Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Another Hollywood marriage — with strong Chicago connections — has unraveled. Ashlee Simpson filed for divorce from North Shore native and Fall Out Boy rocker Pete Wentz — citing those usual “irreconcilable differences.”
Despite recent sightings of the couple outwardly appearing happy, a source close to Wentz told me Wednesday, “They have gone their separate ways for quite some time. … Ashlee and Pete have not really been on track for the past year.”
According to that source and one closer to Simpson, the duo finally came to the realization they had little in common.
While Wentz is disputing a Simpson claim that she could not deal with his “erratic” behavior, the musician does like to party a lot, and Jessica Simpson’s younger sis reportedly has become more a homebody since the birth of the couple’s son Bronx, 2.
† “They also are on different planes,” said a longtime Chicago friend of the couple. “To be blunt, Pete is a helluva lot smarter than Ashlee. … After a while I think she realized she just couldn’t keep up with him in a lot of areas.”
† Everyone involved agrees there’s no third party involved. According to TMZ, the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement. While Simpson is seeking spousal and child support, the big stumbling block appears to be over custody issues for Bronx. Wentz wants joint custody — both legally and physically.
GLEE-FUL’ GALA: All you “Gleeks” out there will want to know that “Mr. Will Schuester” himself is heading our way. The multitalented stage and TV star Matthew Morrison, who plays the popular teacher on the Fox hit “Glee,” will headline the May 21 Goodman Theatre gala. “One Enchanted Decade” will toast the theater’s 10th anniversary in its Dearborn Street home.
Morrison will perform in the Goodman’s Albert Theater prior to a Fairmont Hotel fete, led by woman’s board chair Joan Clifford and the evening’s co-chairs, Margaret Janus and Swati Mehta.
TOGETHER/APART: While the wandering eyes of both Jude Law and Sienna Miller have led the duo to split yet again (but on reportedly friendly terms), another pair of ex-fiances — Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson — are said to be back dating.
STAGE SET: We’ll be seeing a fair amount of Whoopi Goldberg around town the next few months. The Oscar winner — who hits town Friday with “The View” crew for a live “Oprah” show, followed by her weekend Horseshoe Casino gig — also will be tweaking “White Noise,” the musical she’s producing. Tickets go on sale today for the Royal George Theatre production, which opens April 1 for an eight-week run.
TIME TO REMEMBER: The amazing life of furniture designer and tastemaker extraordinaire Judy Niedermaier will be celebrated from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Arts Club of Chicago on East Ontario. Judy’s daughter Diana Hayden and son Jeffrey Niedermaier will host.
HEART-Y LAUGHS: Broadcaster Marianne Murciano will be guest monologist for the Valentine’s Day edition of the weekly “Armando Diaz Theatrical Experience & Hootenanny” at iO Theatre on North Clark at 8:30 p.m. Monday. The concept features the guest’s stories interspersed with improvised scenes by the performers — who attempt to prove or disprove the point of the monologist. Murciano’s remarks will be based on her website trainaman.com and her upcoming book How to Train a Man, which includes a final chapter penned by her husband, Bob Sirott. The Fox Chicago News anchor says his wife’s book is “kind of a tongue-in-cheek version of a marital self-help book. Funny, but actually — other than the title — [something] guys will benefit from!”
SEEN ON THE SCENE: Abigail Breslin, in town to boost her flick “Rango” (opening March 4), greeted a group of very excited area Girl Scouts prior to a Tuesday night preview screening of the animated movie, starring Johnny Depp in the title role. The Scouts won a chance to meet the young actress as part of a “Save the Community” eco-friendly event — accomplished through an exchange of plant, flower and tree seed packets. ... The uber-talented John Leguizamo, starring in a Broadway-bound one-man show at the Royal George, slipped into Gibsons on Rush with his director and Chicago native Fisher Stevens. … Anna Davlantes was spotted dining at the new hot spot Salatino’s on Racine in Little Italy.