Jessica Simpson claps back at Natalie Portman: I don’t ‘shame other women for their choices’

Jessica Simpson says while the decision to start her clothing and shoe empire was a billion-dollar success, her biggest financial mistake was her first husband Nick Lachey. Keri Lumm (@thekerilumm) reports.

Jessica Simpson clapped back at Natalie Portman for a comment she made about a photoshoot Simpson did in the ’90s.

In an interview with USA TODAY about her new movie, “Vox Lux,” Portman discussed having Madonna as her role model.

“I felt really lucky to have her as a little kid, because I saw someone who was brazen and disobedient and provocative and trying to mess with people and always changing – I thought it was a great thing to see in a woman growing up,” she said.

She then switched gears to talk about the virgin/vixen paradigms in pop music in the late 1990s and early 2000s, calling out Simpson.

“I remember being a teenager, and there was Jessica Simpson on the cover of a magazine saying ‘I’m a virgin’ while wearing a bikini, and I was confused,” Portman said to USA TODAY. “Like, I don’t know what this is trying to tell me as a woman, as a girl.”

Jessica Simpson called out comments that Natalie Portman made in an interview, referencing a photoshoot Simpson did in the late 1990s. (Photo: Getty Images, USA TODAY Network)

Simpson released a lengthy statement on social media on Wednesday, saying that she was “disappointed” by Portman’s comments.

“I was disappointed this morning when I read that I ‘confused’ you by wearing a bikini in a published photo taken of me when I was still a virgin in 1999,” Simpson said. “As public figures, we both know our image is not totally in our control at all times, and that the industry we work in often tries to define us and box us in.”

She continued: “However, I was taught to be myself and honor the different ways all women express themselves, which is why I believed then – and I believe now – that being sexy in a bikini and being proud of my body are not synonymous with having sex.”

Simpson added women can do whatever they want.

“I have always embraced being a role model to all women to let them know that they can look however they want, wear whatever they want and have sex or not have sex with whomever they want,” Simpson said. “The power lies within us as individuals. I have made it my practice to not shame other women for their choices.”

Simpson also called out Portman’s work with advocacy group Time’s Up: “In this era of Time’s Up and all the great work you have done for women, I encourage you to do the same.”

USA TODAY has reached out to Portman for comment on Simpson’s remarks. 

Contributing: Andrea Mandell

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