The former couple met in February 2005 at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills, which Simpson, now 39, attended with her then-husband, Nick Lachey. Mayer, now 42, told her at the event that he was a fan of her song “With You,” and the pair began exchanging letters.
The Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica stars separated later that year and finalized their divorce in 2006. Soon after, the Dukes of Hazzard actress started seeing other men before linking up with the “Gravity” singer.
“He wanted to have all of me or nothing,” Simpson writes in her book in an excerpt published by People on Wednesday, January 22. “Again and again, he told me he was obsessed with me, sexually and emotionally.”
The “In This Skin” songstress felt insecure throughout her on-off romance with Mayer though. She admits in Open Book that she did not want to disappoint him and would go so far as to asking a friend to check the grammar and spelling in her text messages to the guitarist before hitting send.
“I constantly worried that I wasn’t smart enough for him,” she writes. “He was so clever and treated conversation like a friendly competition that he had to win.”
Over time, the anxiety that Simpson developed while trying to impress Mayer heightened, and she found herself turning to coping mechanisms.
“I would pour another drink,” she recalls. “It was the start of me relying on alcohol to mask my nerves.”
Elsewhere in the book, the fashion designer reveals that she was sexually abused as a child and later started drinking and taking pills in an attempt to bury her trauma. She became sober in November 2017.
Simpson and Mayer split in 2007 but stayed in touch afterward. However, she deleted his phone number in 2010 after he infamously spoke about their sex life and called her “sexual napalm” in a Playboy interview.
“He thought that was what I wanted to be called,” she told People. “I was floored and embarrassed that my grandmother was actually gonna read that. A woman and how they are in bed, is not something that is ever talked about. It was shocking.”
The Dead & Company member has since apologized for his controversial comments.
The former Fashion Star judge, for her part, is now married to Eric Johnson, with whom she shares Maxwell, 7, Ace, 6, and Birdie, 10 months.
Us Weekly has reached out to Mayer’s rep for comment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).