Pop star and actress Jessica Simpson dropped an Amazon original titled Movie Star: They Always Say They’re Single, and it was full of truth bombs. Simpson alleges that she was unwittingly the other woman in a love triangle between an unnamed actor and another woman he was in a high profile on-again-off-again relationship with.
Only talk to me if you can tell me who Jessica Simpson's movie star was, thank you
— Meredith Haggerty (@meredithaggerty) February 1, 2023
Simpson previously released a full memoir titled Open Book in 2020. In the book, she revealed that her and stunt actor Johnny Knoxville had “an emotional affair” while they were in the process of divorcing their respective spouses. She also spoke about a bet that Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling had about which of them would be first to kiss her.
But this week’s news is fresh, and didn’t make the cut in her book two years ago. Internet sleuths have their work cut out for them. Theories started flying across social media. One popular guess was Tom Cruise, as Simpson mentioned that she looked up to the star as a young teen years before they met. Cruise’s fame reached new heights in the 90s, when Simpson would have been a teenager.
I’m calling it — the “Big Movie Star” Jessica Simpson secretly dated has to be Tom Cruise.
Please prove me wrong.
— Criminelle Law (@CriminelleLaw) February 2, 2023
Others pointed to Mark Wahlberg, who met his now wife, model Rhea Durham, around the same time he could have first met Simpson.
— Hot News Updates (@hotnewsupdatess) February 2, 2023
However, the Wahlberg theory is being debated on Twitter due to the timeline of his career.
I'm ruling out Mark Wahlberg because I don't think he meets grew up thinking of him as a movie star applies to Jessica Simpson.
2001-2007 is still rebrand, can Marky Mark carry a movie years.
— Snarcasm Queen – Hightower Hater (@MoreOrLessAMess) February 2, 2023
In the new essay, Simpson does make it clear that she did not know the star was still seeing the other woman he told her he broke up with. She details the start of the encounter at the 2001 MTV VMAs. She recounts that her bodyguard knew the actor, and that the second they made eye contact he was “undressing” her with his eyes. Simpson compared the moment to the romantic meetings in several of the Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters’ novels, which she had been reading to keep up with her education since she dropped out of high school.
Despite the movie star being the focal point of the story, several other anonymous hints are dropped throughout. Just before her fated meeting with the man of mystery, she revealed she was dodging texts from both a member of the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, citing feeling less nervous talking on the phone than she felt in person.
The story goes on to explain how Simpson felt flustered and initially avoided the star the first time she met him. They soon met again elsewhere, after Simpson also recounts avoiding an unnamed child star at a gym “in bright red short shorts” who “thought he was a comedian.”
Simpson also mentions dieting and exercising to please “the suits at the record company.” She was famously body shamed by tabloid media outlets throughout the 2000s, and her taking back this part of her narrative is a powerful aspect of the story.
Years went by since the encounter with the mystery star at the gym, and Simpson got back together with Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees. She reiterates in the essay that she does not regret this relationship and marriage, even though it ended in divorce by 2006.
She approached the situation with the movie star in question with caution, because, as she writes, “if a man was standing next to me, we were dating in the tabloids.” Since her relationship with Nick Lachey was her first serious relationship as an adult, she recounts that being single felt foreign to her following their divorce. Simpson wrote, “it was tough understanding how to be single for the first time, and then learning that guys would actually use you for your body.”
Simpson alleges that her and the actor only shared a kiss ahead of an award show, where she discovered that he was walking the red carpet with his girlfriend. He continued to insist that they were broken up and were only posing for photos together to avoid negative press.
Simpson wrote that she “felt like a call girl” because of the sneaky manner in which she was pursued. She cut things off with the actor, and stole something to remember him by–his pillowcase.
The moral of the story, according to Simpson, is that it helped her discover more about herself, and what she wanted out of a relationship. In 2014, she went on to marry former NFL tight-end for the San Francisco 49ers, Eric Johnson. The couple share three children together.
You can find the full essay and audible version on Amazon, and both are free with a Prime subscription.