What Jessica Simpson's Relationship With Her Family Is Really Like

Jessica Simpson was more than happy to let the public know about the ins and outs of her first marriage to 98 Degrees heartthrob Nick Lachey. Who can forget her questioning whether her bowl of Chicken of the Sea really was chicken in the mid-'00s reality show "Newlyweds"? But she's been a little more guarded about the relationships with her immediate family.

The "I Wanna Love You Forever" singer is, of course, the daughter of Joe and Tina Simpson, the latter now a lifestyle mogul and the former a Baptist youth minister who made the unlikely pivot into pop star management. And Jessica wasn't the only daughter he guided to success, either. His youngest Ashlee also became a regular fixture on the Hot 100 and even landed her own MTV behind-the-scenes spinoff, too.

So how are things between Jessica and her showbiz family more than two decades after she was thrust into the spotlight? From surprise plus-ones to sister-in-law bonds, here's the lowdown. 

Jessica Simpson was left devastated by her parents' divorce

In 2020, Jessica Simpson added author to her list of talents when she published her first memoir, "Open Book." And as its title suggests, the former pop princess was keen to set the record straight about several matters in her private life, from the "rivalries" between the other reigning pop princess to matters with fellow turn-of-last-century pop star, Nick Lachey.

The matter that many tabloids were most interested in, though, was the drama surrounding her parents' divorce. Back in 2012, Tina Simpson filed for divorce after 34 years of marriage. Jessica, who was pregnant with son Maxwell at the time, admits she was left devastated by the news [via Us Weekly]: "I had a hard time being around them together since they'd stop loving each other."

Jessica also discussed how the separation triggered her father's "natural salesmanship." The one-time Britney Spears rival further explained to Us Weekly, "He pitched it to me as a positive thing, 'You gave me the confidence ... You gave me the way out," Simpson detailed in her memoir reflecting on her father. She quickly followed up by lamenting, "'Great,' I thought to myself, 'I broke my own heart.'"

Accepting Joe Simpsons sexuality

In 2014, Jessica Simpson walked down the aisle with her second husband, former San Francisco 49ers tight end Eric Johnson. It was an occasion she hoped would bring her estranged parents Tina and Joe together, with the latter officiating and the former joining sister Ashlee as maids of honor. Instead, it proved to be their death knell.

Just three days before his daughter was due to walk down the aisle, Joseph asked Jessica whether he could bring a "plus-one" to the ceremony. Much to everyone's surprise, his "plus-one" wasn't another woman but Jonathan Keith, a young male model that Joe worked with while branching out into the world of photography.

Jessica addressed the situation in her 2020 memoir, "Open Book," writing (via Daily Mail), "I reminded myself that I needed to accept my father for who he was as he worked it out in real-time." But when asked about Joseph's sexuality in an interview with the Los Angeles Times to promote the book, the "I Think I'm in Love with You" songstress was less forthcoming: "That's not something we talk about. That's not my story to tell."

Firing her dad was the hardest thing for the pop princess

2012 certainly proved to be a turbulent year in the life of Jessica Simpson and her family. Shortly after her parents announced they were going their separate ways, the "With You" singer fired her father as her manager. And in her memoir published eight years later, she revealed that it was one of the hardest things she'd ever had to do.

Jessica explained in her memoir, "Open Book," that she'd actually had to give Joe his marching orders on five separate occasions before he finally accepted that he was no longer required (via Glamour). "The first time I chickened out and did it in an email. I finally just said it to his face," the pop star remarked. So what inspired "The Dukes of Hazzard" star to make such a bold move?

Well, it turns out that Mr. Simpson didn't always represent his daughter in the best light: "Too often I was circling back to people, only to find that Dad had made some move without telling me. People agreed to bad terms, thinking that was what I had demanded when, really, I had no idea. It left a lot of hurt feelings I didn't know existed, and I knew I had to make the move to go forward with ownership of my own career (via Page Six)." 

Jessica Simpson feels grateful for her dad hero

Jessica and Joseph Simpson may have had a rollercoaster relationship, both on a personal and a professional level. But, despite the latter reportedly bamboozling the pop star's mother, Tina, and making more than a few questionable management decisions, father and daughter still appear to have a good relationship.

In 2022, Jessica took to Instagram to share photos of a pool party staged to coincide with Father's Day. And it wasn't just the dad of her three kids, former NFL star Eric Johnson, that she was honoring. Also included in the message were her father-in-law Stephen and even her own father. The "Irresistible" singer gushed, "Just woke up feeling grateful for all the Dad heroes out there. Yesterday was a beautiful Father's Day celebrating my personal favorites."

