Is Ashlee Simpson Dating Pete Wentz’s Protege Craig Owens?

Let the rebounding begin! A month after filing for divorce from Pete Wentz, Ashlee Simpson is reportedly rebounding with his buddy. The newly single 26-year-old has been snapped arm in arm with Craig Owens of the band D.R.U.G.S, and according to a witness who blabbed to In Touch Weekly the pair were seen kissing at a Beverly Hills mall the other day. Craig is a longtime friend of Pete’s, and his band has just released its first album under Pete’s record label. Awkward!

While PEOPLE Magazine cites snitches who “Craig is a longtime friend and was comforting Ashlee during this difficult time,” Word on The Curb has it that Ashlee initiated the fling just to mess with her ex’s head.

“She played the part of the temptress, getting Craig to ignore his friendship with Pete. She loves that it worked,” the In Touch snoop adds. “Ashlee’s determined to move on first. She won’t tolerate being seen as ‘the poor ex-wife who got dumped. It’s just not an option.”

In the past month, the press has already linked Ashlee to drummer Travis Barker, her former guitarist Ray Brady, and a bunch of pro skaters. Meanwhile her stage dad Joe Simpson is apparently “looking for a professional athlete for his little girl to date” … according to a “family friend.” When the couple announced their separation in February, they said: “We remain friends and deeply committed and loving parents to our son Bronx, whose happiness and well-being remains our number one priority.”

Let’s hope this doesn’t get messy, for the funny-named kid’s sake.

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