Were Mark Wahlberg and Jessica Simpson Officially a Thing?

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM/ Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The internet is buzzing after Jessica Simpson released a short story about dating after her marriage to Nick Lachey. In the 28-page Amazon Original Story, Movie Star: They Always Say They’re Single, Simpson reveals her encounters with a hunky actor and childhood crush of hers. Now everyone is looking at her previous memoir and comparing notes. The consensus is that it must have been Mark Wahlberg.

Jessica Simpson Previously Wrote About the Secrecy Involved in Dating Big Stars

To start, Jessica Simpson revealed a very saucy side of dating in Hollywood. When she divorced Nick Lachey in 2006, she started dating again, and that involved complex schemes for private meetups in order to stay out of the public’s eye.

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“I was free to date and explore, like some Jane Goodall studying the mating habits of Hollywood’s celebrity bachelors,” the singer wrote in her 2020 tell-all. “I would meet guys in clubs, or their people would call my people. Our shared fame would mean we couldn’t be seen together, or we’d fall into the sausage grinder of the tabloid fame machine. We rented cars or met on private planes, probably loaned or rented to impress me, who knows. It was intensely glamorous and all completely secret.”

Simpson Wrote that the Movie Star First Came Onto Her in 2001

Movie Star is described as “a short and true story about a world-famous actor and a fantasy Hollywood romance gone wrong by Jessica Simpson.” It’s mostly set in 2006 but begins with the first run-in with the man behind her fantasy. She met him at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards when she and Lachey were taking a break. For the record, Simpson and Lachey didn’t get married until 2002, so she was single at the time.

Jessica Simpson was standing somewhere near the red carpet. “As our mutual friend, my bodyguard, talked, this megastar, who I grew up thinking was so hot, eyeballed me up and down,” Simpson wrote. “Like he was undressing me with his eyes, which was fine, because I had plenty of reasons to ditch that outfit and change.”

“Oh, this is how it feels to get hit on,” she continued. “Because, aside from my ex-boyfriend, no male had ever been so forthright about looking at me provocatively. At least, that’s how I wanted people to look at me. He leaned forward and put his hand on my hip so I could hear him better.”

The Movie Star Wore a T-Shirt and Jeans at the MTV Video Music Awards. So Did Mark Wahlberg.

Whew, steamy. Jessica Simpson threw the public a bone and added that this mystery man was wearing a t-shirt and jeans. This of course sent everyone on a hunt through archived photos to figure out who wore that outfit to the MTV VMAs that year. Page Six gave a brief synopsis but Jezebel went on a deeper analysis and narrowed it down to Mark Wahlberg.

Specifically, of all the men who wore a t-shirt and jeans (not khakis or tight pants) and were also movie stars who would have been famous before Jessica Simpson was famous, there were only Will Smith and Wahlberg. But later, she says that the man refers to his significant other as a “girlfriend,” and not a “wife,” and Will Smith was married.

Regardless, according to Simpson, she left and didn’t stay for the afterparty. But she ran into the hunky megastar actor soon after at a gym in Los Angeles. They exchanged numbers at some point, and she invited this guy, “who made millions and millions of dollars per film, ‘You could be my leading man,’” in one of her upcoming music videos.

Nothing happened though. The MTV VMAs were on September 6, 2001, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks were 5 days later. Jessica Simpson wrote that she reunited with Nick Lachey after the attacks.

Jessica Simpson Reunited with the Movie Star After Divorcing Nick Lachey

But fast-forward to 2006, and Simpson had divorced from the man she thought was her forever person. They were at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and she was filming while he was getting ready for an awards show. At the hotel, she wrote, “we would find a quiet place to talk. We kissed sometimes, and I felt that same rush each time. But mostly we just talked.”

She wrote that this man texted her throughout the awards show and she later saw photos of him there with another woman.

“Shortly after, I saw a photo of Movie Star on a red carpet with her. I was never ever in a million years going to be the other woman,” Simpson wrote.

She’d previously touched on her moral system and even once admitted to having an “emotional affair,” which she described as worse than sexual. So, seeing this man she was interested in with another woman obviously stirred up the pot of emotions.

When she confronted him about her, he said, “It’s completely over. She’s actually moving out, but — look, if I don’t go with her places, then it’s a story we have to deal with. You of all people get that. I swear, we are not together. You are the only girl I want to be with. You’re it.”

Simpson added that she never had sex with him and that he got upset with her for that.

Mark Wahlberg’s Girlfriend Was Pregnant During Jessica Simpson’s Timeline

If the man who Jessica Simpson is talking about is indeed Mark Wahlberg, it’s worth noting that he has been with supermodel Rhea Durham since 2001. They had three children together before getting married at a Catholic church in 2009. The couple had their fourth child after getting married. Durham had a big baby belly while she accompanied Wahlberg to the 2006 Golden Globes as well.

So, were Mark Wahlberg and Jessica Simpson officially a thing? We may never know.

Read More: Jessica Simpson is Worrying Fans After Posting ‘Alarming’ Photo

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