Nicole Camille Richie (born September 21, 1981) is an American socialite, author, actress, and singer best known for being the daughter of singer Lionel Richie and for her role in The Simple Life.
Nicole Richie was born in Berkeley, California. Her biological father is widely rumored to be Afro-Latino musician Pete Escovedo, brother of 1980s pop percussionist Sheila E. and son of famed Latin percussionist Pete Escovedo, but this was directly denied by Nicole in the November 2005 issue of Jane magazine. According to an April 2006 Tatler magazine interview with Nicole, her biological father was a drummer who worked with Lionel Richie; her biological mother was a backstage assistant for Lionel. When Nicole was 3, Lionel and his wife Brenda Harvey-Richie informally adopted her and raised her as their daughter. When she was 9, they went through the legal formalities of the adoption; she still speaks with her biological mother who is also of Afro-Latin diaspora - currently resides in the Dominican Republic.
A year later, Lionel and Brenda split, and in their guilt over the separation, "Their way of making me happy was to say yes to everything I wanted, but I don't think a little girl should have that much freedom," said Richie in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine. She used marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, was arrested three times, and had five car accidents. Not until she went into drug rehabilitation in 2003 did Richie and her parents have an open conversation about her addiction."I'm now, at 24, just learning to deal with my problems instead of concealing them with drugs," she said in the interview.
Nicole has studied the cello, violin, piano, and some figure skating, and she has plans to pursue a music career. She also attended the University of Arizona for two years after graduating from high school. She stated, "I went to the University of Arizona. I stopped because I went there for two years and I felt like I experienced college or whatever. I'm over it." Her godfather is Michael Jackson.
The Simple Life
Nicole and Paris Hilton starred in the 2003 reality series The Simple Life, in which they lived for a month with a family in the rural community of Altus, Arkansas. Later seasons of the show had Richie and Hilton in a road-trip across the United States, and an East Coast trek on a Greyhound bus while performing various internships.
On 20 April 2005, amid media reports that their friendship was in trouble, Paris Hilton released a statement saying "It's no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends," and "Nicole knows what she did, and that's all I'm ever going to say about it." A circulating rumor was the story that Nicole had shown Paris' sex tape at a party (Richie has denied this). There were also rumors of Hilton's being jealous of Nicole's rising stardom. Richie, however, said "There's nothing that really happened, we've just grown apart." In the November 2005 Jane magazine interview, she also said "We really haven't been friends in probably about two years." They had been friends since childhood. Richie is still friends with Paris' sister Nicky Hilton, who was to serve as a bridesmaid at Nicole's wedding, until it was called off in December 2005.
In late 2005, FOX dropped The Simple Life saying they didn't see a place for it in their schedule. A month later, cable network E! picked up the fourth season - The Simple Life: Till Death Do Us Part - with both Hilton and Richie as participants, in a wife swap style program, though both would do tasks separately and not be seen together on screen.
Hilton released a track on her 2006 self-titled album, called "Jealousy." The track was seen by many to be a jab at Richie, containing such lyrics as "I thought you were my best friend....You used to be that shoulder....you sold your soul for your fame."
Other career activities
She has also made appearances in films and Fox's MadTV. Her first major acting role was a supporting role as cheerleader Kelly Stepford in 2005 comedy Kids In America.
Richie recently wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Truth About Diamonds. The novel is loosely based on her life, but is mostly fictional. It chronicles Chloe Parker, the adopted daughter of a singer who makes her way through all of the hottest nightclubs and parties in Hollywood and battles a drug addiction. It was rumored that a character in the book, Simone Westlake, was based on Hilton; Simone does a few things similarly to her, such as "accidentally on purpose" losing her cellular telephone and circulating the phone numbers of celebrities to the general public.
On December 1st, 2005, Richie signed a deal with 20th Century Fox Television that could land her in a TV sitcom. Richie's deal could either put her into an existing show or have a new show built around her. She is rumoured to be joining the cast of The OC in its fourth season.
Richie is a former model for Bongo Jeans, and is the current face of Jimmy Choo. Richie also holds a position promoting Diet Dr Pepper, and she has been seen promoting the soft drink in several locations.
On January 1, 2010, it was announced that Richie would appear as a guest judge on Project Runway.
In early 2016, Richie auditioned for a role in the NBC sitcom, Great News, created by Tracey Wigfield and produced by Wigfield and Tina Fey, which is set in the world of television news. Although Richie's audition was not successful, she was later brought in to replace Kimrie Lewis-Davis in the supporting role of Portia, an anchorwoman at the news channel depicted in the series. The show's producers had initially cast Lewis-Davis as Portia, but decided to go in a different direction with the character after seeing the results of the pilot episode. When speaking about casting Richie in her first scripted series-regular television role, Fey explained: "She's a really funny person and has an instant likability. Those are instincts you can't teach. People have it or not. She has good timing without really pushing it."
