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Fans greet Simpson sisters as they visit Charlotte, SouthPark mall

Linda Porter can now die happy.

Hopefully the 29-year-old will lead a long and prosperous life, but she checked off a bucket list item at SouthPark mall Saturday afternoon: Meeting celebrity Jessica Simpson.

“This is the number-one thing to do on my bucket list before I die,” the fan said as she waited first in line to meet the singer and her sister, Ashlee Simpson, at Belk.

The Simpson sisters signed photographs for fans who had bought at least $50 worth of items from Jessica Simpson’s fashion line. About 200 people waited in line to meet them.

Some were from Charlotte while others came from Kentucky, like Porter, and some even drove 13 hours from Illinois.

Allyssa Paulsen, who is 19 and from Morris, Ill., drove with her sister and two friends to meet the sisters. She said she’s been a fan since sixth grade when she went to her first concert – where Jessica performed. “Ever since then, I’ve loved her to death.”

The sisters descended an elevator as they arrived and then met privately with 27-year-old Laurah Zeek, who has spinal stenosis. Zeek, who had met Jessica before, said she drove nine hours from Pennsylvania to see them. She called Jessica an inspiration, saying, “She’s just the most wholesome celebrity out there.”

The Simpsons arrived more than a half hour later than they were expected, and did not address the crowd that eagerly snapped photos of them with their smartphones.

“We’ve had a great time,” the visibly pregnant Jessica said when asked by the Observer about her Charlotte visit, but the sisters declined to answer any more questions. Jessica recently revealed that she will be having a boy.

Porter couldn’t have been happier to meet her inspiration.

“She inspired me to lose weight,” she said, adding that she recently lost 50 pounds. Jessica Simpson has been a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. “I said, if she can do it, I can do it.”

Ruebens: 704-358-5294
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