Jessica Simpson Talks Sobriety, Britney Spears Mix-Up and Her Icon Era

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Jessica Simpson Talks Sobriety, Britney Spears Mix-Up and Her Icon Era


Jessica Simpson is in her icon era. The 43-year-old fashion mogul was honored on Wednesday night with the Icon Award at the Footwear News Achievement Awards in New York City, where she opened up to ET about living her life with “a lot of blind faith,” her biggest revelation since quitting alcohol, and her thoughts on Britney Spears‘ memoir. 

“I don’t have major expectations for myself, I kind of take one step at a time,” Simpson admitted to ET’s Rachel Smith in a backstage interview. The superstar is now nearly two decades into building her eponymous shoe line and lifestyle brand, and, two years ago, she and her mother, Tina, took back ownership of the billion-dollar company after its former parent company filed for bankruptcy. 

“I will not believe that there is a way to fail, so I don’t,” Simpson told ET on Wednesday. “I think maybe for your average person it’s risky to do what I do and to invest in yourself, but I believe in myself so much and I believe in myself enough to know my worth and to invest in my worth, and to hopefully achieve that and then some for my kids.” 

Jessica Simpson attends the 37th Annual Footwear News Achievement Awards at Cipriani South Street on November 29, 2023 in New York City. – Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Simpson is living her life with newfound clarity after getting sober six years ago. Earlier this month, she marked the anniversary of her sobriety by sharing an image of the last day she drank alcohol. 

“I don’t even know that person,” she reflected. “That person was not feeling. Now I’m in the world of just feeling everything and, no matter what, even if it’s a sad emotion, I get through it quicker and I don’t hold on to it. So for me, eliminating alcohol was like eliminating fear.” 

The mother of three — who shares daughter Maxwell, 11; son Ace, 10; and daughter Birdie, 4, with husband Eric Johnson — added that “clarity and presence is the best.” 

Back in 2020, Simpson offered a raw and candid look inside her life with the release of her memoir, Open Book. Now, she’s praising fellow pop legend Spears for taking control of her own story this year with her book, The Woman in Me

“It’s a hard thing to do, release a memoir,” Simpson said. “It’s very vulnerable.” 

The “I Wanna Love You Forever” singer revealed that she hasn’t yet read Spears’ book but that she “definitely will pick it up” because “I wanna hear what she has to say.” 

“I have been in work mode of writing, which I haven’t done in so long,” Simpson shared. “I don’t tend to listen or read or do anything other than what my soul needs in that moment.” 

While both women dominated the early aughts pop music scene, Simpson recently said that fans still mistake her for Spears on the street. 

“I mean, that’s my whole life,” Simpson quipped. “Not all the time, but I mean, there are similarities and I think that because we both grew up in the business together, it’s easy to mistake us. Brown eyes, blonde hair, Southern.” 

Jessica Simpson attends the 37th Annual Footwear News Achievement Awards at Cipriani South Street on November 29, 2023 in New York City. – Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Wednesday marked Simpson’s first red carpet appearance since 2018, when she was previously pregnant with her third child. She was honored at the time with a Fashion Icon Award.

“I haven’t done a red carpet in five years, holy crap,” Simpson joked to ET. “I think it was only 11 weeks, but I looked like I was ready to pop.” 

Fashion Icon Award Honoree Jessica Simpson attends the 25th Annual QVC "FFANY Shoes on Sale" Gala at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on October 11, 2018 in New York City. – Brian Ach/Getty Images

But what’s iconic to Simpson goes much deeper than fashion. 

“There’s all kind of iconic moments,” she shared, “I feel like even holding my babies make me feel like an icon.” 

As she ventures back into the music industry, Simpson is thrilled to be sharing that side of herself with her kids in the coming year. 

“Music is very exciting for me right now because I have just finished writing, so now I’m about to record it,” she revealed. “My kids will be introduced to me as an artist, and that is the most powerful part about it — to see them see me as, like, what my childhood dreams were. To watch me, as a woman, walk on stage as their mother, and be that for them. I’m very excited about that part.” 

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