Jessica Simpson is sharing her story with the world in her new memoir Open Book. And, in an excerpt from the upcoming book published by People magazine, Simpson says that when she was trying to break into the music industry as a teenager, Sony exec Tommy Mottola told her she had to lose weight if she wanted to be a star.
After winning some local singing competitions, Simpson flew to New York in 1997 to meet with Mottola, who at the time was the Chairman & CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, the parent company of Columbia Records.
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 22, 2020
Simpson says that she sang Amazing Grace as an audition for Mottola, and he immediately wanted to sign her. But, there was one major condition: she had to lose 15 pounds.
The 38-year-old recalls saying “What?” before explaining that she was only five-foot-three and weighed just 118 pounds. Simpson says that Mottola told her, “That’s what it will take to be Jessica Simpson.”
All of this took place on Simpson’s 17th birthday.
Simpson said she immediately went on a strict diet and started taking diet pills, which was something she would do for the next 20 years. She also revealed that in addition to losing weight, her record label pressured her to “show more skin.”
“I started to hear voices when I was alone at night, waiting for the sleeping pill to kick in: ‘Do more sit-ups, fat ass,'” Simpson recalls. “By the time we got to the release of my second album’s first single, Irresistible, I was down to 103 pounds. Everyone went on about how great I looked, but I couldn’t enjoy it because I was so freaking hungry.”
In addition to her body issues, Simpson also revealed in her memoir that she was the victim of sexual abuse at the age of six, and she ended up turning to alcohol and prescription drugs to self-medicate. Jessica Simpson also shares stories about her first marriage to Nick Lachey, and her relationships with John Mayer and Tony Romo. Simpson is now married to ex-NFL player Eric Johnson, and the couple shares three children.
Open Book will be available wherever books are sold on February 4th.