Jessica, who in one image was shown happily smiling alongside her pop, went on to add, "Each of you have created, molded, shaped, and supported us and that makes my heart burst and my smile very real. I love y'all. The kids admire, appreciate, love and adore y'all. There is no greater gift in the world to our families. I value and honor the gift of Fatherhood."

She believes every day is Mother's Day

While things between Jessica Simpson and her father have often been fraught, her relationship with her mother appears to be much smoother. In 2022, for example, the "A Public Affair" singer celebrated Mother's Day by claiming she honored her "forever protector" every day.

Jessica took to Twitter to share some sun-soaked snaps of herself and her mother, Tina, which she captioned in gushing style. "Mommy, oh how I love you so ... I Am because YOU are ... You embody wisdom, grace, joy, resilience, determination, truth, excitement, power, understanding, support, fashion, sparkle, kindness, energy, strength, loyalty, prayer, humility, ambition, prayer, truth, and pure abundance!!!"

And while she severed all business ties with her dad in 2012, Jessica still has a successful working partnership with her mom. The pair co-founded The Jessica Simpson Collection in 2005 and despite various behind-the-scenes financial issues, the lifestyle and fashion brand is still going strong today. In fact, in 2021, they wrestled back full control of the company from Sequential Brands Group, with Jessica subsequently tweeting, "My mom Tina and I remained steadfast, patient, determined, brave, and STRONG. TODAY we can look back and say we BEAT ALL ODDS stacked against us. We withstood the battle and today we CONFIDENTLY claim victory!"

The singer finds it hard to accept her parents' new relationships

After divorcing 34 years into their marriage back in 2012, Jessica Simpson's parents both began to move on with their lives, separately. With Joe first taking male model Jonathan Keith to Jessica's second wedding in 2014, and then her mother, Tina, finding love with Jon Goldstein. An owner of a high-end landscape gardening company, Tina and Jon were engaged just a year later.

According to reports, both Jessica and her younger sister Ashlee were happy that their mom had found love again. But in an interview with "The Tamron Hall Show" in 2021, the "Blonde Ambition" star admitted that she actually struggled with the idea: "I think when your parents are divorced when you're older, it's so bizarre."

Jessica continued, "I wouldn't change that although I feel like it made it harder for me to accept other people in their lives, taking each other's roles. I didn't really know what to do with it. I didn't know what was friendship, what wasn't." Joe and Tina's split also made their eldest daughter reassess her entire outlook on love: "I didn't know if they still were what they taught me and waited to have sex until they got married."

Jessica and Ashlee Simpson still have sister pride

Jessica and Ashlee Simpson might not be in each other's pockets like they were back in their younger days. But an Instagram photo of the pair uploaded in 2022 proves they still have a strong bond. "Got glammed up with my ride or die last night," the "Angels" singer captioned the post. "Ash and I each have three kiddos and danced like we were in our twenties again. So. Much. Fun ... Sister Pride."

This wasn't the first time that the siblings had expressed their love for each other on the platform. A year earlier, Ashlee congratulated Jessica's memoir "Open Book" reaching top spot on the New York Times Best Seller List with the words, "I am so very proud of my beautiful, brave, kind, loving sister!!! It's beautiful to see you sharing your truth with the world. You are so inspiring. I love you so much."

In return, Jessica responded with some heartfelt sentiments of her own: "I could not have done any of this without your eternal love and endless support!!! Your bravery in life has taught me how to bandage up my wings and FLY. I love you."

The pop star believes her kids make life precious

As well as being a best-selling author and co-owner of a hugely successful lifestyle brand, Jessica Simpson also claims the role of mother of three. According to The Sun, the singer and husband Eric Johnson first welcomed daughter Maxwell into the world in 2012, quickly adding to the clan a year later with the birth of Ace and Birdie Mae after a good long break back in 2019. And it's this side of her busy life that the multi-talent finds the most rewarding.

In 2021, Simpson explained to People how being a mom helped her get through the difficulties of the pandemic: "In many ways, they were the peaceful force that made life precious in this trying time." The singer, who kept her youngster busy during lockdown with backyard sports, slime, and tie-dye projects, also acknowledged how the period had made her more grateful for her kids, and family in general, than ever.

The "Fashion Star" judge was even more gushing earlier that same year when she celebrated her youngest child's second birthday with an Instagram post: "Birdie you are beautiful, loving, hilarious, cheeky, free spirited, observant, honest, shoe crazy, determined, curious, sweet, chatty, thoughtful, giving, clever, creative, adorable, quirky, intuitive and way more independent than your mom. You are knowingly the boss bird to us all. Watching, loving, and learning from you is the greatest gift of my life."

The best-selling author is also a proud aunt

As well as having three children of her own, Jessica Simpson is also an aunt to sister Ashlee's three kids, Bronx, Ziggy Blu, and Jagger. And for all intents and purposes, the pop star appears to be a regular part of their lives, particularly that of Jagger.

