Jessica Simpson says she and John Mayer broke up 'close to 9 times'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Jessica Simpson says she and John Mayer had a great relationship ... in bed.

A preview of the second part of the singer turned fashion mogul’s Today show interview, which airs Tuesday, has been released and in it, she talked about the “very complex” romance she had with the rocker. She said that while they were a perfect match under the sheets — he did call her “sexual napalm” — beyond that there was non-stop drama.

“We were great at intimacy,” Simpson said of the “Your Body Is a Wonderland” singer and guitarist. “We were great at loving each other. That was easy.”

However, she continued, “The relationship was very complex. It was always on again, off again, on again, off again. And I went back close to 9 times.”

Simpson revealed in her memoir, Open Book, which is out tomorrow, that she met Mayer in January 2005 — while still married to Nick Lachey — and they struck up a flirty relationship, sending intimate messages back and forth. (She was doing something similar at the same time with her married The Dukes of Hazzard co-star Johnny Knoxville.) In November of that year, Simpson split with the 98 Degrees singer and soon began a romance with Mayer, who told her “he wanted to have all of me or nothing,” in 2006.

In her book, Simpson wrote that Mayer “was obsessed with me, sexually and emotionally.” And, coming off her failed marriage to Lachey, who she felt would rather hang out with friends than her, that made her feel good.

"I would get up to go to the bathroom, and John would ask, 'Where are you going?'“ she wrote in an excerpt obtained by Radar Online. “While I was married, my ex-husband couldn't be bothered to figure out what city I was in. It felt safe to be desired. I know John would never cheat on me, and that confidence was a new feeling for me."

But he also contributed to her insecurities. “I constantly worried that I wasn’t smart enough for him,” she admitted. Simpson, who revealed in the book that she began treatment for alcoholism in 2017, said her “anxiety would spike” with Mayer “and I would pour another drink. It was the start of me relying on alcohol to mask my nerves.”

John Mayer and Jessica Simpson, at the 2007 Met Gala, had a "complex" relationship, she says. (Photo: James Devaney/WireImage)

And things got turbulent between them with all the breakups, which happened so frequently that they sometimes occurred over email.

"He'd dump me, then come back saying he had discovered he loved me after all,” she said. “I always saw it as him mercifully taking me in from the cold. Every time John returned, I thought it was a continuation of a love story, while my friends saw a guy coming back for sex with some foolish girl."

In her mind, he used their breakups to fuel his musical creativity.

"[Sometimes] a breakup was so out of the blue that it seemed to come just as we were finally getting somewhere. Now I knew the truth. I was a pet bird,” she wrote. “To think that every single time I lay on the ground, broken and bewildered, he took his time walking over. Observing me to jot down notes and hum a new song of heartbreak."

After a breakup in 2007 breakup, Simpson and Mayer went on to date other people, including Tony Romo (her) and Jennifer Aniston (him). But they never ceased communication, which actually led the Dallas Cowboys quarterback to dump Simpson in July 2009.

She said while in that “serious relationship” with Romo, Mayer tried to woo her back by swearing “up and down that he was a changed man” and once “practically [asked] my parents for my hand in marriage.” While she was faithful to Romo, the football star finally had enough after seeing a text Mayer sent Simpson.

"Tony confronted me with it immediately," Simpson wrote about the text Mayer sent her around her birthday that year. "I hadn't cheated on Tony at all," but he didn't believe her and "broke up with me right there."

That breakup mistakenly led Simpson to think she was destined to be with Mayer — and raced to his house as if she was “in the closing scenes of sweeping, epic love story, and the dark romantic hero had beaten out the star quarterback." But Mayer’s response was a punch in the gut,” she wrote. “Here I was, ready to pledge my love back, and to kiss him as the curtain came down. And it fell on my head."

Things with Simpson and Mayer really ended after his infamous 2010 interview with Playboy. His comments — calling her “sexual napalm” and saying she was “like crack cocaine to me” — led her to delete his number for good.

"I didn't accept his apology,” Simpson said of the headline-making humiliation. “I deleted all his contact information from my phone. I was done with this man in a way I never thought was possible. When he reached out to me, I changed my number and changed my email. Delete."

John Mayer and Jessica Simpson met at Clive Davis's Grammy Awards party in January 2005. While she was still married to Lachey — and soon developed feelings for another star, Johnny Knoxville — she started exchanging flirty messages with Mayer. The next year, she was divorcing Lachey and dating Mayer. (Photo: L. Cohen/WireImage for J Records)

Just months after the Playboy interview came out, Simpson met Eric Johnson and moved on, going on to have 3 kids with the former NFL player. Simpson called Johnson, who quit drinking with her in 2017 in solidarity, a “selfless and loving person.”

Simpson’s treatment for her alcoholism has included therapy to get to the root of her problems — much of which stemmed from being a victim of sexual abuse as a child, she said. However, she wrote in her book that her therapy also including discussing that relationship with Mayer — and her therapist suggested that he probably never loved Simpson. He was just obsessed with her.

“Ooh, that broke me in half!” she told the New York Times of the revelation. “And that’s years into being married and having kids. And it was like, ‘Wow. I did this all for obsession? This was his way of loving me?’ I think that it just never clicked until it was just blatantly said to me: That’s not love.”

In that interview, she also said she didn’t tell Mayer that she was writing about him in the book. However, “I don’t think he’ll be shocked. He knows these stories.” Asked how she would feel if he used his platform to respond, she quickly shot back, “I don’t care.”

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