Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey's publicist insists he didn't lie about their break-up for months before the couple split - claiming he didn't know their marriage was in tatters.

During six months of continuous and intense speculation about the state of their relationship BRAD CAFARELLI batted away gossip, insisting the couple were still together.

When the NEWLYWEDS stars arrived separately for Simpson's 25th birthday party in July (05) and ignored each other, he snapped, "It's really boring that gossips and tabloids want to turn something special like Jessica's birthday party into something negative."

He added a month later, in response to claims they pair had rowed at the MTV VMAs, "More nonsense. The kind of stuff people make up to get press for their events and clubs in the tabloids."

No-one was surprised when Simpson and Lachey announced their separation last week (23NOV05), except Cafarelli.

He tells the New York Daily News, "I stand by my past comments, based on what I believed to be true at the time."