Jessica Simpson needed some new garbage cans. But instead of ordering top-of-the-line name-brand trash receptacles, she headed to a HomeGoods discount store in June to hunt for a bargain, she confesses in a new interview. In the same sit-down, she also admits it “might be the last time” she’ll be wearing her gold rings and bracelets — “because I might have to sell them.”

Yes, Jessica — who once ran a billion-dollar empire — is down and out. “She’s feeling a major financial crunch, which is a huge 180 from her old life, where finances were never a concern and she bought the best of everything,” a source tells In Touch. But over the past couple of years, a run of bad luck involving her company’s management forced the actress and former reality star, 43, to go into massive debt and make “big lifestyle changes.” 

Things have gotten so tight, “I did have to ask my mother for money not too long ago,” Jessica confesses. She and her family — husband Eric Johnson, 43, and kids Maxwell, 11, Ace, 10, and Birdie, 4 — have been learning to live on a budget, she says, because “I don’t have it in me to borrow money from my mother [again].”

Back in 2005 at the height of her fame, the former MTV star started the Jessica Simpson Collection, a wildly successful clothing, shoe and lifestyle brand. It went on to generate over a billion dollars in sales. In 2015, she and mom Tina, 63, sold a major chunk of the business for $117 million to Sequential Brands. 

“Unfortunately, Jessica and Tina weren’t happy with how the brand was being run after that,” the insider says. Then in 2021, Sequential filed for bankruptcy. A year later, Jessica swooped in to save the company she built — coming up with $65 million to get the company — her baby — out of bankruptcy. According to Bloomberg, Jessica was staked largely by the Simpson family and two additional lenders. “We either sink with the ship, or we jump and hope to find a lifesaver,” Jessica explains of her thought process leading up to the deal. “And really that lifesaver was ourselves.”

Jessica Simpson wearing a pink blazer holding a microphone
Christopher Polk/Shutterstock

Jessica put her home up as collateral and liquidated her stock portfolio — she’s still paying taxes on that — and secured a $67.5 million brand-growing loan. Suddenly cash poor and broke, says the source, Jessica had to scale back. Last year, she confessed her wild spending sprees were “draining my bank account.” 

“I have no working credit card,” she continued. “I went to Taco Bell the other day, and my card got denied.” When she asked her mom for an emergency loan, Tina had conditions. She insisted that Jessica — who’s known for throwing lavish birthday parties for her kids and was once famously scolded by her ex, Nick Lachey, on their reality show, Newlyweds, for splurging on $1,400 sheets — “tighten up [her] belt” and “live not quite as extravagantly.”

Easier said than done. On a recent shopping trip to Louis Vuitton, Jessica bought Maxwell a $3,150 duffel for her 11th birthday. The store also had to call for credit card authorization. Jessica even revealed that she and Eric have had their Hollywood mansion photographed in preparation for sale as they consider downsizing in Nashville. 

It’s all been very humbling, says the source: “The reality is, unless Jessica can get her spending in check, she will continue to go broke. And if her decision to buy back her company backfires, it will be a financial disaster of epic proportions.”

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