Jessica Simpson ‘Wanted to Protect’ Sister Ashlee Simpson From Abuse: ‘I Would Rather the Pain Happen to Me’

Jessica Simpson 'Wanted to Protect' Sister Ashlee Simpson From Abuse: 'I Would Rather the Pain Happen to Me'
Ashlee Simpson and Jessica Simpson pose together at the Los Angeles Premiere of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" held at Nokia Theater L.A. Live, in Los Angeles, CA on November 17, 2014. Alexandra Wyman/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Jessica Simpson opened up about experiencing childhood sexual abuse and her desire to protect her sister, Ashlee Simpson, during a candid interview on The Dr. Oz Show.

The “With You” singer, 39, recalled the abuse, which she detailed in her memoir Open Book, happening during sleepovers with a family friend’s daughter when they were both “5 or 6” years old.

“So my sister would be there and I always wanted to protect my sister,” Jessica told host Dr. Mehmet Oz in a sneak peek of the Thursday, February 6 episode. “So I would push her out of the way and get in the middle because I knew what was going to happen, I would rather the pain happen to me than to my sister. Even if I were to have another friend there, I would always make sure I would sleep next to the girl so she would never do it to anyone else.”

The “A Public Affair” songstress added that she was afraid to tell anyone about the abuse because she didn’t want anyone to get hurt.

“I just wouldn’t move. I was stuck,” Jessica said. “Yeah, and I just would lay there and allow these things to happen and I didn’t want to hurt people by telling them. By the time I actually did talk to my parents about it, their actions spoke a lot louder than their words. We didn’t really say much.”

In her memoir Open Book, the business mogul revealed that the abuse began when she “shared a bed with the daughter of a family friend” as a child and gradually escalated.

“It would start with tickling my back and then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable,” she wrote. “I wanted to tell my parents. I was the victim but somehow I felt in the wrong.”

The Blonde Ambition star eventually did tell her parents, Joe and Tina Simpson, during a road trip when she was 12 years old. According to Jessica, her mother, 60, slapped Joe’s arm and said, “I told you something was happening.” Jessica wrote that Joe, 61, “kept his eye on the road and said nothing.”

She added, “We never stayed at my parents’ friend’s house again but we also didn’t talk about what I had said.”

If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.

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