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Jessica Simpson aghast at reports dad was seeing male model, 21

FILE - OCTOBER 24: TinSimpshas filed for divorce from Joe Simpsaccording reports October 24 2012.  The two were married

FILE - OCTOBER 24: Tina Simpson has filed for divorce from Joe Simpson according to reports on October 24, 2012. The two were married in 1978 and are parents to Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson. WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV - JULY 02: Jessica Simpson and Joe Simpson attend the grand opening of the Casino Club at The Greenbrier on July 2, 2010 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

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Updated: November 30, 2012 6:21AM



T o say that the pending divorce of Jessica Simpson’s parents, Joe and Tina Simpson, has caused turmoil in that particular celebrity family would be quite the understatement.

In conversations Sunday with sources close to all involved, I learned that Jessica and her sister Ashlee are extremely upset — particularly distraught that the nature of their parents’ split “has come about in a way that seems so tawdry,” as one family friend put it.While no one is confirming anything officially, 54-year-old Joe Simpson’s alleged relationship with male model

Bryce Chandler Hill, 21, is said to be central to the breakup. Though the Simpson girls reportedly were ignorant of their father possibly being gay or bisexual, one West Coast entertainment source said Sunday that Joe Simpson “was often a familiar sight in the gay bars along Santa Monica [Blvd.] in West Hollywood,” long the heart of L.A.’s gay scene.

An added twist are reports from RadarOnline and other outlets indicating that Hill has told friends that he is using the senior Simpson merely as a stepping stone — to help him succeed in show biz.

“It’s all so ugly,” added a veteran music industry exec close to the Simpsons. “Very unfortunate for everyone concerned — especially Tina.”

CLOUDY TIMES: Despite the movie’s mixed reviews, most Hollywood insiders were stunned that “Cloud Atlas” — featuring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and a host of other international stars — did so poorly at the box office its opening weekend. With cost estimates running north of $150 million, the $8 million in ticket sales for “Cloud Atlas” must be a huge disappointment — especially for the Chicago-based directing siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski, and their co-director Tom Twyker.

Speaking of Lana Wachowski, the transgendered filmmaker recently shared her traumatic childhood experiences in a speech to a Human Rights Campaign event in San Francisco. The writer and director, who began life as Larry Wachowski and found fame with her brother for their “Matrix” series talked about being harassed while a Catholic school student and once almost jumping in front of a CTA train. As Wachowski put it, “I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I couldn’t find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed, simply because my gender was less typical than others.”

OVER, BUT NOT OUT: While superstar Taylor Swift and her high school honey, Conor Kennedy, amicably called off what one Kennedy family source called a “puppy love” relationship, I’m hearing those close to the duo believe the romance will likely be revived in the future.

“Conor has to grow up a bit. After all, he’s a kid in prep school and Taylor is an international singing sensation — touring the world. … But when you’re around them, you sense a lot of chemistry. I wouldn’t be surprised if they reconnect in a major way. Just give them some time,” said my source.

Swift still is expected to buy an ocean-front mansion abutting the famed Kennedy compound in Hyannis, Mass. (assuming it’s not wiped out by Hurricane Sandy!), and she just announced her “Red” tour will play Soldier Field on Aug. 10.

GRIDIRON GRIST: Am sure former Chicago Bear quarterback Bob Avellini was as nervous as the rest of us until Robbie Gould’s game-saving field goal gave the Bears that razor-thin 23-22 win Sunday. That said, at O’Donovan’s on Irving Park the other night, Avellini was overheard predicting the NFC would come down to a showdown between the Bears, the Packers and the Giants, with the winner to face off against Avellini’s AFC predicted champ, the New England Patriots.

We’ll see how accurate he will be.

TV TALK: Things are
going well for veteran
Chicago fight scene pro
Bobby Hitz. Not only is his web-based show “Hitz Boxing” doing great — closing in on 2 million hits for Hitz at hitzboxing.com — but he’s snared a recurring role as William Forsythe’s bodyguard on Fox’s “Mob Doctor.”

Hitz is hopeful he soon will be able to ink a broadcast or cable deal to showcase his own show, which takes viewers behind the scenes in the local boxing world.

ALWAYS GROUNDED: A fighter jet that has been seen by millions but has never taken flight — a full-scale replica of a Harrier Jump Jet created for its “debut” in 1994 in “True Lies” — has been retired from Hollywood and landed at the Volo Auto Museum. Along with being featured in that popular action thriller starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis, the faux jet also has been seen in “Battlefield Earth” and more recently in “The Avengers.” Museum director Brian Grams expects the plane, Currently being restored, should be on public display by next spring.

SEEN ON THE SCENE: Among those taking in the first night of the “Zombie Takeover” at Vertigo Sky Lounge at the Dana Hotel & Spa were Lance Briggs and Jerry Azumah. … Spied lunching (separately) at Rosebud Prime the other day were Cyndi Lauper and Drew Carey. … While Justin Bieber was wowing his fans all over town last week, his Canadian protégé Carly Rae Jepsen — of summer hit “Call Me Maybe” game — was out visiting the Akoo network in Rosemont, and herself greeting fans. … “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks was spied lunching with Ron Santo Jr. at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie. Santo is still grinning ear-to-ear over his experience in Cooperstown this summer — watching his beloved dad Ron Santo immortalized in the Baseball Hall of Fame. … “Franklin & Bash” star Breckin Meyer supped at West Loop hot spot Nellcote. … Among those who watched Barbra Streisand give a nice shout-out to the Chicago Christian Choir (the 85-member group that accompanied the diva for her big United Center finale Friday night) were weather kingpin Tom Skilling, music man Richard Marx and Barbara and Roe Conn.



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