Jessica Simpson‘s father/manager was so angry after his daughter was dissed by Lindsay Lohan recently, he carpet-bombed the tabloids with negative stories about the rival pap princess. After Lohan banned Jessica and her simpleton sister, Ashlee, from her post-MTV Awards fete at L.A.’s Standard Hotel last Saturday, Joe Simpson planted multiple items about the snub in celeb rags across the country, including In Touch, Us Weekly, Life & Style, Star, and several newspapers, sources say.
“Joe called our head offices himself and ranted and raved about it,” says a top editor at one of the weeklies. “It was obvious he wanted to paint Lindsay as a bitch. He couldn’t believe anyone would dare ban Jessica from any party because, as he said, ‘She’s a huge superstar.’….Joe will do anything to make sure she’s in the papers every week and he knows Lindsay’s an easy target.”
Simpson, a former Baptist minister, requested that the pubs under no circumstances reveal him as a source and, in at least one case, insisted that they write that the scoop came from an associate of Lohan’s. By Wednesday, extensive coverage of the incident, fueled by her father’s smear campaign, sent Jessica into damage control mode, rushing to People magazine to deny any rift with Lohan. (Based on her naïve take on the incident——“I guess [everyone] got tired of making up stories about me and Nick and decided to create some other kind of drama”—Joe’s veil of secrecy seems to extend to his daughter.) A rep for the Simpson clan denied Joe planted any stories, saying, “The whole [incident] was blown out of proportion by the tabloids, as usual.” Luckily for Joe, Lohan’s similarly devoted dad, Michael, is too busy pumping iron in the clink to extract the truth from him in person.