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Nicole Richie
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Nicole Richie

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Nicole Richie, daughter of Lionel Richie, is a reality star and fashion designer, known for her quick wit.

Who Is Nicole Richie?

Nicole Richie, daughter of musician Lionel Richie, first gained fame when she starred with childhood friend Paris Hilton on the reality show The Simple Life. She is the designer of the lifestyle brand House of Harlow 1960, clothing line Winter Kate and a reality TV show judge. She is married to Good Charlotte rocker Joel Madden.

Early Life

Richie was born Nicole Camille Escovedo in Berkeley, California, on September 21, 1981. Her biological mother was a backstage assistant for singer and musician Lionel. Her biological father is Peter Michael Escovedo, a member of Lionel's band and brother to pop percussionist Sheila E..

At age 3, for financial reasons, Richie moved in with Escovedo's bandmate Lionel and his wife Brenda Harvey-Richie. Six years later, the Richies officially adopted Nicole and she took her father's last name.

As a child, Richie pursued her passion for figure skating and also studied the guitar, cello, violin and piano. Richie's formative years were spent at the prestigious Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, where she met Hilton.

Substance Abuse Issues

As a teenager, Richie began partying hard and experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Following her graduation from Montclair Preparatory School in 2000, she decided to go to college. She attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and studied arts and media. Richie dropped out after two years and returned to Los Angeles.

Continuing the pattern of her teenage years, Richie was busted in February 2003 when police found heroin in her Mercedes-Benz. She pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to probation and ordered to attend the Sierra Tucson drug rehab center in Arizona.

'The Simple Life'

Ten days after leaving rehab, Richie was reunited with Hilton to star in the reality show The Simple Life. Richie continued working with Hilton through their very public falling out but reconciled in 2006 before starring in their show's fifth season.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: Actress Irene Bedard attends the premiere of Vox Box Entertainment's "Ron and Laura Take Back America" at Sundance Cinema on March 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

Irene Bedard

Joy Harjo, writer during 2005 Sundance Film Festival - "A Thousand Roads" Portraits at HP Portrait Studio in Park City, Utah, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)

Joy Harjo

Other Career Endeavors

Richie also pursued a musical career, joining the rock band Darling in 2004, featuring model Josie Maran and socialite sisters Soleil and Sofia Alberti. Richie then made her acting debut as a cheerleader in the movie Kids in America in 2005. Richie went on to write a semi-autobiographical novel, The Truth About Diamonds in 2005. Her second book, Priceless, came out in September 2010. 

Richie also starred in the 2017 TV show Great News among guest-starring roles on shows like Six Feet Under, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter and Chuck

Fashion Designer and Reality Show Judge

In 2008, Richie launched her own jewelry line, House of Harlow 1960. Her retro-styled pieces has been well received and worn by the likes of Madonna and Ashlee Simpson. The following year, Richie added to clothing to her business empire. She launched Winter Kate in spring 2010 and it has blossomed into a popular high-end fashion line.

Quickly becoming an influential force in the fashion world, Richie shared her design insights on the reality competition Fashion Star in 2012. She, along with Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos, act as mentors to a group of aspiring designers. Richie was also a judge on Making the Cut

Personal Life

In February 2005, Richie and boyfriend Adam Goldstein, better known DJ AM, became engaged. They split 10 months later.

Richie was arrested on December 11, 2006, after she drove her black Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle the wrong way on a freeway in Burbank, California. She reportedly told authorities she had smoked marijuana and taken the prescription painkiller Vicodin. Richie pleaded guilty in July to a misdemeanor charge, avoiding a potential year in jail because it was only a second DUI conviction.

Richie began dating guitarist Joel Madden of the band Good Charlotte in 2006. On July 31, 2007, Richie announced that she and Madden would be having their first child together. She gave birth to daughter Harlow Winter Kate Madden on Jan. 11, 2008, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The couple welcomed their second child, son Sparrow James Midnight Madden, on September 9, 2009. Around this time, Richie became engaged to Madden. The pair tied the knot on December 11, 2010, at the estate of Richie's father. Guests included Gwen Stefani and Benji Madden.

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