Nicole Richie

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Nicole Richie
Nicole Richie at the 82nd Academy Awards (cropped).jpg
Richie at the 82nd Academy Awards
Born Nicole Camille Escovedo
(1981-09-21) September 21, 1981 (age 35)[1]
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Education Montclair Preparatory School
Occupation Television personality, actress, fashion designer, author
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Joel Madden (m. 2010)
Children 2
Parent(s) Lionel Richie (father)
Relatives Benji Madden (brother-in-law)
Cameron Diaz (sister-in-law)

Nicole Richie (born Nicole Camille Escovedo; September 21, 1981) is an American fashion designer, author, actress and television personality. Richie rose to prominence for her role in the Fox reality television series, The Simple Life, alongside her childhood best friend and fellow socialite Paris Hilton, which lasted five seasons. The Simple Life was a hit for the Fox network, premiering with 13 million viewers.[2] Richie's personal life attracted significant media attention during The Simple Life's five-year run, and she was a constant fixture of tabloid journalism before and after her appearance.

Richie is married to musician Joel Madden and they have two children, Harlow and Sparrow. Richie and Madden founded "The Richie Madden Children's Foundation" in 2010.[3] Richie has starred as one of the three mentors on NBC's Fashion Star. In July 2014, Richie's reality show Candidly Nicole premiered on VH1. The show was renewed for a second season which premiered in July 2015.[4]

Early life[edit]

Richie was born in Berkeley, California, and has Mexican, English, and African-American ancestry.[1][5][6] Her biological father is Peter Michael Escovedo, who is the brother of Sheila E,[7] and her biological mother is Karen Moss. When she was three years old, her biological parents agreed to let her move in with Lionel Richie because they could not afford to provide for her financially. "My parents were friends with Lionel," she told People in 2003. "They trusted that they would be better able to provide for me."[8] Initially, Lionel Richie became her guardian.[9]

Lionel Richie and his wife Brenda Harvey legally adopted Nicole when she was nine. Shortly after the adoption was formalized, Lionel's affair with another woman became public knowledge.[10] Lionel and Brenda went through a bitter public split; as a result, they indulged Nicole's every whim. "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.[11] Following the divorce, Lionel remarried and had two more children: Myles (b. 1994) and Sofia (b. 1998).[12]

Richie's godmother is Nancy Davis, daughter of Marvin Davis and mother of Brandon Davis. Michael Jackson was Richie's godfather.[13] Quincy Jones said in a People magazine interview that he has "known Nicole Richie since she was a baby. She's a very smart girl".[14]

Richie graduated from Montclair College Preparatory School in 1999, then attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, alongside Kourtney Kardashian and Luke Walton, where she studied Arts and Media. She did not have a definitive study plan in Arizona, and eventually dropped out after two years and returned to California.[13]



Main article: The Simple Life

In 2003, Richie and her then-best friend Paris Hilton starred in the reality series The Simple Life, in which they lived for a month with a family in the rural community of Altus, Arkansas. The series premiere debuted on Fox on December 2, 2003, to 13 million viewers, increasing Fox's reach among viewers 18–49.[2] The series continued for a second and third season.[15]

Fox subsequently cancelled the show after a dispute between Hilton and Richie, but it was aired by E! Entertainment Television for its fourth season, drawing nearly one million viewers and a relatively unsuccessful fifth season.[16] More complications arose during the production of a fifth season. Both Richie and Hilton faced major charges for DUI, and were at risk of serving jail time. Hilton was sentenced to 23 days in jail, though this was after production of the season had finished.[17] Richie accepted a plea agreement and was sentenced to four days in jail, again after production had wrapped.[18] Despite talks of a sixth season,[19] the series finished its run at the end of the moderately unsuccessful fifth season.[20][21]

In 2005, Richie made her acting debut in the comedic drama Kids in America. Richie has guest starred in television series including Eve, Six Feet Under and American Dreams, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, and playing the recurring character Heather Chandler on Chuck.[22] In July 2008, plans were announced to turn Richie's 2005 novel, The Truth About Diamonds, into a television series.[23]

On January 1, 2010, it was announced that Richie would appear as a guest judge on Project Runway.[24]


