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Why Nick & Vanessa Lachey Are Still Living in Jessica Simpson's Shadow 17 Years Later
nick and Vanesssa lachey jessica simpson
Celebrities

Why Nick & Vanessa Lachey Are Still Living in Jessica Simpson's Shadow 17 Years Later

Vanessa and Nick Lachey may host their own show and have a great marriage but there is still one thing missing.

Nick Lachey and Vanessa Lachey really want to be a Hollywood power couple, but somehow after 17 years, the pair still can't manage to fully step out of Jessica Simpson's shadow.

Being married comes with all kinds of challenges, but add fame into the mix? You have a whole new set of problems!


Nick and Vanessa Lachey are no strangers to the backlash that comes with being public figures (yes, you know we are talking about the Love Is Blind Reunion Drama, click to jump below).

Yes, the parents of 3 have each other's back, no matter how many times fans come for the controversial television personalities.

It's been over two decades since Nick Lachey broke up with Jessica Simpson–and yet Nick and Vanessa's marriage is constantly overshadowed by the media attention Jessica and Nick received in the early 00s.

Before He Met Vanessa, Nick Lachey Was Famously Married to Jessica Simpson

Nick Lachey in tux giving Jessica Simpson flowers in Newlyweds promo.
Newlyweds/MTV

Before he was the host of Netflix's Love is Blind, Nick Lachey had a music career. Lachey was the lead singer of questionable boyband 98 Degrees.

While 98 Degrees weren't the Backstreet Boys, they were caucasian boys with arm tats, and in the mid 2000s, that was apparently enough to score a record deal.

But in the same way nobody cared about Pete Davidson before he dated Ariana Grande, Nick Lachey's star status was cemented when the "Invisible Man" singer was romantically linked to 2000s "It Girl" Jessica Simpson.

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey met in the late 90's and after a series of ups and downs, the pair tied the knot in 2002.

Following the launch of Nick Lachey's solo career and Jessica Simpson's growing appeal as a celeb icon, the celebrity couple decided to pull back the curtain on their personal life with their hit reality show Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica.

At this point, I don't think celebrities understood that reality TV is forever and if you let a camera crew into your home to watch you bicker, your fans *will* villainize you and the receipts will come back to haunt you.

So yes, while fans were rooting for Jessica and Nick (but mostly Jessica), the couple's rising fame brought on a whole new set of challenges.

"There were so many girls backstage at their concerts. At first I was like, 'I don't know if I like this.' But Nick said, 'Trust has to be the core of our relationship.' "

- Jessica Simpson, 2002

Despite their best efforts to make it work Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson did not.

RELATED: Jessica Simpson Reveals The Moment She Knew She Had To Divorce Nick Lachey

After four years together, the couple went their separate ways.

Even though, it's been nearly two decades since the couple finalized their divorce in 2006, and Nick Lachey moved on to have 3 kids with Vanessa, fans still have a hard time letting it go.

How Nick Lachey & Vanessa Lachey Met

Nick and wife Vanessa Lachey with their three children.
@nicklachey/Instagram

Spoiler Alert: It was while Nick filmed his music video written about Jessica.

So Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson are officially over and the tabloids are pretty much all #TeamNick on account of the fact it is the 2000s and Hollywood is insidious and Nick's team marketed him as the "perfect husband," and Jessica was slandered as the archetypal ditzy blonde.

Thankfully, TikTok came to the rescue, with #justiceforjessica trending as fans look back, on how they think Nick was clearly the villain of the relationship.

Resurfaced clips from Newlyweds show Nick Lachey constantly insulting Jessica's intelligence while also needing her to affirm he was just as famous as she was (he was not).

@listenwithbritt

THE MEDIA DID HER DIRTY #justiceforjessica #thenewlyweds #switchingsides

It was unanimously decided by TikTok Jessica *truly was* just a sweet blonde, baby angel from the south and because her career was popping off and his was declining, Lachey wanted to keep her down.

Lachey capitalized on how the media came for Jessica Simpson relentlessly after their divorce, and decided he was going to try and use their breakup as his Trojan Horse for a musical comeback.

Enter Vanessa.

What's Left of Me: The Music Video That Changed Everything

Even though Nick Lachey and Total Request Live host, Vanessa Millinno met in 2003, the pair reunited in 2006 on the set of What's Left of Me.

