I could have sworn that just a month ago Ashlee Simpson and estranged husband Pete Wentz were still behaving... un-estrangedly. Well I guess that passed.

Ashlee was photographed walking hand in hand with her new boyfriend in NYC the other day. They were well aware they were being papped. She made no attempt to hide. And didn't bother holding back their intimacy either. Something about the way she's touching his chin and moving into him...it's making me a little uncomfortable. Like fontrum-y.

His name is Vincent Piazza. You would recognise him if you watch Boardwalk Empire. You're watching Boardwalk Empire, right? Piazza plays young Lucky Luciano who, at the beginning of the season, can't get it up because he has VD. Then a doctor heals him temporarily and he ends up f-cking Gretchen Mol. Still can't decide if I think he's hot. And this hook up with Ashlee Simpson doesn't really help or hinder.

As for where her head is at - her sister Porny is helping her out professionally with a partnership designing teen clothes under the Jessica Simpson label which, I mean, fine whatever, I suppose it does make sense since Ashlee is kinda like a forever 17 but it's not exactly stretching independence for someone who’s, let’s be honest, never really had an identity that wasn’t associated with her sister’s, apart from when she got pregnant and married. Now that that’s over, where her career is concerned at least, it doesn’t seem as though much has changed.

I often wonder what that’s like. To be someone like Ashlee Simpson. There are the occasional stage gigs, but beyond those few weeks...what does she actually do? I suppose the same could be asked of most celebrities in general. Anyway, what she does right now is announce that she’s with a new guy. That’s what’s on the agenda for the next month or so anyway.

Photos from INF