When Jessica Simpson appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2017, fans grew concerned about her bizarre behavior and questioned if she was drunk. The now-sober mother of three admits she cannot rewatch the footage of the disastrous interview because it serves as a reminder of her alcohol abuse.
Simpson, 39, is amping up for the release of her memoir, “Open Book,” out Feb. 4. The book features the most intimate moments in her life including sexual abuse she experienced as a child, developing a drinking problem, turning to diet pills at a young age and her former marriage to Nick Lachey.
On Wednesday, the singer appeared on “Today” to talk about her tell-all with Hoda Kotb, where the two ended up discussing Simpson’s interview with DeGeneres in May 2017, at the height of her drinking problem. During the interview, Simpson struggled to remember how long she had been married to her husband, Eric Johnson, and strangely blurted out that she had “38” new songs, which she then corrected to “36” songs, and then “39.”
“I knew that I wasn’t present,” Simpson told Kotb. “I knew that something was off.”
Simpson admitted she “can’t even watch” the footage now.
“It was a weak moment for me and I wasn’t in the right place,” Simpson said. “I had started a spiral and I couldn’t catch up with myself. That was when I was with alcohol.”
Simpson admits in the book that she was sexually abused by a young female family friend beginning at age 6, which spurred her past substance abuse. In her book, she reportedly writes that she was “killing” herself with alcohol and pills.
Her “aha” moment came later in 2017, when she was too “zoned out” on Halloween to help her kids get ready for a party.
“I was just dazed and confused and I just wanted to go to sleep,” Simpson told Kotb about the memory. “I didn’t show up for my family. I took the [Halloween] picture and I made the world think I showed up.”
After that day, Simpson said she turned to friends for help and ditched drinking.
“Giving up the alcohol was easy. I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb,” she writes in the book.
Simpson and Johnson have been married since 2014 and share daughters Maxwell, 7, Birdie, 10 months, and son, Ace, 6.