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Newlyweds Turns 20: What have Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey said about each other?

The MTV show ran from 2003 to 2005, and followed the singers' three-year-long marriage

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey hug while smiling at the camera© Getty Images
Hannah Watkin
Content Writer
August 19, 2023
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Where does the time go? MTV's iconic reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica is somehow already 20 years old, and we can't believe it. The hugely popular series starring Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey began airing in August 2003, and finished in March 2005 after three successful seasons.

Famous moments from the show which documented Nick and Jessica's married life — viral before that was a widespread thing on the internet — included Jessica's 'chicken or fish' quandary, her confusion about gas and the color of German sausages, and her biblically justified fear of whales.

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey smiling together at an event© Getty Images
The Newlyweds stars are now celebrating their emerald anniversary - in a manner of speaking!

However, sadly for the amusing and often endearing union, when Nick and Jessica said 'I love you' it turned out it wouldn't last forever. Following the finale of the show's third season, the now 43-year-old 'Sweet Kisses' singer filed for divorce from the former boy bander in December 2005, bringing the hugely popular phenomenon to an abrupt end.

The pair's divorce was finalized in 2006 after Jessica cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their split. But in the years following, the famous duo have continued to talk about their relationship in interviews since.

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey singing together on a stage in 2003© Getty Images
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey singing together in 2003

In 2009, the author of bestselling memoir Open Book, who is now married with three kids to Eric Johnson revealed to Vanity Fair that she didn't blame the show itself and the increased attention which it brought for the breakdown of their relationship. "In all honesty, I believe it did not affect our marriage," she told the outlet.

She also added sweetly: "We enjoyed watching those episodes, and that will always be a time I cherish. It made me understand what marriage is, what love is, what commitment is."

The pair kiss at the 2000 Teen Choice Awards, prior to their marriage© Getty Images
The pair at the 2000 Teen Choice Awards, prior to their marriage

In a 2015 interview with Elle magazine, Nick gave his own feelings on the show. The Charmed actor, who is now married to Love is Blind and NCIS: Hawai'i star Vanessa Lachey, said he was "honored" that Newlyweds became so popular that he still receives comments referencing it from fans today.

More iconic aughts reality shows include…

  • Pimp My Ride – car renovation had never been so popular
  • The Bachelor + Bachelorette – still going today! But possibly best when it first started
  • Beauty and the Geek – revivals of this series are still airing in Australia, Italy, the UK and Germany
  • The Swan – this controversial show only succeeded to transform two seasons worth of 'ugly ducklings'
  • Laguna Beach + The Hills – this show and it's spin-off series is still a favorite of many, including HGTV's Christina Hall
  • MTV Cribs – Now airing again following its reboot in 2021
  • The Simple Life – Who could forget this quirky Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie series?

"That show was obviously kind of a chapter in peoples' lives. It's cool to think that people paid attention enough to [reference things now]," he said. In 2019, he told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live: "I vibe with it. It does fascinate me, though, that it's been 15 years, I think, and people are still thinking about it like it was yesterday."

Jessica and Nick have commented several times on how they still appreciate the show© Getty Images
Jessica and Nick have commented several times on how they still appreciate the show

Nick and Jessica's comments about each other have been a little less friendly over the years. In July 2023, the fashion line mogul responded to TikToks which criticized the now-49-year-old's doting treatment of her on the show by saying: "It's amazing what publicity can do," regarding the good impression Nick had originally made on audiences.

But she also said in her Bustle interview: "I don't regret that at all. If anything, it was great TV. It was very real and Nick and I actually had a lot of fun."

Vanessa and Nick smiling on a red carpet© Getty Images
Nick Lachey with his wife Vanessa Lachey

In November 2022, Nick also threw some subtle shade towards his ex while filming the Love is Blind third season reunion with his wife and fellow co-host Vanessa. On the topic of one contestant having been married prior to being on the show, the 'What's Left of Me' singer said marriages were "always better the second time."

In 2015, Jessica jokingly told CNBC's Closing Bell that on the topic of her "biggest money mistakes" she "for some reason thought of my first marriage!" Then in 2014 during an appearance on SiriusXM's show Dirty, Nick spoke about how he felt it was a good thing the pair hadn't had children.

Knute Johnson, Eric Johnson,  Birdie Mae Johnson, Jessica Simpson, and Maxwell Drew Johnson celebrate the launch of Jessica Simpson's Fall Collection at Nordstrom at The Grove on September 24, 2022 in Los Angeles© Getty Images
Jessica with her husband Eric and their three children

He continued though by expressing how both he and Jessica were now both happily married with children with their new partners. When asked if the two were still close, he answered: "I wouldn't say it's friends, but I wouldn't say it's enemies. There’s just no contact.

SEE: Jessica Simpson and her husband Eric Johnson's relationship timeline explored 

WATCH: Jessica Simpson's kids play the drums in adorable at home video

"We've both moved on with our lives and I think we're very happy with the way it went. It's not animosity, it's not friendship, it’s just kind of nothing," he finished.

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