Jessica Moves In, Nick Moves On

Simpson reportedly buys new $3 million home in Beverly Hills, while Lachey lines up charity and TV gigs and works on new album

By Gina Serpe Dec 29, 2005 8:35 PMTags

Jessica Simpson's boots were made for walkin'--and that's just what they're doin'.

The newlywed no more is taking the next step in her split from Nick Lachey, having purchased a $3 million Beverly Hills home less than two weeks after filing for divorce, People magazine reports.

"She's happy to have a house that's hers," the magazine quotes a source close to the pop star as saying. "This is the first time she's making her own decisions."

One such decision is the "With You" singer's request to keep the divorce proceedings as private as possible.

Last week, Simpson petitioned the Los Angeles Superior Court to remove the judge assigned to the case, accusing him of being "prejudiced" against her. Despite the seemingly volatile language used in the filing, the move was described as simply a formality, and the first step necessary in procuring a private judge to keep the proceedings on the down low.

So far, we know from her Dec. 16 divorce petition that Simpson asked the court not to award spousal support to Lachey, though it's unclear if her former hubby has requested it. The Dukes of Hazzard star also asked for additional time to figure out how the ex-couple would divvy up their assets.

They are expected to list their Calabasas, California, home--site of much of their Newlyweds exploits--for sale soon, which could net them millions of dollars.

Simpson, who is reportedly spending the holidays in Hawaii with her recuperating little sis Ashlee and their parents, was not immediately available for comment on the house-hunting news or on the state of the split.

But a source in the Lachey camp tells People, "There is no squabble, and we are hoping for a quick and private procedure."

"He knew it was coming. He was hoping for the best, but as time went by he was prepared for what became inevitable."

For his part, Lachey hasn't been real estate shopping, but he has been keeping himself occupied.

The former 98 Degrees crooner is working on his new as-yet untitled album, which, per the Cincinnati Enquirer, will lean toward more of a rock feel than his disastrous pop-infused solo effort, SoulO. Lachey's record label confirms the album will be released sometime in the next year.

Lachey also has three separate TV projects in various stages of development. The avid sports fan has a regular gig as a correspondent on ESPN's college football pregame coverage, is being filmed "on and off" for another MTV reality show chronicling the making of his second album, and has logged time working on a sitcom pilot for the WB.

According to People, Lachey has also found time to get some good karma points.

He recently joined Wilmer Valderrama and USC quarterback Matt Leinart on a visit to the pediatrics ward at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, handing out Christmas gifts to the kids.