Jessica Simpson Admits She Was Drunk in That 2017 "Ellen" Interview

In a new interview on Today, Jessica Simpson opened up about getting sober in 2017.

In May 2017, Jessica Simpson had an infamously awkward interview on Ellen that led many to question the state of her mental health. Slurring her words and seeming disoriented, she told several incoherent stories and seemed to have trouble recalling dates and facts. Now, two years later, Simpson has come clean about her battle with pills and alcohol addiction in her upcoming memoir, Open Book. And in a new interview with Today host Hoda Kotb, Simpson admitted that she was under the influence when she did that interview with Ellen DeGeneres in 2017.

"I can't even watch the interview," she told Kotb. "It was a weak moment for me, and I wasn't in the right place. I had started a spiral, and I couldn't catch up with myself and that was with alcohol."

Simpson recently revealed that she had been sexually abused by a family friend when she was six years old, and that it took another six years for her to tell her parents, who then put an end to the abuse. "I was a preacher's daughter," she told Kotb. "I was taught to be a virgin until I got married, and so I never wanted to share these sexual things that were happening because I didn't want to hurt anybody."

Simpson said her marriage to Nick Lachey ended in divorce in 2006 because she "felt a lot of resentment" and that "the love wasn't enough." In 2014, she married former NFL player Eric Johnson, with whom she shares three children—Maxwell, 7, Ace, 6, and Birdie, 10 months. But, by 2017, the pressures of parenthood, stardom, and constant tabloid headlines about her weight combined with her childhood trauma brought her to a place in which she was drinking constantly. "I always had a glitter cup, and it was always filled to the rim with alcohol," she told Kotb.

Then, on Halloween of 2017, something changed.

Simpson said she began drinking at 7 in the morning that day.

"I looked at the pictures of y'all on Halloween, and I swear I would have said, 'They had the best Halloween ever," Kotb said. Simpson responded: "Yeah, that's what those pictures were for."

But the truth is, Simpson was "dazed and confused." She said she doesn't even "remember who got [her kids] ready," and couldn't take them trick or treating.

Not being able to take care of her kids was a wake-up call for Simpson. The next day, she decided to get sober. She began seeing a therapist, and hasn't had a drink since.

"Giving up the alcohol was easy," she told People recently. "I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb. … When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life. I found direction and that was to walk straight ahead with no fear."

Simpson said talking about her journey to recovery has been difficult, but she's glad her addiction is in the rear-view now. "Honesty is hard but it's the most rewarding thing we have," she told People. "And getting to the other side of fear is beautiful."

Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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