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    Nick and Jessica Deny Breakup

    This time, it's really over. Or is it?

    As fast as magazine reports touting the demise of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey's marriage hit newsstands Wednesday, the celebrity duo were ready to fire back with a joint statement denying the rumors.

    "Nick and Jessica have not separated," Simpson's rep, Brad Cafarelli, stated to E! on the couple's behalf. "Rumors to the contrary are simply not true."

    Simpson's ever-present papa, Joe, also denied Wednesday that his daughter's marriage has ended.

    "Not true," Joe Simpson told E! via email of the rumors surrounding the not-so-newlywed twosome.

    The latest editions of both Us Weekly and Life & Style both feature cover stories touting the demise of the Simpson-Lachey union.

    Us Weekly's headline blares "Split!" across a photo of the twosome, while Life & Style's "It's Over!" runs across a picture of Simpson solo. Reps for both magazines told E! Online that they are standing by their stories.

    Of course, the purportedly rocky state of the camera-friendly twosome's union has been the stuff of tabloid fodder for months.

    But amid the numerous reports of their impending split, the couple have steadfastly denied the existence of any marital troubles time and time again.

    "Yes, we're married, and we love each other," Simpson told OK! magazine in its Oct. 10 edition. When asked why she wasn't sporting her hefty engagement ring at the time of the interview, she replied, "I don't need diamonds on my finger to show that I love my husband.

    Both Simpson and Lachey have been photographed ring-free in recent days. Their last public appearance together was at a Sept. 11 football game. Lachey was notably absent at sister-in-law Ashlee's 21st birthday party in Las Vegas on Monday.

    According to Life & Style, Simpson was spotted on an American Airlines flight from New York to Los Angeles on Sept. 28, sobbing onto the shoulder of her assistant, CaCee Cobb, that "Nick doesn't want me anymore!" (Simpson's rep denied the magazine's account.)

    Us Weekly credits the blond bombshell with being the impetus for the supposed breakup of their marriage and cites sources who claim the pair went their separate ways close to two months ago.

    Lachey and Simpson's third wedding anniversary is coming up on Oct. 26. The couple wed in 2002, back in the days of mutual B-list status, when Simpson was categorized as a less famous version of Britney Spears and Lachey was one of the members of 98 Degrees, a boy band not nearly as hot as, say, 'N Sync or the Backstreet Boys.

    After the couple tied the knot, they rocketed to fame virtually overnight on the success of their MTV reality show, Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, which chronicled the misadventures of their day-to-day lives.

    Simpson, in particular, became a reality-TV darling, with her tendency to make embarrassing, yet endearing blunders, such as confusing Chicken of the Sea brand tuna for actual chicken and believing that buffalo wings were actually made of buffalo.

    The "With You" singer enjoyed a sensational rise in record sales as a result of the show's success and landed a role as Daisy Duke in the Dukes of Hazzard movie, which enjoyed opening-weekend box-office sales of $30.7 million and has gone on to gross more than $90 million.

    First-year sales of Simpson's cosmetic line, Dessert, are projected to hit $30 million.

    Meanwhile, as his wife enjoyed a meteoric rise in fame, Lachey's career failed to take off in a similar fashion.

    His first solo album, SoulO, tanked on the charts, and ABC passed on a pilot he shot costarring Gina Gershon.

    Though Lachey eventually landed a recurring role on the WB's Charmed and more recently a gig as a contributor on ESPN's College GameDay, fame-wise, he has lived largely in Simpson's shadow.

    At one point, Simpson's father, Joe, was working with Lachey to change that image by developing a new MTV reality series featuring the former boy bander's struggles to sign with a record label. It's unclear whether that project is still underway.

    One thing's for certain--if Lachey and Simpson ever decide to make a joint return to reality television, they'll have plenty of dramatic material to work with.

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