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Original Issue

Simpson and Romo Update

SI, JAN. 21, 2008 No longer a simple Venn diagram of sports and pop culture, the romance between Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson has become a gossip vortex. (If only we could stop staring into it.) Last week—well after Romo's vaunted Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs on Jan. 13—an unidentified source described as a "friend" of Simpson's told OK! magazine (below) that the quarterback was trying to "break things off," but that Simpson didn't want to end the relationship. Love wasn't the issue, according to OK!; the singer supposedly knew how bad being dumped would look in the media and refused to part ways. Romo then "punished" her with a nightmare date: He took her hunting in Texas, sans entourage.

On Jan. 24, Simpson's lawyers accused OK! of running a "smear campaign." (A copy of the letter was obtained and displayed by the gossip website Simpson's lawyers further contend that Romo and Simpson have not broken up and demand "a prominent and unambiguous retraction." Why? The article reportedly undermines two of Simpson's "most valuable professional assets": her public perception and reputation. Is anyone still saying that Bill Parcells left the Cowboys a year too soon?