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Jessica Simpson quit cheerleading after her entire school called her a ‘lesbian’ because she was sexually abused

Reiss Smith February 7, 2020
Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson was bullied after confiding in a friend about her childhood abuse. (Getty)

Jessica Simpson said she was sexually abused by a family friend while her sister Ashlee Simpson slept in the same bed.

The popstar-turned-clothing mogul said she was abused by a girl a year older than her, from the age of “5 or 6… until 12”.

She recalled how this would happen when she shared a bed with the girl “about three times” a year, sometimes with her sister Ashlee also in the bed.

Simpson told The Dr Oz Show she would place herself in between the girl and her sister to protect her.

Because she knew her abuser was herself being molested by an older boy, she kept what was happening a secret.

“I didn’t want to hurt her family,” she said.

“I had compassion for her, I didn’t want to let the secret out, but at a very young age I was feeling sexual things no kid should feel.”

At school Simpson confided in somebody who she considered a close friend, who promptly told all of her peers.

The whole school said I was a lesbian. At that time, I didn’t even know what that meant.

She was head cheerleader at the time, but quit after her classmates told another school her story.

“These girls went over to the other team and told them and everybody started chanting ‘lesbian’ and I ran out.”

“I dropped out. I will never be a cheerleader again.”

Simpson said she had decided to share her story “to help save the lives of anyone that’s being abused”.

Jessica Simpson recounts abuse in new memoir Open Book.

In the memoir, Open Book, she reveals that the same “best friend” once started a rumour that Jessica Simpson had abused her during a sleepover.

“This started some chain reaction thing where three other girls – and I remember their names, too – then claimed that I had done the same thing to them,” she wrote.

“I’d never even been alone with some of them, let alone at their houses.”

Simpson told Dr Oz that she confronted and forgave her abuser years after the abuse had ended.

“There’s so much in forgiveness,” she said.

“I said: ‘I understand you and I want you to know I know what was happening, I know that you’re struggling, I hope one day you can heal.'”

Newlyweds star on infamous ‘chicken or fish’ moment.

The book also delves into Simpson’s marriage to Nick Lachey, which was detailed in the MTV reality series Newylweds.

“I met Nick when I was 19 years old, I was married by 22,” she said.

“I don’t know if it was fame that tore us apart, but I think I fell in love with him very young so he fell in love with the girl that I was, and the woman that I was becoming needed to live.”

Acknowledging that the pair became “actors in their own lives”, Simpson joked: “We knew our roles and we knew when to turn it on, and we couldn’t wait for the cameras to get out of there so we could fight.”

Fifteen years after the series ended, Simpson acknowledged her infamous “chicken of the sea” mix-up.

“We had our moments where I would just say some dumb blonde jokes,” she said. “[But] I really did confuse chicken and tuna. That was real, I own that.”

More: Ashlee Simpson, childhood abuse, Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, open book

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