In 2005, Richie wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Truth About Diamonds, which was released by Bharell Jackson Publishing. The novel is loosely based on her life, but is mostly fictional. It chronicles the life of Chloe Parker, a singer's adopted daughter who makes her way through all the popular nightclubs and parties in Hollywood while battling a drug addiction.[25] In early January 2006, The Truth About Diamonds peaked at number No. 32 in Hardcover Fiction on The New York Times Best-Seller List.[26]

Richie's second novel, Priceless, was released on September 28, 2010.[27] It tells the story of a girl who loses everything and then learns about what really matters in life.[28]


Richie at David Jones in Sydney promoting her House of Harlow sunglasses line in 2012

Richie's own personal style has become popular among fans and fashion critics and has led to her status as a fashion impresario and icon.[29] She has been the face of Bongo Jeans and Jimmy Choo advertising campaigns. In April 2007, Richie announced plans to start a jewelry, accessories, and sunglasses line along with a perfume and style book.[30] In October 2008, she debuted a jewelry line, House of Harlow 1960.[31] The line became available at Kitson's online boutique.[32] In spring 2010, the line was extended to include apparel and shoes.[33] In 2009, Richie joined maternity store A Pea in the Pod to create the new collection maternity clothes.[34] The line was titled "Nicole" which had pieces that she would wear as an expectant mother.[35] In February 2010, Richie expanded her fashion business with a women's line called Winter Kate, her daughter's two middle names. The collection was inspired by timeless prints and shapes, beautiful paisley and florals.[36]

In 2010, she won "Entrepreneur of the Year" for her House of Harlow 1960 brand at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards.[37] House of Harlow 1960 was also nominated in the category "Celebrity Fashion Line" at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards.[38] In July 2011, it was reported that Richie's House of Harlow 1960 line has unveiled a 14-piece handbag collection. The House of Harlow 1960 handbag collection will be available at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and[39] In July 2011, it was announced that Richie would be one of the three mentors in NBC's new reality show Fashion Star alongside Jessica Simpson. Richie guided aspiring designers who hope to become the next big brand in fashion.[40][41] She launched a collection for Macy's Impulse line in September 2012, which was sold in 100 Macy's stores as well as online.[42] Her first fragrance, Nicole, was also launched in September 2012.[43]


Richie made her musical debut in February 2005 with a live appearance on ABC's The View playing the piano.[44] Although widely speculated that Richie is working on an album, she denied such rumors to People. She was quoted as saying, "I do eventually [want to record an album], but right now I have a lot on my plate".[45] In February 2010, Richie was featured on the charity single "We Are the World 25 for Haiti". "I was four years old in a studio, watching my dad record "We Are the World" and today I get to do it again. Excited to help make a change," she later said of the experience.[46]

In 2004, she auditioned for the part of Maureen in the popular Broadway hit Rent but did not get the part.[47] In 2008, she was offered the lead role in the musical Chicago as Roxie Hart.[48]

In September 2013, Richie made a cameo appearance in Christina Aguilera's music video for the song "Let There Be Love".[49]

Personal life[edit]

In April 2005, reports surfaced that Richie and longtime friend Paris Hilton were no longer speaking. Hilton commented: "It's no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends. Nicole knows what she did, and that's all I'm ever going to say about it."[50] Neither Richie nor Hilton spoke publicly about the cause of the split. They eventually reconciled in October 2006.[51] She dated DJ Adam Goldstein from 2003 to 2005 but broke up after a nine-month engagement.[52]

Richie began dating Good Charlotte lead singer Joel Madden in December 2006.[53] They have two children, daughter Harlow Winter Kate Madden (born 2008) and son Sparrow James Midnight Madden (born 2009).[54][55] In February 2008 the first photos of Harlow were sold to People magazine for $1 million.[56] The couple confirmed their engagement in February 2010,[57] 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.[58]


In early 2006, Richie was notably thinner compared to her previous appearance in the first two seasons of The Simple Life.[59] In May she told Vanity Fair, "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.'"[60] She also said, "I started seeing a nutritionist and a doctor. I was scared that it could be something more serious."[61] During this time it was reported that she had also sought the help of a psychiatrist and a personal trainer.[62] Later that year, in September, Richie stated "I am not anorexic. I am not bulimic. I do not have an eating disorder."[62] On October 27, 2006, it was announced that Richie was seeking treatment for "an inability to put on weight", though it is not treatment for an eating disorder.[62]

In March 2007, Richie was taken to the hospital for dehydration. On March 21, her representatives announced she was diagnosed with hypoglycemia.[63]

