Simpson crosses paths with Lachey – and Vanessa Minnillo – at an L.A. hot spot

By People Staff
Updated July 19, 2006 03:00 PM
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Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey didn’t have to wait until the Teen Choice Awards for an awkward encounter. The newly divorced couple had a three’s-a-crowd moment in the early morning hours of July 15 when Simpson crossed paths with Lachey and gal pal Vanessa Minnillo at L.A.’s intimate Hyde Lounge.

As PEOPLE reports in its new issue, Simpson arrived first at the hot spot, where she chatted with friend and hairstylist Ken Paves. “Jessica was having a grand time,” a fellow clubgoer tells PEOPLE. “She was totally vibing the music.”

Then Lachey and Minnillo arrived hand-in-hand. “Jessica’s rhythm totally changed. She was silent and stopped moving,” says the witness. “It looked like she was going to shoot out a laser beam and incinerate them.” Lachey, on the other hand, “never broke a sweat,” says another observer.

While several people at the club tell PEOPLE the two never interacted, close friends of both Simpson and Lachey report that Lachey came over to chat and give his ex a hug. “Let’s face it, it’s going to be a little awkward, but they both handled it well,” says a source close to Lachey. “They behaved like two people moving on.”

“There’s no hostility between Nick and Jessica,” adds a Simpson pal, who says Simpson was nonetheless disturbed when Lachey engaged in a “heavy make-out session” with Minnillo. “She didn’t need to see (that).”