All in the past. Vanessa and Nick Lachey have been married for over a decade, but they’re not afraid to reminisce about the beginning of their relationship — which began shortly after Nick’s divorce from Jessica Simpson.
The NCIS: Hawai’i star and the 98 Degrees singer bumped into each other several times while they both had shows on MTV, but their first real connection happened after Nick split from the “With You” singer in November 2005.
“Nick and I knew each other in passing because we both worked at MTV,” Vanessa explained during a February 2020 interview with Tamron Hall. “He would come on the show to promote his album or anything he was doing at the time, and I was there working on TRL. We would just catch up and we would just talk and hang out. And then when he was single and I was single … he asked me to be in his music video.”
The Dancing With the Stars alum appeared in clips for Nick’s song “What’s Left of Me,” which debuted in April 2006. Before they met up to film the video, however, the duo spent “hours a day” talking on the phone. When they reunited in person on set, Vanessa said she got “butterflies” from seeing him again.
In her memoir, Open Book, Simpson admitted that she was hurt when her ex-husband moved on so quickly after their breakup. When Nick’s romance with Vanessa began, his divorce from the Texas native was still not finalized.
“So, Nick, you’re with another already? Seems that you forgot the love you spoke to me,” the fashion designer wrote in diary entries included in the paperback edition of the book, released in March 2021. “I’m saddened beyond belief. Alone in the dark, with no one to call my own.”
Though Simpson was disappointed at the time, she later said she was happy to see that her ex had moved on and started a family. The Masked Singer winner and his wife, who tied the knot in July 2011, share three kids: Camden (born in September 2012), Brooklyn (born in January 2015) and Phoenix (born in December 2016).
“I’m happy for him now,” Simpson told Entertainment Tonight in February 2020. “He’s married with three beautiful children and you know, that was his purpose, and he took heartbreak and made it into something beautiful, and that’s what I did as well. But you know, it took me longer to get there.”
The Blonde Ambition actress wed Eric Johnson in July 2014, three years after her ex-husband exchanged vows with Vanessa. Simpson and the former NFL player share daughters Maxwell (born in May 2012) and Birdie (born in March 2019) and son Ace (born in June 2013).
Keep scrolling to see everything the Lacheys have said about Nick’s split from Simpson.