Jessica Simpson was only 18 when she first met her future husband Nick Lachey in 1998. She was a fledgling pop star and he was in a boy band. The two became a reality TV hit when they featured on MTV’s show Newlyweds from 2002 onwards.
They married in 2001, though, in a widely publicized event. What nobody knew at the time was that Jessica and Nick had not signed a prenup. When the news of their divorce first made the rounds it was said that Jessica had refused to sign one, but it had in fact been her father, who had insisted that she shouldn’t sign one. A rather short-sighted move as it turned out.
When Jessica and Nick were indeed still newlywed, they were very much in love. There can be no doubt about it. But whilst Nick’s career wasn’t doing too well, Jessica began slowly establishing her brand, which included a number of endorsement deals and her own fashion line.
By the time the couple separated, Jessica was worth an estimated $36 million to Nick’s $5 million. According to California law, where they filed for divorce, each party was entitled to half the assets accumulated during their marriage.
Whilst the two made some money together, Nick had very little to do with much of Jessica’s ventures. It didn’t help that the divorce was not exactly amicable.
When the two first announced their split, it was said to be a mutual decision. But almost immediately fans, family and anyone remotely ‘close’ to either one of them began dishing out the dirt to anyone who would listen. And each side blamed the other for the failure of the marriage and various shortcomings.
Interestingly both sides seemed to have the same beef. Nick was accused of partying too much and leaving Jess behind all the time. Jessica was accused of liking the Hollywood lifestyle too much, when Nick wanted to spend time together.
It has also been said that Nick didn’t like the fact that Jessica had become so much more successful than him. But some ‘sources’ at least agreed that it wasn’t a single event that brought about the downfall of the marriage. The couple had been struggling for much of the past year before their separation and some said that they had simply grown apart.
When it came to dividing their assets, their divorce became decidedly less amicable than it had previously been thought to be. Nick seemed to believe that he was entitled to half of Jessica’s money, who only wanted to pay him off with $1.5 million at the insistence of her father.
Eventually Nick settled for less than 50% of what he wanted, but more than the amount offered. He had wanted to avoid an ugly battle in court and the offer was definitely better than what Jessica had initially proposed. Only last year did we learn that Jessica paid him $12 million in the divorce. That’s more than he ever made as a musician.
The exes have long since moved on from each other. Nick married his new wife Vanessa in 2011 and has two children with her. Jessica married her husband Eric in 2014 and has also two children with him.
She has since built a veritable business empire, which is worth an estimated $1 billion. And only because she was asked last year in an interview what her worst financial decision had been, did she say that the question made her think of her first marriage.
Given that she had to part with quite a lot of money, because she had unwisely been talked into not signing a prenup, that answer is certainly understandable. But it is just as understandable that Nick was reportedly rather enraged about the whole thing. It may actually have hurt his ego more than a little bit for people to find out just how much he received in the divorce, which was entirely due to the discrepancy in their incomes at the time.
These days the exes have pretty much nothing to do with each other anymore and probably prefer to think back on their marriage and subsequent divorce. Hopefully Jessica signed a prenup for her current marriage, however. Not that anyone would want her to get divorced again, mind you.