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Jessica Simpson on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2017

Fans who watched Jessica Simpsons on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in May 2017 cracked jokes that maybe Simpson was drunk or on something at the time. The interview was awkward to watch, with Ellen occasionally turning to the camera for "oh boy" looks after some of Simpson's flighty or rambling comments. It wasn't the first time fans thought Simpson might've been inebriated on TV. Turns out, Simpson was going through a rough patch at the time, and now we know that interview was taped during the height of her issues with alcohol.

Jessica Simpson opened up on her addiction to pills and alcohol, and the sexual abuse she suffered as a child, in her new memoir Open Book. It hits shelves on February 4.

Jessica Simpson said her issues with alcohol started years after her struggle with body image. As a teen, she signed to a record label and was told to lose 15 pounds. She went on a crash diet, she told Today, and took diet pills. That was something she ended up doing for 20 years.

When it comes to alcohol, Jessica Simpson told the New York Times she started drinking to calm her nerves while she was dating John Mayer in 2006. She wrote in her memoir that she eventually knew she had a problem, but she didn't confront the issue until 2017. That was more than two years after her doctor told her she had to stop the drinking and pills because they could kill her.

By then, Jessica Simpson was already married to Eric Johnson and they had two of their three children. It was during that year that she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and got fans thinking she might have been drinking before the show. Simpson told Today she still can't watch that footage:

I can't even watch the interview. 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.

According to the New York Times, Jessica Simpson's memoir includes an apology to Ellen DeGeneres and viewers of that episode. She admitted she had been drinking before going on-air.

Jessica Simpson said she kept drinking pretty constantly until she basically hit rock bottom that Halloween 2017. She started drinking at 7 a.m. that morning and got so drunk she couldn't care for the kids, as she told Today:

I honestly couldn't even tell you who got them ready. I was just dazed and confused, and I just wanted to go to sleep. I didn't take them trick-or-treating. I didn't show up for my family. I took the picture and I made the world think that I showed up.

After that, she realized she "had to surrender." The next day she quit drinking and began working with a therapist. Now she's on a healthier path. That path has also led her to lose 100 pounds after the birth of her third child, thanks to help from celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak.

Although Jessica Simpson still can't watch her Ellen appearance, it might be a good reminder to keep her on a healthy path:

Jessica Simpson's book, which is over 400 pages, also covers her brief marriage to Nick Lachey, so it should certainly give fans a lot of insight into her life.

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