Among the many revelations of Jessica Simpson’s new memoir, Open Book, the former pop star admits that she got two tummy tucks against her doctor’s orders because she “couldn’t bear” to look at herself.
Simpson, 39, reveals in the book that she scheduled a partial tummy tuck to celebrate turning 35 in July 2015.
“The surgery wasn’t for weight loss,” she explains. “I weighed 107 pounds when I planned the surgery. I wanted to get rid of the stretch marks and loose skin left sagging from my back-to-back pregnancies.” (Simpson and her husband, Eric Simpson, have three children: daughter Maxwell, 7, son Ace, 5, and daughter Birdie, 10 months.)
She goes on: “I was so ashamed of my body at this point that I wouldn’t let Eric see me without a white T-shirt on. I had sex with it on and even showered with it on. I couldn’t bear to look at myself.”
While on vacation in St. Bart’s, however, Simpson got a worrisome call from her doctor. “He was direct,” she remembers. “My plastic surgeon may have approved me for the surgery in two weeks, but he would not.”
The Newlyweds alum writes that her doctor, concerned about her liver levels, told her that she “could die” and that she needed to “stop everything for three months,” including drinking and taking pills.
She went forward with the tummy tuck as scheduled, however. “When I got home, I cut down on everything, like someone cramming for a test,” she discloses. “I disregarded what my doctor said and kept the surgery date.”
The first surgery went fine, but Simpson was still dissatisfied. “I still had loose skin that hung over my pants,” she writes.
So she arranged for a full tummy tuck for two months later. “This surgery was more involved,” she explains, opening up about her pre-operation qualms. “There was a sense that something was going to go wrong from the get-go, even though I stopped drinking to prepare.”
The second surgery ran two hours long, and the fashion designer suffered post-surgery complications. “It did not go well. I got an infection — colitis — and was vomiting so much I thought I was going to bust my sutures,” she writes, revealing that she secretly stayed in a hospital for nine days. “Doctors talked seriously about me needing a blood transfusion,” she adds.
After being put through the wringer, Simpson made a full recovery. “I felt like myself again,” she writes, before ending her tale with a word of caution. “But I can tell you that plastic surgery does not cure what’s inside. Really, it’s about how you feel emotionally, and I was still just as hard on myself once those stitches were out.”
Simpson has opened up about troublesome cosmetic procedures in the past, telling Glamour magazine in 2006 that she got lip injections. “I had that Restylane stuff,” she said at the time. “It went away in like four months…[but] thank God! [They] looked fake to me. I didn’t like that.”