The singer generated all the wrong kind of buzz with her appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” back in 2017, when she elicited a strong side-eye from the host after fumbling over painfully off-topic stories about her daughter’s birthday party, the length of her marriage and, yes, even her own uterus.
The “Newlyweds” alum has since opened up about her yearslong addiction battle in her upcoming memoir “Open Book,” revealing that she used to “self-medicate with alcohol and stimulants” during periods of stress.
And, as for that interview, Simpson confessed in a decidedly more polished TV appearance this week that she was indeed inebriated as she sat across from DeGeneres.
“I can’t even watch the interview,″ she told “Today” host Hoda Kotb on Wednesday. “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.”
In a recent New York Times interview, Simpson said she “apologizes to Ms. DeGeneres and to the viewers” in the book for “drinking before going on-air.”
DeGeneres hasn’t said anything about Simpson’s comments.
Simpson’s appearance on the show led her closest friends and family to stage an intervention, according to the Times. But Simpson wouldn’t quit drinking until months later, after a particularly disastrous Halloween.
She recalled being so drunk that she couldn’t even get her kids dressed to go trick or treating. She now has three children ― Maxwell, 7; Ace, 6; and Birdie, 10 months.
“I honestly couldn’t even tell you who got them ready,″ Simpson told “Today.” “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.”
The next day, Simpson recalled, she decided to get sober and seek therapy, which she said has been a transformative force in her life.
“When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life,” Simpson wrote in her book. “I found direction and that was to walk straight ahead with no fear.”
“Open Book” also touches on her marriage to Nick Lachey and her relationship with singer John Mayer, which she said also fueled her drinking problem.
“I was so afraid of disappointing him that I couldn’t even text him without having someone check my grammar and spelling,” Simpson wrote in the memoir, referring to Mayer. “My anxiety would spike, and I would pour another drink,” she wrote. “It was the start of me relying on alcohol to mask my nerves.”
Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.