Jessica Simpson’s Open Book is referenced a lot around here because it is a really solid celebrity memoir. It’s dishy and Jessica has had so many lives in entertainment (virgin pop star, early adopter reality TV star, influencer and mogul before that was really a thing) and it made for a very interesting read.


And she’s still giving us dish, this time through her deal with Amazon. In a new essay (which was free for me on Kindle with my Prime account), her movie star anecdote is making the rounds. In September 2001, she was on a break from Nick Lachey and juggling both a Backstreet Boy and an NSync-er. But not in person, over the phone. She was worried about facing the Backstreet Boy at JLo’s after party for the MTV Video Awards (Kevin Richardson was there…). 

She describes the chaos of the night and the flip phones and the outfits through the lens of her inexperience, but it’s all about a movie star who caught her eye.

The details are they met on the red carpet (introduced by a trainer/bodyguard) and then again at the gym, but she was back together with Nick a few days later. She reconnected with the movie star in 2006 through a producer-type person. She said when he kissed her in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, she felt it all the way down to her wedges. No joke, she actually wrote wedges. And why not? Those wedges made her rich!


Because she was still quite naive, she believed him when he said his relationship with his live-in girlfriend was “over” and every small gesture, like sitting next to her in public, took on huge meaning because at any moment they could be linked in the tabloids. But she quickly realized she was probably a side chick and ended it. 

I took my nosy ass straight to Google to uncover the movie star in question and with my rudimentary detective skills I came up with one name pretty quickly: Mark Wahlberg. Allegedly, of course. According to Wiki, he presented that night in 2001 (introduced DMX). Here are more details that are not legally binding if any representative of Mark Wahlberg is reading this:

  • Her trainer/bodyguard introduced them. Mark seems like he would know a lot of trainers.
  • She described him wearing jeans and a t-shirt to the 2001 MTV Video Award show. This is what Mark wore.
  • She ran into him at a gym. I mean this seems like an obvious hangout for him.
  • They did not share a religion but both had a “reverence for God” and he talked about repenting. Mark is Catholic.
  • He traveled with an entourage. The show Entourage was loosely based on Mark’s life.
  • He had a long-time girlfriend. Mark and his wife Rhea started dating in 2001 and married in 2009.
  • She mentions her friend picked her up from a disastrous trip she took with him to a location shoot in 2006. She knew who the director was (so he’d have to be very famous) and when her friend picked her up, they drove to New York. The Departed came out in 2006 so the timing might cut it close, but it partly filmed in Boston. If not The Departed, Mark was making at least two movies a year.
  • He loved kids. Mark has 4 children.

It seems to fit, right? And beyond those details, these two just seem like they would be into each other. It actually makes so much sense!

But one thing is nagging at me. She doesn’t mention running into the movie star between 2001 and 2006, but the two were photographed together at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards.  Maybe she didn’t want to make it too obvious. Just the regular amount of obvious. No one said she’s subtle! And we should appreciate her for it.