Another current project of Richie's is a music album. The songs reported to be done so far are a mixture of rock, soul and dance. One track, called "Dandelion", which is a demo recording and a cover of a song by boy band LFO, was leaked early; it is a melodic pop-track. In 2005, Richie appeared in and co-hosted at the 19th Annual Soul Train Music Awards. Nicole is being managed by Irving Azoff. As of August 2006, Nicole has 6 tracks finished for her record
In February of 2003, Richie was arrested in Malibu, California, and charged with possession of heroin. She has since been a patient in a drug-rehabilitation hospital.
In December 2003, she publicly spoke out in defense of her godfather Michael Jackson following his accusations of child molestation.
Following the 2003 Billboard Music Awards, the FCC received 80,000 complaints after Richie said "fucking" and "shit" during the show's broadcast (the network didn't edit the words). This was the FCC complaint record, until it was broken following Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's appearance at Super Bowl XXXVIII. The FCC ruled that the words were indecent, but did not fine FOX.
In early 2005, Richie received tabloid speculation of having an eating disorder. Richie, however, said that "I've always been really skinny. I just went through a heavier stage after rehab and during Simple Life 1. Now I have a trainer and the weight has gradually come off." She also claims that she does not have a current battle with an eating disorder. Like many other young stars, Nicole claims she is is targetted with rumors involving her personal life. The ever-present rumor involving Nicole has a direct relationship with her weight. Richie, however, acknowledged in a May 2006 Vanity Fair interview that she knew that she was too thin and stated that she was on the path to gaining weight, adding that she was worried young girls would want to look like her. Nicole's stylist, Rachel Zoe, is also the stylist of three of her friends, Mischa Barton, Lindsay Lohan and Andrew Brin.
Nicole dated Canadian music producer and entrepreneur Brad Salyn for several months in 2002. The two continue to be friends, with Salyn producing several tracks on Nicole's upcoming debut album. She was engaged to club DJ Adam Goldstein also known as D.J. AM. They announced their engagement in February 2005 after dating since 2003 and were set to marry in summer 2006. On December 7th, 2005, she and Adam broke off their 9 month engagement, but they were publicly seen together again in March 2006.
On August 2006, Richie began dating Brody Jenner. The couple have been photographed together numerous times. A source tells Us Weekly, "“He really likes her. Brody is really easy-going and Kristin was very high-strung. He likes that Nicole is so laid-back and that she’s older and more mature.
Richie began dating Good Charlotte lead singer Joel Madden in December 2006. They have two children, daughter Harlow Winter Kate Madden (born 2008) and son Sparrow James Midnight Madden (born 2009). In February 2008 the first photos of Harlow were sold to People magazine for $1 million. The couple confirmed their engagement in February 2010, and married on December 11, 2010. Because of Madden's commitments to The Voice Australia Richie re-located to Sydney, Australia with her husband and children in 2012.
Nicole: When I got out of rehab, I had to figure out what path to go down and part of that included taking certain people out of my life. It’s not like I hate Paris and it’s war - I just don’t want to be her best friend any more. You can’t threaten people into being your friend. You can’t bribe them into being your friend.
Nicole: I was scared that my weight loss could be something more serious because it wasn’t making any sense to me - I really was trying. So I had thyroid tests and all that. I do recognise that I have a problem and I want to be responsible and fix it, and I’m on that path now.
Nicole: It upsets me. I know I’m too thin right now, so I wouldn’t want any young girl looking at me and saying, ‘That’s what I want to look like’. I’m not happy with the way I look right now.
Nicole has been in four rehab programs, but still wishes to do drugs.
Nicole: The older you get, the more you realize you need a handful of good, close, tight friends.
Nicole's hair is naturally blonde.
Nicole and her ex-fiancé Adam have reunited (March 2006).
Nicole will be in the spring campaign for Jimmy Choo.
Nicole: I'm not judgemental, but I can judge mentals.
Nicole has been looking for a good location to open her own nightclub in Los Angeles.
Elle Girl asked Nicole what the biggest misconception about her was. Nicole replied that thanks to pictures, "People think that all I do is shop and eat."
Nicole said the F-word during the 2003 Billboard Music Awards and it was not beeped. As a result, the FCC recieved 80 000 complaints. That was the FCC complaint record until it was broken following Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Nicole is a fan of the So Cal coffee chain, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. She enjoys non-fat lattes.
Nicole co-hosted the 19th Annual Soul Train Music Awards in 2005.
Nicole has said that she would never agree to do reality show about her personal life.
Nicole is currently working on an album (no release date has been set). The seven songs reported to be done so far are a mixture of rock, soul and dance.
Nicole is set to inherit her father's, Lionel's , $200 million fortune.
Nicole's first major acting role was playing a cheerleader, Kelly Stepford, in the comedy Kids In America (2005).
Nicole can figure skate.
Nicole made her musical debut in February 2005 in a live appearance on The View. She played the piano.
Nicole participated in the "Fashion for Relief" show in September 2005, which was held in New York. This was a benefit for AmeriCares to support victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Nicole attended The Buckley School with her then best friend, Paris Hilton.