Richie’s acting debut helped to turn media attention away from her troubled and difficult past.Sadly, she experienced a turbulent adolescence, which she later blamed on her parents’ divorce.But the series was promptly picked up by the cable network E!, and a fourth series, ‘The Simple Life: ‘Til Death Do Us Part’ hit the small screen.“Although I am slowly learning how to deal with my problems, I am now leaning towards drinking more than drugs”, she said.She was arrested in 2003 for “driving under the influence,” and had her license suspended.Rumours also abounded that she had been seeing a psychiatrist and a personal trainer during the same period.In September 2006, Richie refuted claims that she had an eating disorder, saying: “I am not anorexic: I am not bulimic: I do not have an eating disorder.” In another interview, this time with Elle Girl’s Prom Issue, Nicole said: “It upsets me when people come up to me and ask me if I have a problem.” Just one month later, it was announced in the press that she was seeking treatment for “an inability to put on weight, though it is not treatment for an eating disorder.” She was admitted to hospital in March 2007 because of dehydration and it was later announced that she had been diagnosed as suffering from hypoglycemia - or low blood sugar.
In addition to her success as a TV actress, Richie made her movie debut with a supporting role in ‘Kids in America’ in 2005.
Her big break came in 2003, when she was approached by Fox TV to take part in ‘The Simple Life’.
The role had previously been offered to Paris Hilton’s younger sister, Nicky, who had turned it down.
Lionel and his then wife Brenda Harvey-Richie informally adopted Richie when she was two-years-old.
The adoption was made legally formal and binding when she turned nine.