Jessica Simpson was tired of fake life with Nick Lachey, says relationship was manufactured for the cameras
The singing power couple lived out their marriage in full public view on a reality TV show, but the reality was that they were never compatible from the start
Jessica Simpson's new memoir 'Open Book' was released on February 4, and in it, the 39-year-old singer and actress has come clean about a number of revealing episodes from her turbulent marriage with '98 Degrees' singer Nick Lachey.
Jessica and Nick famously lived out their short-lived relationship in the public eye, appearing on the reality TV show 'Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica' soon after they got married — Jessica was 22, and Nick 28. The pair had a rocky relationship from the very start, and their marriage barely lasted a few years. They got married in October 2002 and their divorce proceedings were finalized in June 2006.
One of the biggest reasons that they grew apart was the fact that they felt they were living a manufactured "Big Brother" life for the benefit of the cameras. The producers weren't content with merely filming the reality of their relationship, and were always coming up with new things for the couple to do together, like camping.
Nick and Jessica felt like they were under surveillance from dawn to dusk, and in the book, Jessica revealed that they had “burn marks on our backs from the mics being strapped to us for so long” every day.
They started role-playing more and would have fights onscreen, which resulted in her going to the couch to "sad-watch TV while Nick finished his beer outside."
This was merely the start of a trickle that would soon become a raging torrent.
The couple was busy trying to make ends meet since their plodding music careers weren't really helping pay off the mortgage on their million-dollar mansion — meaning they had to accept a lot of lucrative gigs and be on the road a lot.
This separation and time apart was the source of a lot of jealousy and marital tension and the duo started fighting a lot more. The fact that the couple never got to spend any "real" quality time together meant that they could never really settle into a happily married life.
Jessica also mentioned that Lachey enjoyed going to strip clubs and that she found “that scene” to be quite “gross.”
In her book, Simpson revealed, “There were so many tabloid stories about Nick in strip clubs or talking to girls that I just didn’t know what to believe.” She also wrote, “Did he feel caught in this marriage? He kept putting himself in situations where he could be so easily accused of cheating. It was self-sabotage. And I was supposed to stay home and be Betty Crocker?”
Eventually, the pair attempted to fix things by going to couple's therapy, but even that didn't work out satisfactorily. Jessica recalls expressing her despair in the first session, “I know you hate me. I feel it. Whenever we are in the same room, it just comes off you. I feel it when you lie down next to me. I feel it when you can’t even look at me.”
That was the only counseling session the young couple ever had, since Lachey refused to show up again after that first explosive session.
Eventually, Jessica was tired of the charade for the cameras, and knew what she had to do. She told Lachey their relationship was over on November 22, 2005, and as per his request, decided to sleep on it before making her decision public that Thanksgiving weekend. She took refuge in her parents' home in Los Angeles after the press caught wind of their separation, and inevitably, Nick turned up there in an attempt to salvage what was left of their doomed marriage.
In her book, Jessica reveals that Nick pleaded his case, offering to come back for another round of marriage counseling, but the damage was already done. “He didn’t like me so I didn’t understand what it was he was trying to save,” recalled Simpson. When Lachey started crying and begged, “Please don’t leave me. I love you so much,” she replied, “Love is not enough. If love was enough, I would stay forever, but it isn’t enough. We have to like each other.”
Lachey then walked out on her for the last time, and she hit her fist against the couch furiously, recalling that she thought she would be sad, but that she was actually “seized by anger” instead.
For more details about Jessica Simpson's eventful past, make sure you grab a copy of her memoir, which went on sale today. And if you spring for the audiobook version, you will also be treated to six brand-new songs courtesy Jessica herself!