On Friday’s episode of Tamron Hall, Jessica Simpson discussed an inadvertent perk to having her sexuality discussed publicly, as disrespectful as she found it: a “long line” of curious gentleman suitors. In a 2010 interview, Mayer described Simpson, whom he dated on and off for about a year, as “sexual napalm.” Simpson wrote in her memoir, Open Book, that she considered the way he discussed her to be in “the most degrading terms” and had to answer questions about said terms in interviews for years.
“To talk about anybody sexually is disrespectful but that’s on him,” she told Hall.
However, she added with a laugh: “What he did was he definitely gave me a long line of guys. A lot of people were knocking at my door…I think he thought I would like that maybe, but I’d much rather somebody come after me for my heart or seeing something more in me than the world does.”
Hall asked Simpson about Mayer’s recent claim that he “almost cried five times” while watching Framing Britney Spears. After that FX/Hulu doc ran, Justin Timberlake issued a public, half-assed apology to Spears (as well as Janet Jackson). Hall wondered if Simpson thought Mayer should follow Timberlake’s lead and apologize for his treatment of Simpson. In Open Book, Simpson describes their relationship as “unhealthy” and Mayer as “manipulative.”
“No, I definitely don’t feel that I am owed a public apology,” said Simpson. “You can’t take it back.”
“I wouldn’t expect an apology, I don’t think there’s a need for an apology because I feel like people end up finding their way to let you know they’re sorry,” said Simpson. “And I think he might not be sorry and that’s okay.”
From her speculation that Mayer may not be sorry, we can infer that he did not reach out to Simpson after she wrote about their relationship in such detail in her book. A particularly insightful sample:
I was a pet bird. He would throw me into the sky and watch me catch air and soar long enough that it meant something when he pulled a gun from his back pocket to shoot me down, expertly aiming to graze a wing, never a kill shot to end the misery. To think that every single time I lay on the ground, broken and bewildered, he took his time walking over. Observing me to jot down notes and hum a new song of heartbreak.
And every time he “found me,” I looked up at him, grateful to be taken in, sorry for the trouble I must have caused him.
I wish I had walked out right then. I didn’t. He had me so messed up that inside twenty minutes I was all in on his “wait and see” terms. It felt inevitable to be in love with John, so I continued talking to him for months. I told friends I was “back with” him, and they stocked up on emotional bandages. But I knew now not to let him get close enough to shoot me down again. This bird wasn’t going back in the cage, no matter how bad he needed a song.
It’s a great book. Simpson’s current press cycle is pegged to its recent paperback release.