Jessica Simpson: Billionaire Fashion Designer Says Her Biggest Money Mistake Was Marrying Nick Lachey

You may not know this, but Jessica Simpson is a billionaire — with a B. Seems surprising, considering her career as a purveyor of vapid bubblegum pop, followed by a reality TV show where she came off as, well, dumb as a brick (for example, Simpson famously couldn’t decide if Chicken of the Sea was tuna or chicken).

But despite the image she gave off — intentionally or unintentionally — of not being the sharpest tool in the shed, behind that facade is a shrewd businesswoman who knows what her customers want, and who has made a cool billion in the process, according to Jezebel. And like other billionaire businesswomen (and -men), Jessica Simpson gets invited to talk money and business on cable TV, which she did last week.

Appearing on CNBC’s Closing Bess, Simpson was asked, by host Kelly Evans, what sort of mistakes she’s made in her financial and/or personal life. Simpson thought about it for a minute, then said what no one was expecting.

“The biggest money mistakes? I don’t know. For some reason I thought of my first marriage!”

Evans chuckled a bit at Simpson’s revelation, then revealed that a lot of people seem to have similar views toward their first marriages, according to MSN. “That’s actually a common answer, believe it or not.”

The “first marriage” Jessica is referring to lasted from 2002 to 2006, when she was married to former boy band singer Nick Lachey. The adorable couple’s marriage became the basis for a short-lived reality show, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, wherein Jessica played the role of the naive Texas girl who is dumbfounded by, well, just about everything.

How much of the “dumb blonde” bit was just an act, or was played up in the editing room, is a matter of debate, but one thing is clear: Jessica Simpson is no dummy. After her marriage ended, Simpson kept on making music, but began focusing on side projects as well.

And it’s those side projects that have paid off big for Jessica Simpson: her clothing line, the Jessica Simpson Collection, with its 30 different products — shoes, sunglasses, jewelry, perfume — brings in about a billion per year in sales.

As for her costly first marriage, Jessica Simpson admits that she and Nick Lachey don’t talk much. It’s been almost a decade since their split, and they’ve both married other people. Jessica explains that there are no hard feelings; there’s just nothing at all there between them.

“I wouldn’t say it’s friends and I wouldn’t say it’s enemies — there is just no contact. We both moved on with our lives. It’s not animosity, it’s not friendship, it’s just kind of nothing.”

[Image courtesy of: Getty Images/Allison Shelley]