Although not as famous as her ex-best friend and reality-TV cohort, Paris Hilton, Richie can take solace in the fact that her public image is a bit less tarnished. The adopted daughter of music legend Lionel Richie, she rocketed to fame in 2003 when she signed on for The Simple Life
, a reality series that found Richie and Hilton trying---and often failing---to complete jobs that frequently required manual labor. While Hilton's off-screen antics kept her in the tabloids, Richie was a tad more subdued, though she was dogged by substance-abuse issues that led to arrests for heroin possession and driving under the influence. Richie's staggering weight loss in 2006 also turned heads, with some expressing concern about her health. But like Hilton, Richie was able to parlay her success into an entertainment career that has included a handful of acting roles, a novel and a band. Even after the gals' famous fallout in 2005, they remained small-screen costars, and publicly reconciled a year later on Late Night with David Letterman
. Following an on-again off-again relationship with Adam 'DJ AM' Goldstein, Richie settled down with her current fiancé, Good Charlotte front man Joel Madden, in 2006. The couple had a daughter, Harlow Winter Kate, in 2008, and a son, Sparrow James Midnight, in 2009.Nicole Richie Fast Facts:
- Was a classmate and best friend of Paris Hilton at California's Buckley School while growing up.
- Joined model Josie Maran and socialite sisters Soleil and Sofia Alberti in the rock band Darling in 2004.
- Published The Truth About Diamonds, a semi-autobiographical novel about the Hollywood life of a girl adopted by a rock star, in 2005.
- Appeared in ads for Jimmy Choo shoes and Bongo jeans.
- Has made guest appearances on a number of TV series, including American Dreams, 8 Simple Rules and Chuck.
- Plays the cello, piano and violin.
- Nicole Richie Relationships:
- DJ AM - Ex-fiancé
- Peter Michael Escovedo - Father
- Brenda Richie - Mother
- Diane Alexander - Stepmother
- Michael Jackson - Godparent
- Sofia - Half Sister
- Lionel Richie - Father
- Miles - Half Brother
- Sheila E. - Aunt
- Joel Madden - Husband
- Harlow Winter Kate Richie Madden - Daughter
- Sparrow James Midnight Madden - Son
- Attended University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