Jessica Simpson's Memoir Bombshells: Nick Lachey Divorce, Johnny Knoxville "Emotional Affair" and More

Jessica Simpson details her past relationships in her new memoir, Open Book. Click here to find out all of the book bombshells.

By Jess Cohen Feb 04, 2020 7:33 PMTags
Watch: Why Jessica Simpson Confronted Her Childhood Abuser

Jessica Simpson is sharing deeply personal stories with her fans.

In her new memoir, Open Book, the 39-year-old star reflects on some of her most painful memories, including the abuse she suffered as a child, her days of heavy drinking, as well as her road to sobriety. Simpson also shares intimate details about her love life in the memoir, from her marriage to Nick Lachey and her on-off relationship with John Mayer. The "With You" singer even writes about an "emotional affair" with her Dukes of Hazzard co-star, Johnny Knoxville.

At the time of filming Dukes of Hazzard, Simpson was still married to Lachey, but while away shooting in Louisiana, Simpson formed a bond with Knoxville. After sharing a hug with Knoxville on the first day of filming, Simpson "felt a force drawing us together."

"I wondered why I was open to this," Simpson writes in Open Book. "I was already living in a distrustful situation with Nick, and now I was afraid I couldn't trust myself."

Jessica Simpson's Open Book Memoir

Now that Simpson's new book has been released, let's take a look at all of the biggest bombshells from the memoir.

Johnny Knoxville Connection

Simpson says she coded the actor in her diary as "the boy from Tennessee." She writes, "First off, we were both married, so this wasn't going to get physical. But to me, an emotional affair was worse than a physical one. It's funny, I know, because I had placed such an emphasis on sex by not having it before marriage. After I actually had sex, I understood that the emotional part was what mattered. And Johnny and I had that, which seemed far more of a betrayal to my marriage than sex."

She Turned Down a Role in The Notebook

While writing about her divorce from Lachey, Simpson admits she turned down a role in the beloved movie, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. While on a flight to Dallas after telling Lachey she wanted a divorce, it was announced that The Notebook would be starting for passengers to watch.

"The most romantic movie in the world, and I was leaving Nick," Simpson writes. "I knew exactly what the movie was about because I had read the script but turned it down because they wouldn't budge on taking out the sex scene. And it would have been with Ryan Gosling, of all people."

Simpson knew Gosling from the The Mickey Mouse Club days, when she auditioned to be on the show. Though she did not get the job, Simpson told Jimmy Kimmel that she reconnected with former Mouseketeer Justin Timberlake after her divorce from Lachey. During the recent Jimmy Kimmel Live interview, Simpson said she shared a kiss with Timberlake, who then allegedly texted Gosling.

"Apparently him and Ryan Gosling had a bet on who would kiss me first when they were 12-years-old," Simpson told Kimmel. "And so, he texted Ryan and said he won the bet. And I was like, ‘Oh, okay. Um…So we don't kiss again. That's done.'"

She Slept With Nick After Filing for Divorce

Months after filing for divorce from Lachey, Simpson recalls watching a documentary about Lachey's upcoming album, which had songs about her. In the doc, Simpson writes, Lachey "mentioned that the door was still open" for them to get back together. Simpson says she felt "so exposed." She also watched his Making the Video special on MTV for his song, "What's Left of Me," which featured his now-wife, Vanessa Lachey. Simpson writes that she was "mad" but felt the need to "fix him." So she called Lachey and asked him to meet her at her house. While there, Lachey played his new album for her.

Tony Romo Broke Up With Her Amid John Mayer Speculation

While Simpson was dating Tony Romo, John Mayer was trying to win her back. According to Simpson, Mayer did this by going through her family, convincing them they should get back together and professing his love to Simpson at her parents' house. Simpson writes that she didn't cheat on Romo, but she didn't tell him that she'd seen Mayer. On the night before her birthday, Romo saw an email from Mayer on Simpson's phone and confronted her about it. When she told him "nothing happened" with Mayer, he didn't believe it and ended things with her. However, he soon wanted her back, Simpson writes, but she told him "it's over."

Mayer's Playboy Interview Sealed His Split With Simpson

After scanning Mayer's 2010 interview with Playboy, in which he called her "sexual napalm," Simpson was horrified. After receiving an apology email from Mayer, she replied with a letter of her own.

"I didn't accept his apology," Simpson writes. "I deleted all his contact information from my phone. I was done with this man in a way I never thought was possible. When he reached out to me, I changed my number and changed my email. Done."

Hospitalized for Nine Days

For her 35th birthday, Simpson wanted to get a partial tummy tuck to "get rid of the stretch mark and loose skin" from her two pregnancies. While on vacation for her birthday, Simpson got a call from her doctor telling her that, even though her plastic surgeon approved the surgery, he wasn't going to because of her health. At this point, Simpson writes, she and husband Eric Johnson, were drinking a lot. The doctor told her on the birthday call, "I'm looking at your liver levels. You could die." When she returned home, Simpson "cut down on everything," but still went ahead with the surgery. However, Simpson wasn't happy with the results and scheduled a full tummy tuck.

An Apology to Ellen

Simpson offers an apology to Ellen DeGeneres in her book for appearing on her show after drinking. "I admit I drank beforehand and was also on steroids for a chest infection that made me hoarse," Simpson writes, adding that, when she couldn't find Ellen's rhythm during their interview, the talk show host tried to help but then "she gave up." 

"I want to say it here to Ellen and the viewers: I'm truly sorry," Simpson writes.

She later addresses her 37th birthday in 2017, where she found herself crying and realized she had to stop drinking.

"It would take three and a half months," Simpson tells readers. "But God would save me so I could come home to myself."

Open Book is available now.