Jessica Simpson ''never wanted'' to reveal the alleged sexual abuse she endured as a child.

The 39-year-old star candidly revealed in her new memoir 'Open Book' that she was abused by a family friend's daughter between the ages of six to 12, and has now said she kept quiet about the alleged abuse for so long because she didn't want to ''hurt anybody''.

She said: ''At the time, I didn't really understand what was happening. I knew something was wrong. I knew it was wrong what was going on. This was a very close person, and she was being abused. It happened throughout a long time in my life.

''I was a preacher's daughter. I was taught to be a virgin until I got married and so I never wanted to share these sexual things that were happening because I didn't want to hurt anybody.''

Ultimately, Jessica told her parents what had happened to her, and although they never spoke about it, they did prevent her alleged abuser from having contact with her.

Speaking on the 'Today' show, she added: ''That's a heavy thing to hear from your child. They ignored it with their words, for sure, but they took action and I never had to do the sleepovers again. I never had to go back.''

Meanwhile, Jessica recently said she was compelled to confront her alleged abuser in 2017 after getting sober following an addiction to alcohol and pills.

She said: ''I needed to confront my abuser. It was extremely painful and still is. It's still shocking. That little girl in me wanting to do the right thing, not knowing how to stand up for herself and not knowing how to stop it.''

Jessica - who has kids Maxwell, seven, Ace, six, and 10-month-old Birdie with husband Eric Johnson - believes the abuse made her the person she is now and admitted she felt ''shame'' because she was convinced she had ''allowed'' it to happen.

She added: ''I felt like a lot of who I am, the character of who I am, was built through the trials and the pain of abuse.

''I allowed it to happen, so I felt that I was as much of the abuser as the abused. So I was very shameful during that time, from 6 to 12 years old.''