Following his messy divorce with Jessica Simposon, Nick Lachey released What's Left of Me, his absolute banger sad-boy-breakup-diss-track that I do know all the words to (shout out to my hot older sister, this is our song).

What's Left of Me has classic lines like: Now I'm broken and I'm fading / I'm half the man I thought I would be / But you can have what's left of me.

The entire music video is basically a dark and un-funny spoof of Newlyweds because as Nick Lachey sings in an empty house in the hills, random cameramen follow him around? Filming him? While he fights with his Jessica Simpson placeholder, played by NONE OTHER THAN Vanessa Lachey (then Vanessa Millinno).

Many were #TeamJessica because of her iconic edible cosmetic line "Just Desserts" which was defamed and sued for false advertising on the grounds it was not in fact edible, but conversely, toxic.

Fans LOST IT–not at the lawsuit but at Nick Lachey!

No truly, they wanted to organize a witch hunt and burn Jessica Simpson's-ex-husband at THE STAKE because shortly after Nick Lachey (who took Jessica Simpson's virginity) released What's Left of Mehis song about how he was the most broken man on the face of planet–he then started dating the woman who played his ex-wife in his music video, aka, Vanessa Minnillo.

Nick and Vanessa Go Public, Jessica Is Left in Pieces!

Nick holding and kissing wife Vanessa Lachey.
@nicklachey/Instagram

In 2006, only months after his divorce with Jessica Simpson, it was confirmed Nick and Vanessa were an item. The couple went public sharing a televised kiss on MTV's annual New Year's Eve bash.

You would think Nick stans would love this, right?

WRONG!

The narrative flipped!

Turns out, the media only sided with sad and single Nick Lachey and so, when the world saw he'd moved on from the Dukes of Hazzard blonde bombsell with a brunette (how dare he) everyone felt bad for Jessica Simpson, who was alone and heartbroken.

Years later in her memoir, Open Book, Jessica Simpson would reveal she was "devastated" that Nick played the victim in the media and then went on to date Vanessa so quickly.

“So, Nick, you're with another already? Seems that you forgot the love you spoke to me,” Simpson wrote in her journal at the time, per Entertainment Tonight. “I'm saddened beyond belief. Alone in the dark, with no one to call my own.”

- Jessica Simpson's dramatic diary entry

Jessica Simpson's Cool-Girl Revenge

Like a true icon, in response to her ex-husband's new relationship status, Jessica Simpson didn't write a woe-is-me sad girl anthem on her acoustic guitar (Taylor Swift I raise your Teardrops on My Guitar for Bad Blood).

Instead, Ashlee Simpson's hot, older sister released the most iconic 00s music video of all time (second only to Paris Hilton's Stars Are Blind).

In "A Public Affair," Jessica Simpson and her hot A-List girlies, Christina Applegate, Christina Milian, and Eva Longoria, dance with their Miss America smiles around a rollerskating rink in hot shorts with 8 billion watt fans blowing their gorgeous hair in the fake wind to a glorified sample of Diana Ross' "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

No, I can't. I'm watching "A Public Affair" the 5th time and I'm screaming.

It's literally the most filthy middle finger back to Nick Lachey and Vanessa going public while Jessica's body is not even COLD–I would have been shaking if I was them.

There is no better revenge than being hot.

🔥Why it was such a serve🔥:

Skip to minute 2:05 in the video.

Where a jealous Maria Menounos imagines ripping out Jessica Simpson's extensions because her boyfriend is checking Jessica out.

For those of you who need to brush up on your American History, Maria Menounos was also a (more famous) TV host and Vanessa biggest competition at the time.

Conclusion: Jessica Simpson should be behind bars on account of manslaughter.

Love and Family Life: Nick Lachey & Vanessa Lachey's Journey After Jessica

Jessica Simpson in the drivers seat of a truck.
@jessicasimpson/Instagram

Whether you're #TeamJessica or #TeamNick, you gotta hand it to Nick and Vanessa Lachey...

Say what you want about the pair, but after 17 years, it's undeniable the Netflix co-hosts, are definitely doing something right.

