Jessica Simpson Hits Back At Natalie Portman Following Remarks About Singer’s 1999 ‘Virgin’ Bikini Cover Shot

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Jessica Simpson responded to Natalie Portman after Portman said she was “confused” by Simpson posing for a magazine in a bikini while declaring her virginity.

“@natalieportman — 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 tweeted Wednesday. (RELATED: Celebrate Jessica Simpson’s Birthday With Her Best Photos [SLIDESHOW])

Actress Jessica Simpson poses at the premiere of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" in Los Angeles, California November 17, 2014. The movie opens in the U.S. on November 21. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Actress Jessica Simpson poses at the premiere of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” in Los Angeles, November 17, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Portman said in a USA Today interview Tuesday that Hollywood stars have it easier than musicians because “there’s a difference in expectation,” noting the virgin/vixen paradigm for female artists of the late 1990s and 2000s.

“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. “Like, I don’t know what this is trying to tell me as a woman, as a girl.”

Natalie Portman attends the opening ceremony and premiere of "La Tete Haute" ("Standing Tall") during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2015 in Cannes, France. (Photo: Getty Images)

Natalie Portman attends the opening ceremony and premiere of “La Tete Haute” (“Standing Tall”) during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2015 in Cannes, France. (Photo: Getty Images)

Simpson added in her response to Portman:

As public figures, we both know that 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. 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.

She continued, “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. The power lies within us as individuals.”(RELATED: Celebrate Jessica Simpson’s 37th Birthday With Her Best Looks [SLIDESHOW])

“I have made it my practice not to shame other women for their choices,” Simpson concluded. “In this era of ‘Time’s Up’ and all the great work you have done for women, I encourage you to do the same.”

The “Black Swan” star has apologized for her comments and explained they were more a reflection on the mixed messages in media for young woman rather than shaming anyone.

“I would never intend to shame anybody and that was absolutely not my intention,” Portman told Entertainment Tonight. “I was really talking about mixed media messages out there for young women and completely apologize for any hurt it may have caused because that was definitely not my intention.”

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