Jessica Simpson reveals she confronted the woman who abused her as a child

The pop singer and designer opened up about the personal subject on an episode of Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt’s podcast, "The Gift of Forgiveness."
Celebrity Sightings in New York City - February 5, 2020
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 05: Jessica Simpson seen out and about in Manhattan on February 5, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)Robert Kamau / GC Images
/ Source: TODAY

Jessica Simpson says she has forgiven the woman who sexually abused her as a child after confronting her eight years ago.

On Wednesday, the pop singer opened up about the personal subject on the new episode of Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt's podcast, "The Gift of Forgiveness."

“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," the 40-year-old Jessica Simpson Collection designer said. "And basically... and 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 in many ways I felt bad for her and I was allowing the abuse to happen."

In her memoir “Open Book” that came out earlier this year, Simpson wrote about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child.

"At the time, I didn't really understand what was happening. I knew something was wrong," she told TODAY’s Hoda Kotb of the abuse she endured multiple times beginning at age 6. "This was a very close person and she was being abused. It happened throughout a long time in my life."

This week, Simpson is providing more context into her experience, and what she said when she confronted the family friend.

"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,” Simpson said. “And ‘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 said she doesn't remember exactly why she decided to confront her when she did, but that it came after her divorce from Nick Lachey.

"I did a lot of soul searching, I was just in that place," Simpson explained on the podcast. "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. I left it unsaid for far too long."

"I knew that if I was honest with her, it would clear my conscience," she added. "I even sent her the book and I told her that I hope that it brings healing."