In the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2000s, Nicole Richie was a party girl who captivated viewers with her wild lifestyle and larger-than-life presence. She was best known for being Paris Hilton’s sidekick on the Fox hit reality show The Simple Life.
Now in her 40s, let’s look at how Nicole Richie has transformed since then.
A Berkeley, California native, Nicole Camille Escovedo was born on September 21, 1981. Karen Moss and Peter Michael Escovedo were her parents. Nicole is related to Latin music star Sheila E., her uncle, through her father. At three years old, her parents divorced, and her mother married legendary singer Lionel Richie when she was nine.
Richie legally adopted Nicole when she was nine, but it wasn’t until Nicole was an adult that their relationship became closer, and he began referring to her as his daughter.
Richie began her career as an actress, appearing in TV shows like The Simple Life alongside her best friend, Paris Hilton. Her early career was marked by controversy—she had several run-ins with the law and struggled with substance abuse—but eventually, she turned her life around and focused on raising her family.
In December 2006, she began dating his husband, Joel Madden. In February 2010, the couple confirmed their engagement, and on December 11, 2010, they were married. They reside in Los Angeles, California.
They have two children, a daughter born in January 2008 and a son born in September 2009. The first pictures of their daughter were sold to People magazine for $1 million in February 2008.
Many people are surprised to find out Richie is actually related to Cameron Diaz, as the latter married the twin brother of Richie’s husband, Joel Madden. Diaz is married to Benji Madden, while Richie, 41, is wed to Joel Madden, the musician’s twin brother and fellow member of the band Good Charlotte. Richie and Joel, both 41, married in 2010, while Diaz and Benji, also 41, got hitched in 2015.
The Early 2000s Party Girl
In 2003 at age 21, Nicole signed with Fox for two seasons of “The Simple Life,” a reality show starring her and childhood friend Paris Hilton. The show debuted in December 2003 and quickly became a hit with viewers.
In 2004-2005, the show aired its third season, which followed the girls as they worked overseas jobs in places such as London and Australia.
They also filmed a fourth season which focused on living with other celebrity families, such as Justin Timberlake’s family in Nashville and comedian George Lopez’s family in Los Angeles.
Despite being popular with viewers, the show ended after its fourth season due to personal differences between Hilton and Richie.
According to sources, Richie and her longtime pal Paris Hilton reportedly stopped speaking to one another in April 2005.
“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”. Neither Richie nor Hilton spoke publicly about the cause of the split.
Neither Richie nor Hilton discussed the reason for their parting in public. They reconciled on October 2006.
After “The Simple Life” ended, Nicole focused on launching House of Harlow 1960—her clothing line—which debuted in 2008 during New York Fashion Week.
Since then, she has launched several successful fashion lines, including Winter Kate (a wardrobe collection) and House of Harlow 1960 Jewelry Line (a jewelry collection).
Nicole Richie slowly began to distance herself from her party-girl persona and focus on creating more meaningful projects for herself. She returned to school at FIDM and graduated with a degree in design in 2008.
In 2011 she launched House of Harlow 1960, which is still active today; the brand specializes in costume jewelry collections and other fashion accessories such as sunglasses and handbags.
In 2017 she released ‘Price of Fame’ – an autobiographical book that looks into how fame shaped her life growing up while also providing insight into how she overcame difficulties like drug addiction.
Her past served as ammunition for this project. It is an inspirational source for young people who may be experiencing similar issues or aspiring to make something out of their lives despite their current circumstances.
To help underprivileged young moms and children, Richie and her husband, Joel Madden, established The Richie Madden Children’s Foundation in November 2007. She has volunteered for organizations such as the Red Cross, UNICEF, Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, March of Dimes, Playing for Change, Small Steps Project, Baby2Baby, and Elton John AIDS Foundation. Richie serves on the board of Baby2Baby.
Aside from being incredibly philanthropic, she has served on the board of several organizations over the years, including Baby2Baby, which provides necessities to children living in poverty, and HollyRod Foundation, which offers compassionate care for those with autism, Parkinson’s Disease, homelessness, or poverty.
Where is Nicole Richie Now?
Richie is still involved in fashion; however, she has shifted her focus from designing clothes to creating jewelry. Her latest collection—Nicole x Urban Renewal—has been praised for its sustainable approach to design and is made entirely from upcycled materials.
In addition to designing jewelry, Richie also hosts Candidly Nicole, a VH1 television show that follows her life day-to-day. She also serves as an ambassador for the Humane Society of the United States, helping spread awareness about animal rights issues worldwide.
In 2019, it was announced that Richie would join forces with Bumble Bizz for a new mentorship program geared towards young women who want to break into the business world.
This new venture speaks volumes about how far Nicole has come since her days as a Hollywood party girl; instead of partying all night long, she’s now using her influence for good by empowering other women through mentorship opportunities.
It’s been almost two decades since Nicole Richie first stepped onto the scene as one of Hollywood’s favorite party girls.
Since then, she has transformed into an admirable role model whose influence goes beyond just fashion; she’s become an advocate for sustainable living practices and an inspirational mentor for young women who want to make their mark in business.
Whatever comes next in Nicole’s journey is sure to be inspiring!