Jessica Simpson Talks Confronting Her Childhood Abuser
By Paige Gawley
David Livingston/Getty Images
Jessica Simpson is revealing why she reached out to her childhood abuser to offer forgiveness. In an interview on Katherine Schwarzenegger's podcast The Gift of Forgiveness, the 40-year-old singer recalls the time she spoke to her abuser, the daughter of a family friend.
"About eight years ago I confronted 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, so he never touched me, but he would abuse her and then she would come to me and do the stuff to me and so, like in so many ways I felt bad for her and I was allowing the abuse to happen."
"I told her in the moment, 'I know that you have a lot to deal with,' and I told her that 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 continued. "'I just want you to know that I forgive you and I don't really care to be around you that much ever again, but I do want you to know that I know what happened between us and I'm not gonna live in denial about it.'"
As for how Simpson's abuser reacted to the forgiveness, the fashion designer recalled, "She really didn't say much. We haven't spoken really since."
Prior to having the discussion with her unnamed abuser, Simpson spoke to the abuser's family about the situation.
"I had talked to her brother about it before and I talked to her mother as well. I wanted to tell her family so they could take care of her after I told her that I forgive her, because I knew that it would be hard for her to even hear that from me," Simpson said. "... I felt that maybe if I was honest and just surrendered and talked to the people that I knew were involved and I knew loved her that they could help her and I didn't have to anymore."
The decision to confront her abuser came after Simpson's 2006 divorce from Nick Lachey at a time when she was doing "a lot of soul searching."
"I was just in that place where I was celibate at the time and I was on this journey to explore myself and I knew that I couldn't move forward without letting her know that I wasn't going to just leave it unsaid," she said. "I left it unsaid for far too long. I knew that if I was honest with her, it would clear my conscience."
"I even sent her the book and I told her that I hope that it brings healing," Simpson added of her recent memoir, Open Book, in which she first publicly opened up about her abuse.