Untangling Jessica Simpson's Star-Studded Dating History

Jessica Simpson's love life made headlines for years before she met her current husband, Eric Johnson. And it's happening again, as she opens up about her dating history in new entries of her memoir.

By Corinne Heller 23 Mar, 2021 3:10 PMTags
Watch: Jessica Simpson Talks Britney Spears & More: E! News Rewind

Throughout her career, Jessica Simpson has made headlines—with the focus often on her dating life.

Now, in her memoir Open Book, which has new entries coming in the paperback version, she's pulling back the curtain and revealing what really happened behind-the-scenes of her personal life. Yes, the superstar goes there and holds nothing back while discussing her relationships with Nick Lachey, John Mayer and more.

But all the ups and downs and failed romances were seemingly worth it, as they ultimately led her to husband Eric Johnson, who she met in May 2010 and married in July 2014. "My Husband, I love you. 6yrs ago today I married my perfect soulmate," the mom of three wrote on their anniversary last summer. "Our unity was written in God's sky of colliding stars. Together we manifest dreams, nurture desire, and hold space. Destined, it always has been and always will be, forevermore."

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Jessica Simpson's Family Album

Let's look back on her journey to happily ever after...

Eric Johnson

Simpson began dating her current husband, a retired NFL tight end, in summer of 2010. They welcomed their first child, daughter Maxwell Drew Johnson, in May 2012, and their second, son Ace Knute Johnson, in June 2013. Simpson and Johnson wed the following summer. In March 2019, she gave birth to their third child, daughter Birdie Mae Johnson.

John Mayer

The two singers dated on and off for almost a year since summer of 2006, several months following her split from husband Nick Lachey. Simpson opened up about her relationship with Mayer in her 2020 memoir, Open Book. She said he repeatedly told her "he was obsessed with me, sexually and emotionally."

Mayer had told Playboy in 2010 that Simpson was like "crack cocaine" to him, adding, "Sexually it was crazy. That's all I'll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm."

This did not sit well with his ex. "He thought that was what I wanted to be called," Simpson wrote in her memoir. "I was floored and embarrassed that my grandmother was actually gonna read that."

Two years later, Mayer expressed regret about his comments, telling NPR, "I had nothing to say. I was going through a time in my life where I didn't really want to share what was going on, but I didn't want to be boring."

Simpson also wrote in her book that she was constantly worried she "wasn't smart enough" for Mayer, adding, "My anxiety would spike and I would pour another drink. It was the start of me relying on alcohol to mask my nerves."

On April 1, 2020, Mayer said on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen that he had "heard some bits" about Simpson's memoir, adding, "But as Pee Wee Herman says in Pee Wee's Big Adventure before the movie of his life is about to play out at the end, he's not watching the movie, and the reason he's not watching the movie, he says, 'I don't have to watch it, Dottie, I lived it.' And I think that's prescient here."

Nick Lachey

Simpson married the fellow singer in 2002 after almost four years of dating, and she reportedly lost her virginity on their wedding night.

Their marriage was documented on the MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, which aired between 2003 and 2005 and contained the now-infamous moment in which Simpson ate canned tuna and uttered the line, "Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it's tuna but it says, 'Chicken By the Sea.' Is that stupid?"

Simpson and Lachey split in 2005. They had no children together.

In a new excerpt for the paperback release of her memoir, she detailed her heartbreak after learning Lachey had moved on with now-wife Vanessa Lachey. As Jessica wrote in the diary entry, according to Entertainment Tonight, "So, Nick, you're with another already? Seems that you forgot the love you spoke to me... I'm saddened beyond belief. Alone in the dark, with no one to call my own."

Tony Romo

Simpson and the Dallas Cowboys quarterback began dating in late 2007 and split less than two years later. He broke up with her the night before her 29th birthday.

"She was surprised. She wouldn't have planned a party if she knew this was coming," a source close to Simpson told E! News at the time. "They're both going their separate ways."

Billy Corgan

She and the Smashing Pumpkins frontman sparked romance rumors in late 2009. Months later, she told E! News she was "single" and called Corgan a "dear dear friend of mine."

"If I am going through a hard time I definitely would talk to Billy," she added. "He always has the best words."

Jensen Ackles

Back in the late '90s, she reportedly dated the Supernatural star. On her and now-ex-husband Nick Lachey's MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, the singer revealed that she had her heart broken by an "actor on Days of our Lives." Neither Simpson nor Ackles has confirmed a past relationship with each other on the record.

Adam Levine

The two sparked romance rumors in 2004 while she was still married to Nick Lachey. Neither has confirmed a past romance.

Johnny Knoxville

Simpson and the Jackass star, who appeared with her in the Dukes of Hazzard film reboot, sparked romance rumors in 2005. In her book, she revealed she had an emotional relationship with him, which she believed was actually "worse than a physical one."

"After I actually had sex, I understood that the emotional part was what mattered," she wrote. "And Johnny and I had that, which seemed far more of a betrayal to my marriage than sex."

(Originally published on Jan. 22, 2020 at 1:22 pm. PT)