Jessica Simpson Reveals How Pressure To Be Perfect For John Mayer Pushed Her To Drink

Jessica Simpson claims in her new memoir that her relationship with John Mayer is partly to blame for her issues with alcohol. The stress from trying to be perfect all the time, she says, made her want to drink.

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In her upcoming memoir Open Book, Jessica Simpson gets candid about her struggles with substance abuse, her divorce from Nick Lachey, and reveals unknown details about her past relationship with her ex-boyfriend, John Mayer. Jessica, now 39, began dating John in 2005, shortly after her divorce from ex-husband Nick. The couple met that year at Clive Davis‘ annual Grammys party, according to Jessica, and immediately hit it off. She began dating other men, including John, post-divorce, but, as she writes in her book, obtained by PEOPLE, he told her “he wanted to have all of me or nothing.”

After dating secretly for months, the couple went public with their relationship. While John, who Jessica says was “obsessed” with her “sexually and emotionally,” gave her physical confidence, she says in her memoir that she also sometimes felt insecure. “I constantly worried that I wasn’t smart enough for him,” she writes in the book, which will be released on February 4. “He was so clever and treated conversation like a friendly competition that he had to win. My anxiety would spike and I would pour another drink. It was the start of me relying on alcohol to mask my nerves,” she claims. “He loved me in the way that he could and I loved that love for a very long time. Too long. And I went back and forth with it for a long time. But it did control me.”

Elsewhere in the book, Jessica reveals that she turned to drinking and pills after being sexually abused as a child by a family friend, and to deal with the pressure of her career in the late 90s and early 00s. She didn’t get sober until 2017, when she was married with two kids. “I was killing myself with the drinking and pills,” she writes, revealing that she told her friends at a Halloween party that year, “I need to stop. Something’s got to stop. And if it’s the alcohol that’s doing this, and making things worse, then I quit.” Jessica’s family and friends rallied around her, and with the help of therapy two times a week and a team of doctors keeping her steady, she has been able to maintain her sobriety.

Jessica and John broke up in 2007, after he infamously called her “sexual napalm” in an interview with Playboy. “I was floored and embarrassed that my grandmother was actually gonna read that,” she writes. “A woman and how they are in bed, is not something that is ever talked about. He was the most loyal person on the planet and when I read that he wasn’t, that was it for me. I erased his number. He made it easy for me to walk away.”