Jessica Simpson’s father, Joe Simpson, has been the topic of the rumor mill in recent months, due, in part, to frequently stepping out with younger, attractive men—leading some to speculate whether or not the former Baptist minister is gay.
The man at the center of one of these controversies, Styled to Rock contestant Andre Soriano, spoke to In Touch Weekly and clarified the nature of his relationship with the 56-year-old.
“Joe is like my uncle, my Uncle Joe! We are such great friends,” the fashion designer told the mag. “I have no idea why people would think that I am dating him.”
It was after pictures surfaced of the two getting cozy at an event for Naluda Magazine in early March that led many to believe the two were intimate.
However, a partygoer told In Touch the whole thing was a misunderstanding, adding Andre was “out of control.”
“I can see how [the pictures] would be interpreted that way,” the onlooker dished. “Honestly the whole thing was blown out of proportion because Andre was all over everyone at the party—guys, girls, whoever.
"By the end of the evening, I didn’t see one person he hadn’t humped the leg of or was on the floor wrestling with.”
While Andre maintained he and Joe were “just having fun and drinking vodka,” he did express slight remorse about the situation he created for Jess and Ashlee’s dad with the pics.
“I feel bad though [about the photos]. He is the best human being,” he gushed. “We are doing work together.”
Andre isn’t the only one Joe is currently “doing work” with. The first rumors about the Simpson patriarch’s sexuality flew when he was spotted photographing model Jonathan Keith on the beach in Miami.
After much speculation, Joe addressed the rumors by tweeting, “More misinformation in the news. The guy in the pics is my modeling client. He was in Miami taking agency meetings. That’s it!!”
More mis-information in the news. The guy in the pics is my modeling Client. He was in Miami taking agency meetings. That's it!!— Joe Simpson (@papajoesimpson) February 19, 2014
Andre confirmed there’s nothing sexual about their relationship.
“Jonathan Keith and Joe are both completely, totally straight,” he told In Touch. “That is just his client!”
Joe Simpson was married to Jessica and Ashlee’s mother, Tina, for 34 years before calling it quits in October 2012. Though a statement for the family called the split “amicable” when the divorce was finalized in April 2013, the former couple continue to feud.
Most recently, a source told In Touch the conflict was the reason Jessica’s marriage to fiancé Eric Johnson was on hold.
“It’s beyond upsetting for Jessica that this is happening,” the source said. “Tina and Joe don’t want to be around each other at all. It’s terrible for Jessica.”