EXCLUSIVE: Jessica's Publicist Fired

9/7/2006 7:31 PM PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Jessica's Publicist Fired

TMZ has learned Rob Shuter, Jessica Simpson's longtime publicist, has been fired.

According to one well-placed source, Rob was let go because of last week's weekly magazine debacle involving Jessica's purported romance with rocker John Mayer. Both People and Us Weekly magazines ran cover stories suggesting the two were dating, and People even quoted Jessica saying "I'm in love!" Reports began to surface this week that Mayer may have been irked about the public proclamation and reportedly felt used for publicity. This week, Jessica emphatically announced on "The View" "I am actually not dating John Mayer."

Another source suggests the Simpson camp has been unhappy with Shuter's performance for some time and that the Mayer incident "was the last straw" in a series of events leading up to the firing.

Calls to Shuter were not immediately returned. The person who answered the phone at JT Entertainment, father Joe Simpson's management company, had no comment.

Ironically on John Mayer's blog, he posted a simple message: "Really enjoying this song" above a poster for Public Enemy's hit "Don't Believe the Hype."