In her upcoming memoir, Open Book, the 39-year old singer reveals that she was sexually abused as a child, starting when she was 6 years old.
"[It happened] when I shared a bed with the daughter of a family friend," she writes in excerpts released by People. "It would start with tickling my back and then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable."
Jessica kept the secret to herself for years. "I was the victim but somehow I felt in the wrong," she writes.
Six years after the abuse began she told her parents, Tina and Joe Simpson, about it while on a car trip. Jessica writes that, in response to her statement, Tina slapped Joe's arm and said, "I told you something was happening."
"Dad kept his eye on the road and said nothing," she writes. "We never stayed at my parents’ friends house again but we also didn’t talk about what I had said."
The sexual assault, along with other experiences in her life, led Jessica to a point where, she writes, she was "killing myself with all the drinking and pills."
It all came to a head after a Halloween party in 2017. In her book, Jessica recalls telling her friends, "I need to stop. Something’s got to stop. And if it’s the alcohol that’s doing this, and making things worse, then I quit."
"Giving up the alcohol was easy," she tells People. "I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb."
Another part of her recovery came through therapy, which, she writes in her book, helped her "to feel the traumas I'd been through."
"When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life," she tells People. "I found direction and that was to walk straight ahead with no fear."
"Honesty it is hard but it’s the most rewarding thing we have," she adds. "And getting to the other side of fear is beautiful."
In conjunction with the release of her memoir, Jessica, who narrated the audio book, will also release six new songs, all of which are meant to inspire those going through a tough time.
"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 tells the magazine. "I’ve used my pain and turned it into something that can be beautiful and hopefully inspiring to people."