Legal issues[edit]

In October 2002, Richie was arrested following a brawl in a New York City nightclub. The charges were dropped.[64]

On February 27, 2003, when Richie was arrested in Malibu, California for driving with a revoked license and possession of heroin, she checked herself into a rehabilitation center. In August 2003, she was sentenced to three years' probation.[64]

On December 11, 2006, Richie was arrested by the California Highway Patrol after she failed a field sobriety test. She was charged with driving under the influence on State Route 134 in the Burbank/Glendale, California area. Several motorists had reported a black Mercedes-Benz G-Class entering the freeway on the exit ramp and traveling in the opposite traffic direction.[65] She admitted to using marijuana and the narcotic Vicodin before the incident.[65] On July 27, 2007, Richie was sentenced to four days in jail at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood, California.[66] However, she only served about 82 minutes of the sentence and was released at 16:37 PDT on August 23, 2007.[67] A spokeswoman for the sheriff's department told People magazine that Richie "was released early due to overcrowding in the jail system. This is standard procedure for nonviolent offenders." After spending 82 minutes in jail, Richie was "Of course pleasantly surprised to be released so quickly," said her attorney.[68]

Richie enrolled in an 18-month anti-drinking driver education program, according to papers filed with the Superior Court of California.[69] On June 22, her probation was extended one year to March 2011 because she missed her anti-drinking driving class.[70] However, Richie's probation was terminated early on December 29, 2010, after her lawyer presented details to the judge that Richie had completed all terms of her probation.[71]


In November 2007, Richie and Joel Madden created "The Richie Madden Children's Foundation".[72] Richie, Joel and Benji Madden along with UNICEF held a fundraiser for the Tap Project in March 2009. They sold 143 water pumps to bring water directly to the villages and raised $100,000.[73] Esprit donated 10% of all the sales on April 2, 2009, at their newly opened 3rd Street Promenade store to The Richie-Madden Children's Foundation.[74] The Richie-Madden Foundation specially designed "Cup with a Cause" for 7-Eleven. It was a part of their charity-focused coffee campaign in February 2010.[75] During 2010 the Foundation worked together with Beyond Shelter, a non-profit organization devoted to providing shelter for homeless families in Los Angeles.[76]

In May 2008, Richie and Madden shot a UNICEF public-service announcement to generate aid for the cyclone-devastated Myanmar.[77] Richie and Madden have also written blogs on the UNICEF website and encouraged people to help children in need.[78]

Richie has been a board member of the Environmental Media Association for several years and took part in their awareness program in May 2009.[79] Each member "adopted" a school to raise awareness for the program and help students with environmental education. She participated in a charity hand-me-downs auction that started on the website The proceeds went directly to The Richie Madden Children's Foundation to help bring more opportunities to children in the US and abroad.[80]


Year Title Role Notes
2003–07 The Simple Life Herself Also producer
2004 Six Feet Under Herself Episode: "Untitled"
2004 Eve Karen Episode: "Valentine's Day Reloaded"
2004 Rock Me Baby Amanda Episode: "Kiss and Don't Tell"
2004 American Dreams Brenda Reid Episode: "Charade"
2005 8 Simple Rules Ashley Episode: "Ditch Day"
2005 Kids in America Kelly Stepford Feature film debut
2010 Project Runway Herself - Guest Judge Episodes: "Reunion Special" & "Back to New York"
2008–10 Chuck Heather Chandler Episodes: "Chuck Versus the Cougars" & "Chuck Versus the Cubic Z"
2012–13 Fashion Star Herself - Mentor 11 Episodes
2012 The New Normal Herself Episode: "Para-New Normal Activity"
2013 Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's Herself Documentary film
2014–present Candidly Nicole Herself Also executive producer
2015 Empire Herself Episode: "Et Tu, Brute?"
2015 Barely Famous Herself Episode: "Barely Famous"
2016 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself - Guest Judge Episode: "Keeping It 100!"
Music videos
Year Music Video Artist Role
1998 "So Into You" Tamia Friend
2006 "I Call It Love" Lionel Richie Love interest
2013 "Let There Be Love" Christina Aguilera Friend

Published works[edit]

Award nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Personality: Female Nominated
2010 Teen Choice Awards Best Celebrity Fashion Line Nominated


