Jessica Simpson says she was too young to marry Nick Lachey: 'I went straight from my father to him'

Of course, Jessica Simpson’s honest new memoir, Open Book, spends some time on her relationship with former husband Nick Lachey. Stories have already come out about her longtime reliance on diet pills, to keep the unrealistic figure that a music executive demanded; her struggle with alcohol, which she used to cope with sexual abuse that she endured as a child; and her reaction to ex-boyfriend John Mayer referring to her as “sexual napalm” during an interview shortly after their breakup.

She addressed her one-time co-star on the popular MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica in a new story for People, which features excerpts of her book in its latest issue.

Singers Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson quickly rose to a new level of fame on their MTV show, "Newlyweds." (Photo: Mark Peterman/WireImage for J Records)
Singers Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson quickly rose to a new level of fame on their MTV show Newlyweds. (Photo: Mark Peterman/WireImage for J Records)

“We really got crushed by the media and by ourselves,” said Simpson, who married Lachey in 2002 and asked for a divorce in 2005. “I couldn’t lie to our fans and I couldn’t give somebody hope that we were this perfect golden couple.”

Looking back, Simpson said she didn’t know herself yet. She was just 22 — and famously a virgin — when they married, while the 98 Degrees singer was 28, when they walked down the aisle. They dated on and off for several years before that, though. She called him her “first love.”

“I respect Nick very much. I was really young and my success hadn’t really begun,” Simpson said. “He knew me as this young innocent 18-year-old that had never been introduced to the world in so many ways. I went straight from my father to him. Nick’s very smart. He was eight years older than me, but he was also young.”

Cameras only made their time as a married couple more difficult.

“We were young and pioneering our way through reality television, always mic’d and always on,” Simpson explained. “We worked and we were great at it but when it came time to being alone, we weren’t great at it anymore.”

Simpson married former NFL player Eric Johnson in 2014, and they share three kids.

Lachey, meanwhile, married actress Vanessa Minnillo in 2011. They have three little ones of their own.

“We meant a lot to each other and we always will,” Simpson said of Lachey. “I want to be very respectful because I married him for a reason and we were together for seven years for a reason. He has a family now and I would never say anything to disrespect that.”

Simpson’s memoir Open Book comes out Feb. 4, and the audio version features several new songs inspired by it.

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