Who's The Other Man In Ashlee & Pete's Relationship?

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz

No, she didn't cheat...but it may just be Papa Joe who broke these two up.

Show biz moms are one thing (hello Toddlers and Tiaras!), but show dads are an entirely different breed. From Billy Ray Cyrus to Papa Joe Simpson, there's something inherently creepy about their overinvolvement with their famous daughters and their careers. Who could forget Miley's lovey-dovey Vanity Fair photos or Papa Joe's infamous "Double Ds" comments about daughter Jessica's ample assets?

Well, it looks like Papa Joe might be up to his old tricks, at least where his daughters' love lives are concerned. Rumors flew that he was the one who broke up Jessica's marriage to Nick Lachey years ago, and now it appears he may have played a similar role in Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz's demise. Ashlee Simpson Files For Divorce From Pete Wentz

"Just like when Jessica split from Nick, Joe is doing nothing to encourage Ashlee to give the marriage another try, if only for the sake of her son," shared a source for Popeater. "Joe likes being the only man in his daughters' lives and is happy that Ashlee has moved back into his home [in Encino, CA], just like Jessica did after she announced she was leaving Nick."

According to People, part of the issue is also that Ashlee is uber-eager to get back to performing. Though she relishes her role as a mom, the singer/actress has had to leave the limelight for longer than she'd like and is itchy to find more balance between work and family obligations. And, as her manager, we're sure Papa Joe would love to see Ashlee step back into the spotlight (ka-ching!).

Though Papa Joe's not crying, the split has left shockwaves with others who know them, as well as Pete himself, who's said to be "devastated." Friend Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 told Popeater that no one in the couple's inner circle really saw the breakup coming:

"It really caught me off-guard, I had no idea. I'm friends with him and Ashlee, and our families go out and have meals together and our kids play together and stuff. It really saddens me that that's the case," he told the website.

We're bummed, too. Let's hope Papa Joe's meddling ways don't mess with Jessica's engagement to Eric Johnson!

Photo credit: INF