  1. ^ a b Nicole Camille Escovedo, born 09/21/1981 to Ms. Moss in Alameda County
  2. ^ a b "FOX's 'The Simple Life' premiere draws 13 million viewers and the night's highest Adults 18-49 rating". Reality TV World. December 3, 2003. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Nicole Richie & Joel Madden Open Playground". Radar Online. February 10, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ Spangler, Todd (July 9, 2015). "VH1 Employs Digital Celebs to Promo Nicole Richie's 'Candidly Nicole'". Variety. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  5. ^ Graham, Caroline (March 14, 2004). "Poor little Richie girl". The Mail on Sunday. HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Nicole Richie." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. Vol. 65. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Biography In Context. Web. March 3, 2013.
  7. ^ Sheila E. confirms engagement to Prince, describes niece Nicole Richie’s adoption in new memoir
  8. ^ "Nicole Richie Biography". People. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ Parkinson: Lionel Richie on Nicole Growing Up. Youtube. 
  10. ^ "Lionel Richie and his wife, Diane Alexander, split". Jet Magazine. November 17, 2003. Retrieved November 10, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Nicole Richie Talks About Her Weight, Being a Role Model, and What Happened with Paris". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on May 18, 2006. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Biography for Nicole Richie". Archived from the original on January 12, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2008. 
  13. ^ a b "Celebrity Central / Nicole Richie". People. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  14. ^ Lansing, Kimberly (December 15, 2006). "Quincy Jones: Nicole Richie Is 'Caught Up in Hoopla'". Retrieved March 10, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Nicole Richie: 'Yes, My Style Has Changed'". people magazine. December 5, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  16. ^ Paris and Nicole to serve as camp counselors[dead link]
  17. ^ Paris Hilton risks jail time for driving on suspended license
  18. ^ Nicole Richie pleads guilty to driving under the influence, sentenced to 90 hours in jail
  19. ^ Simple Life Probably Picked For A Sixth Season on June 28, 2007
  20. ^ The Simple Life Canceled on July 30, 2007 Archived October 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Serpe, Gina. E! News – A Simple Goodbye for Paris, Nicole. E! July 30, 2007.
  22. ^ "Nicole Richie to Appear on NBC's Chuck". June 25, 2008. Archived from the original on August 1, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2008. 
  23. ^ "Nicole Richie's Book to be Made into a TV Show". July 11, 2008. 
  24. ^ Adam Bryant. "Nicole Richie to Guest-Judge on Project Runway". 
  25. ^ real lives: Nicole Richie. The Biography Channel.
  26. ^ The New York Times Best-Seller List: January 2006 February 29, 2008.
  27. ^ Nicole Richie launches her new book, Priceless, in NYC In Style UK. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  28. ^ Priceless by Nicole Richie ABC News. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  29. ^ "Style Icon: Nicole Richie". Shecky's Media, Inc. June 11, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  30. ^ Nicole Richie Launching Signature Fragrance And Accessories Lines. April 2, 2007.
  31. ^ "Nicole Richie's mini-me fashion collection". June 5, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2008. 
  32. ^ Nicole Richie's House of Harlow 1960 Jewelry Line Now on Sale New York Magazine. 10/29/08. Retrieved August 5, 2009
  33. ^ "". 
  34. ^ "EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK: Nicole Richie's Maternity Line for A Pea in the Pod". August 5, 2009. Retrieved August 29, 2009. 
  35. ^ My Maternity Collection with A Pea in the Pod August 18, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  36. ^ Nicole Richie launches new clothing line Winter Kate Celebrity Clothing Line. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  37. ^ Nicole Richie Hits Glamour Women of the Year Awards Celebrity Gossip. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  38. ^ 2010 Teen Choice Awards Nicole Richie Official Website. December 30, 2010.
  39. ^ Nicole Richie expands handbag line Movies. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  40. ^ "Dos diosas juntas en un nuevo reality show" (in Spanish) TeleShow
