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Pete Wentz Reflects on Ashlee Simpson Divorce: My Life Was Like ‘A Bomb Had Gone Off’

Pete Wentz Reflects on 2011 Ashlee Simpson Divorce
Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

Looking back. Pete Wentz opened up about struggling with Fall Out Boy’s hiatus and his divorce from Ashlee Simpson.

Related: Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz’s Son Bronx Through the Years

“My life was just like … a bomb had gone off in it,” the bassist, 43, told Nylon in a cover story published on Tuesday, March 21.

He recalled his sudden rise to fame after Fall Out Boy’s 2005 album, From Under the Cork Tree, was released. “When we first went on TRL, there were two years where we were super famous, almost like One Direction-level. You couldn’t go anywhere or do anything,” the musician recalled. “The transition just happens, so there’s not even anything you think about with it, because there is no time.”

Starting in 2009, the rocker took time to be at home with Simpson, who he married in 2008, and their then-toddler, Bronx, and discovered that he needed to make some life changes. He realized he wasn’t even sure how to navigate the airport on his own.

Pete Wentz Reflects on 2011 Ashlee Simpson Divorce
Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz arrive for a screening of “Runaway,” Chris Pizzello/AP/Shutterstock

“You’ve atrophied all of these life skills. I was like, ‘Oh. You have to figure out how to be happy as an adult,’” he explained to Nylon.

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In February 2011, Simpson filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” Wentz has since moved on with model Meagan Camper. They share son Saint, 8, and daughter, Marvel, 4. Simpson, for her part, married Evan Ross in 2014, and they welcomed daughter Jagger, 7, in 2015, and son Ziggy, 2, in 2020.

Fall Out Boy went on a hiatus in 2009 after several high-profile tours. The “Sugar We’re Going Down” performers all felt a break was needed.

“I wouldn’t use the word ‘breakup’ because that’s not true,” Wentz told MTV in 2009. “It’s a break – we’re decompressing. I’m making a new term for it: we’re decompressing right now. We’ve been doing this for eight years straight, where it was pre-recording, record, promo, tour, tour, pre-recording, record, tour, tour, and our band was going to imminently implode.”

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After the much-needed down time and his divorce, the band returned to the stage in 2013. Meanwhile, Simpson and Wentz coparent Bronx. However, the musician doesn’t love to say there’s one key for successful coparenting.

“Telling somebody what the key to [coparenting] is would be insane,” the One Tree Hill alum told Us Weekly exclusively in October 2019. “I think it’s important to listen and to give people balance.”

He added that it helps that Simpson is “a great mom.” He added that Camper, 33, is also a wonderful mother, explaining that she is “a great person. She’s a good balance for me.”

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