I’m going to tell you something shocking: Jessica Simpson’s memoir, Open Book, came out THIS YEAR. Doesn’t it feel like a lifetime ago? It came out pre-pandemic, and we got about ten stories out of it, which is pretty good for a celebrity memoir. Jessica spilled some vintage tea about her marriage to Nick Lachey, her relationship with John Mayer, her alcoholism and tons of other stuff. The memoir was well-received and I really respected Jessica for putting so much of that out there. Jessica recently spoke to SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show about her pandemic life, sobriety and lots more. Some highlights:
Why she wrote her memoir, Open Book: “I did make a huge shift in my life…. I was at that point in my life where my kids were growing older and they were watching every move that I made. I just really wanted clarity. I wanted to understand myself cause I didn’t even realize how much I was drinking and how much I was suppressing. I thought it was making me brave, I thought it was making me confident and it was actually the complete opposite, it was silencing me….
On her sobriety: “It’s almost been three years which is crazy, I mean it’s pretty, it’s awesome. People are like ‘don’t you want to drink during this pandemic, oh my god aren’t your kids driving you crazy.’ I’m like no, I do not want to drink, like, I have not wanted it, I feel like that’s a big blessing. Once I surrendered and gave it over I never looked back and my husband did it with me so that support was amazing.”
The pandemic journal: “Through the pandemic every morning I journal and I haven’t done that in forever. Normally it was to do song writing or something like that. But now every morning I sit with my journal, I confront myself before I confront my family.”
How she hit rock bottom with her alcoholism: “It just ended up coming to a surface. I knew a lot of it was coming up, coming up and I couldn’t suppress it any more. The alcohol was not numbing anything. It wasn’t numb anymore, I was just numb. I couldn’t even understand stuff that was coming out of my mouth, it didn’t sound like me. So I really had to get back inside the person that I am. When you do that self-reflection it’s very empowering. It takes a lot of courage. I can promise anyone on the other side of that fear, that courage is so beautiful and it’s one of the most rewarding things and decisions I have ever made in my life. And I never thought I would have to make that decision.”
On turning 40: “I am, like, embracing the quarantine life. I freaked out two months before I turned 40, not knowing that that age would even mean anything to me but then it’s like 41, 42…. I’ve never calculated my age until now…. I am accepting it slowly [laughs]… I just think I am such a person that reminisces, I hold on to so many memories, I am tragically romantic like that about my own self….. Thank god I put a memoir out at 40 because if not it would have been 800 pages if I waited any longer.”
“I am tragically romantic like that about my own self” is such a surprisingly self-aware comment and it also made me laugh! And now I’m wondering if I am tragically romantic about myself too? Am I? Anyway, turning 40 is no f–king joke and it does make you take stock of your life and what’s going right and what’s going wrong. I actually appreciate that Jessica’s alcoholic bottoming-out wasn’t some huge crime or drunken arrest or anything – she was just self-medicating and her husband was tired of it and her friends were tired of it and she was tired of her drunk self. I would love to read her journals!
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.