  41. ^ "Nicole Richie to Team Up with Jessica Simpson on NBC's Fashion Star". People. July 8, 2011.
  42. ^ Sneak Peek at Nicole's Collection for Macy's Impulse Nicole July 24, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  43. ^ Nicole Richie Readies Fragrance Debut WWD. June 21, 2012.
  44. ^ Nicole Richie Biography Classic TV Hits. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  45. ^ Laudadio, Marisa (December 15, 2008). "Nicole Richie Shoots Down Album Rumors – Nicole Richie". Retrieved February 17, 2011. 
  46. ^ Nicole Richie: I Outsang Jennifer Hudson in "We Are the World" US Magazine. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  47. ^ Gary Susman (December 3, 2003). "Nicole Richie plans musical debut". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 22, 2015. 
  48. ^ Nicole Richie Offered Lead Role in "Chicago." UsWeekly. February 29, 2008.
  49. ^ Christina Aguilera's new music video features Nicole Richie.
  50. ^ "Paris Speaks Out About Split With Nicole". April 21, 2005. Retrieved August 3, 2008. 
  51. ^ Alexander, Bryan and Lisa Ingrassia. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie: Friends again? October 10, 2006.
  52. ^ "Nicole Richie's Companions". 2006. 
  53. ^ "Couples Watch". People. December 18, 2006. 
  54. ^ "Interview with Lionel & Nicole Richie". Larry King Live. CNN. May 28, 2009. 
  55. ^ "Nicole Richie & Joel Madden Welcome a Baby Boy". People. September 9, 2009. 
  56. ^ "PEOPLE PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: Nicole Richie's Baby!". People.
  57. ^ "Nicole Richie and Joel Madden Are Engaged!". Us Weekly. February 15, 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2013. 
  58. ^ "Nicole Richie and Joel Madden Wedding Draws Family, Friends – and an Elephant!". People. December 11, 2010. 
  59. ^ Fast-Shrinking Teen Queens Influence Young Girls. May 13, 2005.
  60. ^ CNN Showbiz Tonight transcript of May 5, 2006
  61. ^ Lehner, Marla (May 6, 2006). "Nicole Richie: 'I'm Too Thin'". People Magazine. Retrieved November 11, 2007. 
  62. ^ a b c Lehner, Marla. "Nicole Richie: 'I'm Too Thin' " May 4, 2006.
  63. ^ "Rep Says Nicole Richie Is Hypoglycemic." March 21, 2007.
  64. ^ a b Lipton, Michael A. (Dec 22, 2003). "Nouveau Richie". People. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  65. ^ a b Lee, Ken and Stephen M. Silverman. Police: Nicole Said She Smoked Pot, Took Vicodin. People magazine. December 13, 2006.
  66. ^ TV Star Jailed Over Drug-Driving. Sky July 28, 2007.
  67. ^ Winton, Richard. (August 24, 2007). "Nicole Richie's 82 minutes in jail – The 'Simple Life' star is in and out for a DUI. A sheriff's official says overcrowding mandates the mini-sentence.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 24, 2007. [dead link]
  68. ^ Lee, Ken (August 24, 2007). "Nicole Richie 'Pleasantly Surprised' by Early Release". 
  69. ^ Norman, Pete (September 28, 2007). "Nicole Richie Enrolls in Alcohol Education Program". Retrieved December 12, 2007. 
  70. ^ "Nicole Richie's Probation Extended One Year". 
  71. ^ "Nicole Richie – Officially a Free Woman!!!". December 29, 2010. 
  72. ^ "Nicole Richie and Joel Madden Start Charity for Kids". US Magazine. November 17, 2007. Archived from the original on November 16, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2007. 
  73. ^ Nicole Richie: On Tap for Water Nicole Richie Official Website. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  74. ^ Don't Miss ESPRIT's RMCF Event Nicole Richie Official Website. April 1, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  75. ^ Nicole Richie, Joel Madden, Benji Madden Design Program's Inaugural Cup 7-Eleven. Retrieved on December 19, 2010.
  76. ^ 7-Eleven Cup With A Cause at Beyond Shelter Nicole Richie Official Website. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  77. ^ UNICEF: Nicole Richie & Joel Madden PSA for Myanmar Retrieved on August 5, 2009.
  78. ^ Nicole Richie And Joel Madden Support UNICEF-Inspired Gifts Look to the Stars. December 30, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  79. ^ Nicole Richie: Support Organic Gardens in Schools Nicole Richie Official Website. May 12, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  80. ^ Check Out this Hand-Me-Downs Auction Nicole Richie Official Website. April 2009. Retrieved December 20, 2010.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
David Spade and Justin Timberlake
Teen Choice Awards host
2004 (with Paris Hilton)
Succeeded by
Hilary Duff and Rob Schneider