In 2015, Jessica uploaded an image of her son Ace with niece Jagger to Instagram: The two tots had previously spent plenty of time together during a Simpson family vacation to Cabo San Lucas. And that same year she revealed to E! she'd given Jagger perhaps the glitziest Christmas present a 5-month-old baby could get: "I bought Jagger her first diamond studs for Christmas, so she's swaggin'. I got her a black diamond stud and a white diamond stud, so we're good. She'll always know that I gave her her first diamonds."

Two years later, Jessica was pictured having a great time at Jagger's second birthday party. Fast forward to 2022, the pop star showed how proud she was of her niece's foray into child modeling by sharing a photo of Jagger posing for clothing label Fear of God.

The happy couple still make out with one another

So how are things with Jessica Simpson's immediate family? Well, it seems as though the sparks are still flying between the "Employee of the Month" actress and husband Eric Johnson. As of 2020, she revealed that they still spend much of their downtime locking lips, telling People, "I think the secret to a beautiful, loving marriage is just making out! Don't forget to kiss. It's more intimate sometimes for a lot of people and if you forget that, you forget why you fell in love in the first place. It always begins with a kiss."

Fans of Simpson may recall a moment, back in 2015, when the pop star and Johnson were more than happy to show off their smooching skills for a "Fifty Shades of Grey"-themed photoshoot. The amorous couple cosplayed as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in a collection of steamy Instagram snaps, one of which was captioned by the singer, "I'm so in love with you." In a 2020 interview with Extra, Simpson revealed perhaps a little too much information about what they get up to behind closed doors: "With Eric, we connect mind, body, soul. It's a very spiritual experience ... I call him my sexual shaman."

Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson have a deep relationship

But Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson's relationship isn't all about the physical. In 2022, the former told People that eight years into their marriage they connect just as strongly on an emotional as they do on an intellectual level.

"Jessica Simpson: The Price of Beauty" star further explained, "I feel like every moment with us, we're growing as long as we're communicating, and our love is only deepening. I feel like Eric and I learn from each other so much. I feel like we're stronger than ever now, [more] than we were even at the beginning."

And if Simpson fancies taking a break from her multimillion-dollar lifestyle empire, then it seems like she could always pivot into couple's counselling. The singer added, "[If you're with somebody] that doesn't make you feel heard or safe or put you on a pedestal, or just honored in a way, it's not worth it. If you can't be authentically yourself while you're madly in love with somebody, you're not in the right relationship."

She admires her husband's selflessness

As she candidly revealed in her 2020 memoir "Open Book" (via E! News), Jessica Simpson recognized that she had a problem with alcohol three years earlier when she struggled to dress her oldest two kids in their Halloween costumes due to being inebriated. As a result, she decided that it was time to give up alcohol. And the singer wasn't the only member of her family to take such a step.

Former NFL star husband Eric Johnson also pledged to give up alcohol, an act of marital solidarity which Simpson is hugely appreciative of: "He said, 'I'll do it with you, babe.' It was like no biggie and he hasn't gone back or looked back. It's just the way he is. He's a very selfless and loving person who is the most incredible father on the planet."

Johnson's support obviously had the desired effect. In 2021, the singer took to Twitter for an emotional post celebrating four years of sobriety. Alongside a photo of an unrecognizable Simpson in the throes of her addiction, she wrote, "The drinking wasn't the issue. I was. I didn't love myself. I didn't respect my own power. Today I do. I have made nice with the fears and I have accepted the parts of my life that are just sad. I own my personal power with soulful courage. I am wildly honest and comfortably open. I am free."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The singer is 'sisters' with Tracee Ellis Ross

As it turns out, there are only just a few degrees of separation between Jessica Simpson and Motown legend, Diana Ross. Jessica's sister, Ashlee, of course, is married to Diana Ross' son Evan Ross. This also makes Jessica related by law to "Black-ish" co-star Tracee Ellis Ross, the legendary Motown singer's daughter. Luckily for all involved, however, there doesn't appear to be any showbiz rivalry between the two talents. Jessica and Tracee are regularly pictured having fun together at various family bashes. And following one particular get-together, the multiple Emmy Award nominee uploaded a now deleted Instagram snap of the pair which she captioned "Sisters."

Jessica Simpson has not only bonded with Tracee, though. She's also become bosom buddies with their superstar mother, mega-legend Diana Ross. During an appearance on Andy Cohen's Sirius XM show, Simpson revealed that she'd first found inspiration from her sister's mother-in-law during her split from Nick Lachey: "For me, going through my divorce, I watched 'Lady Sings the Blues' a lot. It was a powerful movie for me ... so intense but Diana did it with such grace and ease and power."