"The whole school said I was a lesbian," Simpson reveals.
While Jessica Simpson didn't come out about being a sexual abuse survivor to the public until her new memoir, "Open Book," she did disclose it to a friend in junior high, a friend who she says then weaponized the information.
Appearing on "Dr. Oz" on Thursday, the singer opened up about her painful past, how she would shield her sister Ashlee Simpson and other friends from being abused themselves and the bullying she encountered after she confided in a fellow girl about what happened.
As she detailed in her book, Simpson told Dr. Oz she was abused by the daughter of a family friend from the time she was around 5 or 6 until she was 12. The girl was a year older than her at the time and Simpson later learned she was also being molested by an older boy.
"It would be in my sleep, so I have a lot of that fear of going to sleep because as a child I developed these terrible protective things," she told Dr. Oz. "I didn't want to hurt her family, she was being abused as well. I had compassion for her, I didn't want to let the secret out, but at a very young age I was feeling sexual things no kid should feel."
"I had told one of my best friends the story and the whole school said I was a lesbian," said Simpson, who noted in her book this happened when she was in the eighth grade. "At that time, I didn't even know what that meant. I was the head cheerleader and I dropped out. I will never be a cheerleader again because these girls went over to the other team and told them and everybody started chanting 'Lesbian' and I ran out."
"I did experience a lot of bullying and I handled it with grace because I had already done that as a child," she added. "I prayed for all the people that were saying mean things, because I wanted God to put love in their hearts."
In her book, Simpson said the girl used her secret against her after a boy she was interested in took a liking to Jessica instead. This classmate didn't share the secret, however, but told everyone Simpson tried to molest her at a sleepover. "This started some chain reaction thing where three other girls -- and I remember their names, too -- then claimed that I had done the same thing to them," she wrote. "I'd never even been alone with some of them, let alone at their houses."
She also claimed someone wrote the words "DIE BITCH" across their home. Simpson said she did eventually return to school, where the girls did end up coming clean and apologized to her.
As for her abuser, Jessica said she confronted her and her mother later in life. "There's so much in forgiveness," she told Dr. Oz. "I confronted the mom of this girl, I confronted this girl, I said, 'I understand you and I want you to know I know what was happening, I know that you're struggling, I hope one day you can heal.'"
Simpson said the other girl didn't say much, other than to say she had "a lot to work through."