Jessica Simpson Reveals Her Dad Joe Desperately Tried To Stop Her From Marrying Nick Lachey

Jamie McCarthyGetty Images

Jessica Simpson says her dad, Joe, never approved of her marriage to Nick Lachey. In her memoir, Open Book, the 39-year-old pop star and fashion designer revealed that her father went to great lengths to try to stop her 2002 wedding to the 98 Degrees singer.

In Open Book, Jessica revealed that Nick was the one thing she and her dad fought over, according to TooFab.

While she revealed that her father, who was also her manager at the time, “never” said no to her record label, he felt he could “control” her relationship with Nick. Jessica says Joe strongly felt that Nick wasn’t ready for marriage at age 29.

“He was convinced that Nick didn’t understand commitment, which I didn’t think was fair,” Jessica wrote. “There’s just no nice way to put it. He continually told me I was making a mistake and told Nick to his face that I was too young to get married.”

At the time, Jessica was 22-years-old and dead-set on her decision to marry Nick. In her book, the former Newlyweds star added that her dad was “awful” all the way up until her wedding day.

“At the rehearsal dinner the night before, my father acted as if the next day was his execution. He moped and kept shaking his head, right in front of Nick’s family,” she wrote.

Jessica added that her father repeatedly asked if she was “sure” that she wanted to get married, right up until the last minute.

“I didn’t answer,” she wrote. “And he continued. ‘I’m right here. We can—’ ‘Dad, please.’ ‘You don’t have to.’”

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey attend The 2003 Teen Choice Awards held at Universal Amphitheater on August 2, 2003 in Universal City, California.
Featured image credit: Frederick M. BrownGetty Images

Nick and Jessica’s wedding was of the fairytale variety, even if their marriage wasn’t. Pop Sugar notes that the celebrity couple exchanged vows in front of 350 people at the Riverbend Church in Austin, Texas on October 26, 2002. The 40-minute ceremony was officiated by Jessica’s childhood friend, Brian Buchek. And even though the father of the bride didn’t approve of the union, Jessica and Nick’s mothers played a special role in the ceremony as they lit a unity candle together as a sign of the merging of their families.

Joe Simpson reluctantly walked his daughter down a pink rose-covered aisle dreamed up by celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss. In addition, Nick’s band 98 Degrees serenaded the Vera Wang-wearing bride at the altar before a lavish wedding reception took place at the nearby Barton Creek Resort & Spa ballroom.

When Jessica told her father she was divorcing Nick three years later, she says her dad told her that he wished he had “the courage” to do that with her mom, Tina. In her book, Jessica wrote that both she and Nick were at fault when it came to their 2006 divorce.

Incidentally, there’s no love lost between Nick Lachey and his former father-in-law. During a 2013 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Bravo host Andy Cohen asked Nick what was the best thing about no longer having Joe Simpson as a father-in law.

“The best thing about not having Joe Simpson anymore as a father-in-law is I don’t have to play grab-a** under the table on Easter Sunday,” Nick said, per E! News.

Nick is currently married to former MTV host Vanessa Minnillo, while Jessica married retired NFL player Eric Johnson in 2014.