By Kat Giantis
Just one month after Ashlee Simpson filed for divorce from Pete Wentz, the rumor mill is cranking with chatter that she's seeing someone new. But it's not just any someone: The guy in question is apparently a friend and business associate of her estranged hubby.
The pixie-cut sporting starlet, 26, was snapped looking sorta cozy with a tatted-up rocker named Craig Owens during a recent retail outing in Los Angeles.
"They were holding hands in the elevator," a source tells the tab, "and a lot of the time he had his arm around her. They even kissed each other on the lips. It was obvious that they were a couple."
Meanwhile, an insider tattles to Star that Ashlee was "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."
RELATED: What led to Ashlee and Pete's split?
So, who is Owens?
His band D.R.U.G.S. (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows) recently put out its debut album on Wentz's Decaydance record label, a release that came two years after he tried to commit suicide, an incident he detailed on his blog.
"I attempted to overdose on prescribed Xanax at my home here in Michigan," he wrote. "Flash ahead 12 hours later, I woke up in the emergency room surrounded by my family and best friends, with an IV in my left arm, and hooked up to machines."
Owens acknowledged that he'd been suffering from "manic depression, bipolar disorder, and constant anxiety attacks for years."
He has a lot in common with Wentz (click through the pics at left to see the two posing together), who has talked openly about once contemplating suicide and his battle with anxiety and depression.
Ashlee's supposed hookup with Craig probably won't sit well with the erstwhile Fall Out Boy frontman, who reportedly tried to talk his missus out of ending their nearly three-year marriage.
This week, he filed legal papers seeking joint physical and legal custody of son Bronx Mowgli, who was born in November 2008.
Despite the tot tussling and rumored romance, Pete supposedly hasn't given up hope of reconciling.
"He sends flowers to her every day, and that's only the beginning," a pal tells In Touch. "He has even offered to quit his band and let her pursue her career, but so far, she hasn't budged."
In their breakup announcement, the exes promised that they would "remain friends and deeply committed and loving parents to our son Bronx, whose happiness and well-being remains our No. 1 priority."