Known as the daughter of renowned pop singer Lionel Richie and a lively socialite, Nicole Richie is undeniably rich also popular. To most people, her life seems to be a perfect one for she has got everything they have dreamt of. Nevertheless, behind all of these actually lies some bitterness that she had to endure before she could rise from her downfall and overcame all the trouble in her life. A unique mix of Caucasian, Black, and Mexican ethnicity, Nicole was born on September 21, 1981 in Berkeley, California. Given the name Nicole Camilla Escovedo, she is the biological daughter of a Latin musician named Peter Michael Escovedo III and an anonymous backstage female assistant of Lionel Richie during his world tour in 1980. Raised alone by Escovedo who was also a member of Richie's band, little Nicole spent most of her time on the backstage and studio since her father often took her along by his side.
As Richie gradually grew a deep affection toward Nicole, the three-years-old girl was taken to live with this famous musician and his first wife, Brenda Harvey, under Escovedo's approval. She was legally adopted at the age of nine by the couple for her father finally decided to give up his parental rights. Living in a wealthy family, she was trained in cello, violin, piano, and figure skating while also entered Los Angeles' prestigious The Buckley School where she later met her best friend, Paris Hilton. Although she was provided with as well as received all the best things, Nicole genuinely had a lack of attention, especially from Lionel Richie since he had hardly been around. Things got worse when Richie and his wife broke up their marriage. "When my dad divorced my mom it was kind of like him leaving me also," she recalled. "I just really didn't understand why he wasn't returning my phone calls, or why I couldn't see him whenever I wanted to. That was the most hurtful thing to me."
Trying to find a solace, Nicole started to drink alcohol, stayed out late, and grew an addiction to drugs. "I was like a trash can, I took everything," she commented. Moreover, she also dropped her study at University of Arizona in which she entered after her graduation from Montclair College Preparatory School in 2000."I stopped because I went there for two years and I felt like I experienced college or whatever," she confessed. "I'm over it." This problematic life of her reached its peak when she was arrested for possessing heroin and driving with a suspended license in February 2003. Sentenced to probation and ordered to undergo a rehabilitation program, Nicole slowly put things back in a better shape. During this period, a faint gleam of light entered as she was willing to join Fox's reality TV series, "The Simple Life" (2003) with Paris. Aired in December 2003, the show turned out to be a great success, opening a larger opportunity for her to appear more frequently on the screen. She then was seen in some TV shows, such as "Eve" (2003), "Rock Me Baby" (2003-2004), "American Dreams" (2002-2005), and "Six Feet Under" (2001-2005). Making her film debut, she joined the cast of "Kids in America" (2005) alongside Julie Bowen and Adam Arkin.
Getting widely popular through "The Simple Life," Nicole kept creating sensation throughout the year 2003. She mentioned that her favorite player was Kobe Bryant and she would like to have sex with him whereas Bryant himself was about to be charged for sexual abuse in Colorado. She also caused the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to receive huge complaints because it did not bleep out her swear word in the 2003 Billboard Music Awards. By December, she made a public statement which supported her godfather, Michael Jackson, concerning his case of child molestation. "I grew up with him," she said in her defense. "I have spent many evenings there and many days there. I can only speak for myself, but absolutely nothing went on." After being together with Paris in the two sequels of "The Simple Life," Nicole was reported to have clash with this heiress of Hilton Hotels. In her response, Paris made announcement that Nicole was no longer her friend on April 20, 2005. The reason behind this falling out has not been revealed, although there were strong assumptions that Paris was jealous of her rising star either she has displayed Paris' sex tape at a party. Despite this shocking feud, the former pals have confirmed their return to the fourth part of "The Simple Life." Not only nailed down her conflict with Paris, the press also made reports which claimed that she had an eating disorder. Nicole calmly denied the tidings, saying: "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." Aside from the publication, Nicole was involved in several projects during the year of 2005, including a debut album and a book loosely based on her own life entitled "The Truth About Diamonds."
As for her love life, she's been romantically linked to Elijah Blue Allman and Justin Guarini, but ultimately engaged with Adam Goldstein or known as DJ AM by February 2005. Sad to say that love life never comes easy for Nicole. Shortly after the engagement, she and DJ AM underwent an on-again and off-again relationship which finally resulted in the two's permanent break up, concerning which both of them released a statement May 22nd, 2006 through Nicole's publicist, saying "We are confirming that we are amicably separated." Since then on, the papa's daughter often made the gossip pages with her being romantically linked to many men, naming that of professional skateboarder Chad Muska, her lifelong crush Jeff Goldblum, and her long time childhood friend Brody Jenner. All in all, the socialite then gave her heart to Joel Madden of Good Charlotte shortly after his break up with actress-singer Hilary Duff.
Nevertheless, those reports on her love life would never become as hot as that of her being too skinny, which led to public claim that she did suffer anorexic. This judgment wasn't an easy thing to overcome though, but Nicole persisted her skinny frame was just a matter of stress that made her found it difficult to eat, even more when she felt she's being judged by photographers and journalists. In the midst of this difficult moment, one day in November 2006 Nicole was spotted having dinner on Caesar salads and penne pasta at the West Hollywood restaurant Dan Tana's with former best friend Paris Hilton. That would later on marked their becoming BFF again. As if she could never have enough of those issues, the tiny socialite hit another new low yet again when she was arrested in Burbank, California on December 11th for investigation of driving under the influence after she reportedly headed the wrong way on a freeway in Burbank with her black Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle.
Admitted to using marijuana and Vicodin before the incident, Nicole was pleaded guilty July 27th the following year to driving under the influence and thus sentenced to serve four days in jail. Having until September 28th to begin serving her sentence, she sent shock to public worldwide when she made it official in a tell-all interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer that she's almost four months pregnant with Joel Madden's child. "Yes, I am. We are. I'm almost four months," she said. Tend to perceive her DUI sentence as blessing in disguise, E! Entertainment however saw it as a failure for their production of "Simple Life" and thus decided not to renew the series for a sixth season. "We felt like the real life drama of their lives overshadowed anything happening on the show," E! Networks president and CEO Ted Harbert explained. "We all thought the publicity would help the show; we were wrong. It's not doing well (in the ratings). People watch it because they want to see what's going on with Paris Hilton. But now everybody's covering what's really going on with Paris Hilton. It makes the show seem contrived by comparison."
At 3:15 p.m. on August 23rd Nicole, accompanied by boyfriend Joel Madden, quietly turned herself into the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood, California to begin serving her time. Unlike that of Paris, her going to jail was not much publicized. It was surprising though to learn that later that day at 4:37 p.m. the pregnant socialite was released after only 82 minutes. A spokeswoman for the sheriff's department simply explained she "was released early due to overcrowding in the jail system. This is standard procedure for nonviolent offenders." Following her encounter with the law, on October 26th Nicole voluntarily filed papers with the Superior Court of California confirming that she has enrolled in Santa Barbara's SB 38 Multiple Offender Drinking Driver Program.