Pete Wentz Reflects on Struggle With Fame After Ashlee Simpson Divorce

Pete Wentz shared that after he and Ashlee Simpson divorced in 2011, he realized he didn't love himself or the level of fame that Fall Out Boy had acquired. Keep reading to hear what the rocker said.

By Alexandra Bellusci Mar 23, 2023 7:45 PMTags
Watch: Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz's Son Is All Grown Up!

Pete Wentz is getting candid about the fall out that comes from fame.

The Fall Out Boy bassist recently recalled the low moments of his life following his and Ashlee Simpson's 2011 divorce after three years of marriage, noting that the public interest around this period in his life was difficult for him.

"My life had blown up completely," Pete explained during an interview with Apple Music's Zane Lowe published March 23. "I got divorced, realized I didn't really like how famous I was. Didn't love who I was."

And looking back at the way the group was hounded by photographers following their rise to stardom in the mid-aughts—specifically recalling an incident at producer Neal Avron's house ahead of the release of their fourth studio album Folie à Deux—Pete shared he was glad when the band went on hiatus the following year.

 "It's weird to look back on now," he told Zane. "Paparazzi broke down Neal's gate to his house when we were working on Folie. It was like that degree of chaos… I think that, for me, I needed to take time to just become a real person. I didn't like any of that."

Cutest Pics of Ashlee Simpson-Ross and Evan Ross' Kids

During that hiatus, Pete was able to focus solely on raising his and Ashlee's son Bronx, now 14.

"Here's what it really was: At 31, we'd had all these great years as a band, and then we took time off, and I basically became Mr. Mom," he said on The Howard Stern Show in 2015. "I had the beard, the flannel shirt. I didn't know what my identity was. That factored in. When your identity is what you do, it's hard when you stop doing it."

But amid his divorce from the "Pieces of Me" singer and the band's hiatus, Pete confessed he fell into a cycle of depression.

"I think it was a combination of all these factors at once, including being too young," he told host Howard Stern. "And we were doing this all in the public eye, which as you know, it doesn't help, because you have people scrutinizing everything you do."

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images, Instagram

However, since their split, the two have both found love again and expanded their families, with Ashlee and husband Evan Ross—who tied the knot in 2014—welcoming daughter Jagger Snow, 7, and son Ziggy Blue, 2. Pete and wife Meagan Camper share son Saint Lazslo, 8, and daughter Marvel Jane, 4.

And in the decade since Ashlee and Pete called it quits, they've found a way to co-parent amicably, with the Grammy nominee telling Us Weekly in 2019, "I think it's important to listen and to give people balance." 

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