The Love Is Blind host, 49, who was married to Simpson from 2002 to 2006, made the controversial comment during the season three reunion episode for the Netflix dating show, which he hosts along with his wife Vanessa Lachey.
Warning: Some spoilers below.
At one point during the reunion, Nick addressed contestant Matt Bolton, who was previously married to his high school sweetheart, and who exchanged vows with fellow contestant Colleen Reed during the latest season. As the pair discussed former relationships, Nick, who married Vanessa in 2011, claimed marriage “is always better the second time”.
The comment prompted agreement from Bolton, who replied: “Cheers, bud,” as he fist-bumped the dating show host.
The remark did not go over well with viewers, however, as many took to social media to criticise Nick for what they viewed as a diss at Simpson.
“I’m sorry but did Nick Lachey just fist pump Matt saying ‘always better the second time around’ as a dig to Jessica Simpson? Felt icky!” one person tweeted.
This was sooo inappropriate by Nick Lachey and I would be pissed if I was Vanessa. It also reiterates Matt’s POV of him being overbearing of Colleen because of his first wife #LoveIsBlind #LOVEISBLINDreunion pic.twitter.com/zaJd9HSJo7
— Megan (@Meg622M) November 11, 2022
Another said: “Nick Lachey is TRASH for that ‘it’s better the second time’ comment on the reunion. We are not for the Jessica Simpson slander!”
“How does Nick Lachey find a way to shade Jessica Simpson even til this day. It was only a little shade but I caught it!” someone else wrote.
According to another viewer, the “unnecessary” comment made the 49 year old sound “bitter” about the end of his marriage to Simpson more than a decade ago.
Others suggested that Nick should avoid bringing his ex-wife up at all, with one person revealing that their “hot take” is that “Nick Lachey should stop bringing up his marriage to Jessica Simpson”.
“Let the woman rest!!” they added, while someone else tweeted: “It’s been almost 20 years Nick, let it go.”
As of now, Nick has not addressed the backlash over his comment.
The criticism directed at the Love Is Blind host comes after Vanessa, who began dating Nick shortly after his divorce from Simpson in 2006, opened up about the difficulties they faced early on in their relationship because of his first marriage. “He was literally in a very public marriage and a very public divorce, and I had to go through all that sh*t,” the TV host said of the early days of their relationship while hosting the dating series,The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On. “Very publicly. And it was very hard for us.”
Simpson also remarried, with the “Sweetest Sin” singer marrying former football player Eric Johnson in 2014.