The Simpson Firing Game -- Who's the Bad Guy?

9/8/2006 10:10 PM PDT

The Simpson Firing Game -- Who's the Bad Guy?

  • As the day closes Friday in Hollywood, fingers are furiously pointing every which way over the firing of Jessica Simpson's publicist. An emotional and frustrated Rob Shuter acknowledges to TMZ that he is not representing Jessica anymore, but says "We remain good friends."

As TMZ first reported Thursday, Shuter was fired as publicist for Jessica. On Friday, through Rob Shuter, Jessica issued the following statement to TMZ: "I did not fire Rob Shuter. He is a great publicist and a great friend."

Now a well-placed source connected to Jessica tells TMZ Shuter made up the statement he attributed to Jessica. The source says Jessica never authorized Shuter to issue the statement, nor did she have any knowledge of it.

The upshot -- it appears Jessica's camp is saying the singer sacked Shuter, not her dad.

Shuter tells TMZ not only does he 100% stand behind the statement he issued on behalf of Jessica, he says he has it in writing from her.

Now that all said, TMZ has what it believes is the real story. We're told that the final goodbyes were said during a taping of "Ellen" on Thursday. Simpson appeared on the show, and during breaks she had several closed-door meetings with Shuter. Jessica's manager/dad, Joe Simpson, stood his distance, but the inside word is that Joe was the force behind the firing -- Jessica just executed dad's wishes.