Jessica Simpson confronted abuser

Jessica Simpson "needed" to confront her childhood abuser.

The 39-year-old star candidly revealed in her new memoir 'Open Book' that she was abused by a family friend's daughter between the ages of six to 12 and after getting sober in 2017 following an addiction to alcohol and pills, she felt it was important to speak to them about their alleged behaviour.

She said: "I needed to confront my abuser. It was extremely painful and still is. It's still shocking. That little girl in me wanting to do the right thing, not knowing how to stand up for herself and not knowing how to stop it."

Jessica believes the abuse made her the person she is now and admitted she felt "shame" because she was convinced she had "allowed" it to happen.

She told People magazine: "I felt like a lot of who I am, the character of who I am, was built through the trials and the pain of abuse.

"I allowed it to happen, so I felt that I was as much of the abuser as the abused. So I was very shameful during that time, from 6 to 12 years old."

Jessica - who has kids Maxwell, seven, Ace, six, and 10-month-old Birdie with husband Eric Johnson - wishes she'd spoken out earlier but hopes her honesty can help others now.

She said: "I wish I would have spoken up earlier but I'm glad that I can now.

"As a mother, that's why I wanted to tell people about it -- that it's not your fault."

In her book, the blonde beauty recalled finally telling her parents about the abuse when she was 12 and they were in a car, prompting her mother Tina to slap her father Joe and say she knew "something was happening", but they never discussed it again.

But Jessica insisted it wasn't her parents' fault and they took measures not to put her at risk again, even if it was an unspoken subject.

She said: "Normally, I would've candy coated it, and I didn't. They understood why I needed to have it in the book.

"I know as parents they wanted to protect me from everything in the world. I was a preacher's daughter and I was so protected -- and also I wasn't.

"It's hard for a parent to hear that -- but it also wasn't their fault. It felt good to say it out loud and then it never happened again.

"From that moment on, we never went back to that place and we were never alone in that situation again. It broke their hearts. Their way of dealing with it was to make sure that it never happened again."