“What I love about our relationship is we have evolved, when we met each other, we were two very young, crazy kids, figuring out each other, and then together, we were figuring out ourselves, as well as ourselves as a couple. Our whole relationship, even to this day, we’re still working on each other, we’re still working on ourselves, and that’s I think the beauty of a lasting relationship. We work at it.” 

- Vanessa Lachey, PEOPLE

That being said, the internet doesn't really care and will say exactly what they want.

Exploring Nick Lachey & Vanessa Lachey's Success in the Entertainment Industry

The Lachey's can thank the pandemic for their resurgence in popularity.

In Feb of 2020, right before the entire world went into lock down, Netflix released the cringe "reality" dating show, Love is Blind.

Fans Want Them Kicked Off Love is Blind

The premise of Love is Blind, is to cyberbully people who's love lives are worse than yours–kidding!

The premise of the Love is Blind, is that similar to all the relationships to spring from Coronavirus, contestants are locked in 200 sq ft rooms ("pods") with roommates for months, with nothing but gallons of white wine to entertain themselves.

The contestants talk to other contestants of the opposite sex that they can't see/have never met face-to-face. Then, almost exactly like a summer camp, everyone falls in love at the end of the first month of knowing each other and get engaged.

Whether or not the couple makes it to the plastic altar is the final test of love.

The point of the show is to see "if love is truly blind" and spoiler alert, 9/10 it's not.

Nick and Vanessa Lachey were the hosts of that show, now on it's 4th season, but the couple found themselves in. hot water recently because of Vanessa's biased behaviour on the Love is Blind LIVE Reunion, with Love is Blind fans calling for Netflix to replace the hosts.

Fans of the experimental reality TV show, were up in arms at Vanessa's berating of former Love is Blind contestant Paul Peden and also find her pregancy-related questions outdated.

Vanessa has taken to blocking Twitter users who tweet she's a bad host.

Thus far, Netflix has not confirmed whether Nick Lachey and Vanessa will return for Love is Blind Season 5.

But this isn't the first time Vanessa Lachey has come under fire for what fans are calling her petty "mean girl" behaviour.

Life in the Spotlight for Nick Lachey & Vanessa Lachey: Living in Jessica's Shadow

In 2020, Vanessa Lachey was under fire on Twitter for "throwing shade" at her husband's ex Jessica Simpson in a viral interview with Entertainment Tonight.

The scandal was related to a gift Jessica Simpson claims she received from the Lachey's that Vanessa quickly dismissed as an untrue claim. And then repeatedly asked who gave Jessica Simpson this gift.

While we were all thinking the same thing...

Screenshot 2023 07 21 at 11

#TeamJessica fans from all over, took to Twitter to call out Vanessa's petty behaviour.

I'll admit, it's a TRUE conundrum.

Is it fair that Vanessa gets such a hard time for not liking her husband's ex from over 20 years ago, after giving birth to his 3 children?

OR

Is it truly weird, that Vanessa has such a hard time not hating her husbands ex from over 20 years ago, after giving birth to his 3 children?

While filming the Love is Blind spinoff The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On (2022), Vanessa opened up about what it was like to live in Jessica Simpson's shadow:

He was literally in a very public marriage and a very public divorce, and I had to go through all that s–t very publicly and it was very hard for us,” she explained. “It wasn’t until the moment that he was like, ‘I’m gonna let it go,’ and I said, ‘I’m gonna let it go,’ and we truly committed to each other. We literally fell deeper and harder than we ever could.”

- Vanessa Lachey, The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On

It's easy to see both sides.

After being with someone for 17 years, it's probably annoying having the media compare you to their ex-wife constantly?

Especially when Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey were a beloved Hollywood couple when they were together.

But every love story looks different, and as far as Jessica Simpson's concerned, she doesn't hold any animosity towards the couple, and wishes them nothing but the best.

Jessica Simpson, who has dated, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Romo, Adam Levine, and John Mayer before settling down with former NFL player Eric Johsnon is seriously doing fine 😂

Like, she's good, girl.

In a recent interview with long-time friend Ryan Seacrest, Simpson had this to say about her time with Lachey.

“Absolutely, I would go back and do it all over again. It’s never something I wouldn’t do again.”

- Jessica Simpson

Proving, Love may not be blind and in fact love may be very, very messy, but that doesn't mean, it's not beautiful.

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