Jessica Simpson dishes on empowering fling with movie star: 'He was a notch on my own belt'
Jessica Simpson is showing that Hollywood heartbreak can be a great teacher.
Simpson reminisced on her fling with a Tinseltown heartthrob, which got its start at an afterparty at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, in the Audible short story “Movie Star: They Always Say They’re Single,” published Wednesday.
The aughties pop star had recently broken up with boyfriend Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees when the 21-year-old met Movie Star, an A-list actor Simpson “grew up thinking was so hot,” at the VMAs afterparty through their mutual friend of Simpson’s bodyguard.
While Simpson keeps the identity of the "massive movie star" anonymous, she goes into detail about his instant infatuation with her, writing the actor “eyeballed me up and down” during their first meeting “like he was undressing me with his eyes.”
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However, the sparks between Simpson and the actor fell short of a hookup when she and Lachey reconciled in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Simpson and Lachey would later wed in 2002, immortalizing their marital life in the MTV reality show “Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica.”
But Movie Star’s short-lived performance would get a second act.
Fresh off her 2006 divorce from Lachey, Simpson and the actor reconnected after a producer revealed to Simpson that he’d “been after you forever,” with Simpson later meeting him at the Beverly Hills Hotel for a flirty rendezvous before the actor’s scheduled appearance at an awards show.
“He texted me throughout the awards show,” Simpson wrote. “The event was so huge that it made me feel special that every beautiful woman in Hollywood was there and he wanted me.”
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Despite a few "warm kisses" and a romantic hotel getaway, things began to unravel between Simpson and the film star after she discovered he was still publicly linked to his then girlfriend.
“I saw a photo of Movie Star on a red carpet with her,” Simpson recalled. “I was never ever in a million years going to be the other woman.”
The actor reassured Simpson that his relationship was “completely over,” but their brewing romance imploded after Simpson accompanied him to the set of his latest film. Simpson was required to travel in a separate car from the actor and take “the fire stairs” up to her hotel room, which helped her realize he was hiding Simpson from his girlfriend.
Regardless of the failed fling, Simpson said the experience was “the first time I ever felt truly empowered since I was married.”
“Yes, I had been very gullible. He had lied to me, saying I was the only one, but I was honest with myself. So, maybe, going forward, I didn’t need to feel as insecure as I thought I was,” Simpson wrote. “It didn’t matter if he thought I was a notch on his belt, or any of the belts of these guys in Hollywood. He was a notch on my own belt.”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jessica Simpson was almost 'the other woman' in fling with movie star