this journey to explore myself, and I knew that I couldn’t move forward without letting her know that. I wasn’t just gonna leave it unsaid,” the designer explained on the podcast. “I left it unsaid for far too long, but I knew that if I was honest with her, that it would clear my conscience. And I even sent her the book and I told her that I hope it brings healing.”
Simpson’s Open Book spent several weeks on the New York Times’ Bestsellers list. In the tell-all, she revealed her family would visit the house of her abuser three times a year. She wrote about protecting sister Ashlee Simpson from the abuse.
“I lay between them, fiercely protecting my sister from this monster,” she wrote. “I didn’t want her to feel as disgusting as I felt. … I never let her near Ashlee, but I also never screamed or told her to stop.”
After Jessica told her parents, Joe and Tina Simpson, about the situation, she claimed they said nothing.
”We never stayed at my parents’ friends’ house again,” she wrote. “But we also didn’t talk about what I had said.”
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