Jessica Simpson Takes The Narrative Back From John Mayer, Who Seems To Be Even Worse Than We All Thought
Jessica Simpson gets very real in her new memoir, Open Book, talking about everything from her struggles with addiction to body image issues and her rocky relationship with the tabloids. Now married to former NFL player Eric Johnson, she has three children and is an entrepreneur – the Jessica Simpson Collection is a multi-million-dollar global brand.
But the most surprising and candid moments in the book are mostly about the men in her life, who don’t come across well. She has a strained relationship with her controlling father, Joe, and, according to Simpson, record label executive Tommy Mottola regularly badgered her about her weight. And then there are her exes.
Her first marriage to singer Nick Lachey was famously captured in the reality show Newlyweds, which ran from 2003 to 2005 on MTV. But the behind-the-scenes truth of their relationship was very different than what viewers saw. While they’ve been friendly in the media about the book, Simpson details Lachey’s insecurity and jealousy, as well as their contentious divorce. But per Simpson, the most terrible man of all — not surprisingly — was comfy-pants connoisseur and guitar-face maker John Mayer.
What is surprising is the amount Simpson reveals about her relationship with Mayer, a topic she’s kept largely quiet about in the past. The portrait of Mayer she creates is one that feels incredibly familiar in the worst way. John Mayer is That Guy — the one our friends can’t stand, but we can’t shake. Here’s but a small rundown of some of the revelations Simpson provides to cement her case that Mayer is the King of That Guys:
Mayer and Simpson met while she was still married, and in 2006, soon after her divorce from Lachey, the two began a secret relationship.
Simpson worried she wasn’t “smart” enough for Mayer, writing: “He was so clever and treated conversation like a friendly competition he had to win. One minute he was explaining the start of his Rolex collection, and then another he was going on about a collector who he was jealous of, then the nature of jealous, then the concept of time and the heft of it on your wrist….” (Horrified italics are my own).
Mayer allegedly broke up with Simpson nine times, and each time it was over email. He apparently even followed up one break-up email by sending her the song “Angel” by Aerosmith which, NO.
Simpson claims Mayer told her she drank too much, but rather than get her help he gave her Xanax. (In the book Simpson talks openly about her dependence on alcohol and prescription drugs, and details her long road to achieving sobriety.)
Simpson had collaborated and performed with Lachey a number of times, and though their relationship was over, she felt, sentimentally, that it was their “thing.” Once Mayer found this out, he allegedly tried to force Simpson to let him produce one of her songs. She was so overcome with anxiety that “her vocal cords became frozen” in the recording studio Mayer broke up with her again in an email (obv) shortly after.
While she was dating football player Tony Romo, Mayer insinuated himself into the lives of Simpson’s family via his friendship with Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, who was at the time married to her sister Ashlee. Mayer became a regular at her parent’s home, confessing his love for their daughter – conveniently right after she was profiled in Vanity Fair. Dadager Joe, of course, thought Mayer was “charming”.
After Romo broke up with Simpson for emailing with Mayer (she also alleges that Romo went through her cell phone), the singer-songwriter quickly invited her to his home. “I felt like I was in the closing scenes of an epic, sweeping love story, and the romantic hero had beaten out the star quarterback,” Simpson writes. But when she arrived at his house, Mayer said, “Oh, you don’t get me yet.” He then forced her to listen to him perform songs from his new album.
“I almost puked,” writes Simpson. That — finally — was the end for her.
Mayer has since apologized for his behavior, but Simpson is more interested in telling her own story than mending fences. She didn’t send him a copy of the book before publication, recently telling the New York Times that, “I don’t think he’ll be shocked. He knows these stories.”
We’ve all been there. Now it’s time to burn some sage and purify my mind of all this Mayer-mess.