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Nicole Richie Vanity Fair

Nicole Richie Vanity Fair

Nicole Richie tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Leslie Bennetts that her current weight upsets her and she’s doing something about it. "I know I’m too thin right now, so I wouldn’t want any young girl looking at me and saying, ‘That’s what I want to look like.’ I do know that they will, which is another reason I really do need to do something about it. I’m not happy with the way I look right now."

Dr. Jeffery Wilkins, vice-chair of the department of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, who treats Richie, was reluctant to talk with Bennetts due to client-doctor privilege, but did so at Richie‘s insistence. Wilkins tells Bennetts: "Our evaluation is an ongoing one. We’re working on a systematic plan to get more calories in, and we’re going to watch it and see if it succeeds. We’re all concerned, and she’s concerned, but it’s either going to improve or it won’t. If it’s not anorexia, she should be able to gain the weight. If it ends up being anorexia, we’ll help her with that. I think she’s willing to look this in the eye." (continued after the jump)

Nicole Richie talks about her weight, being a role model, and what happened with Paris. The June issue of Vanity Fair hits newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on May 3 and nationally on May 9.  Bigger scans in the gallery!


Emergeing from Paris Hilton‘s shadow, Nicole Richie is busy one-upping her former best friend and Simple Life co-star, from the best-seller list to the style pages, to a debut album in the works.  At 24, the adopted daughter of pop star Lionel Richie has sworn off the heroin she used after her parents’ divorce, but her weight is now the issue.  Persuading her medical team to talk to Leslie Bennetts, Richie also discusses her family’s struggle to heal, her take on the Hilton "feud," and the dangers ahead.

(continued before the jump) Richie explains that stress causes her to lose her appetite, and one of the factors over the past year was her broken engagement with DJ AM. "I had a bad breakup, and it eats me up inside when I’m upset about something," she explains. "I get really stressed out, and I do lose my appetite, but I do force myself to eat. I tried to put the weight on my way, eating burritos, but that wasn’t working, so I started seeing a nutritionist and a doctor. I was scared that it could be something more serious, because it wasn’t making any sense to me; I really was trying.… Yes, I’m too thin, but that’s just a result of what’s really going on with me; the bigger picture is how I deal with problems," she says.

Richie tells Bennetts that she thinks "girls who look like hourglasses," like Jennifer Lopez and Joy Bryant, are sexy, and claims that her diet is not one that would contribute to thinness. "I eat the worst foods—salty cheese-and-grease kind of stuff.… I have gained weight since I was at my thinnest," she says, but she doesn’t know how much she weighs. "I get weighed once a week with my nutritionist, but I don’t ask. Numbers aren’t going to mean anything to me."

Richie says that, contrary to some reports, she never screened ex-friend Paris Hilton‘s sex tape. "That was completely made up," she says. "A, I don’t watch porn, and, B, I don’t want to see someone I’ve known forever having sex. I mean, that’s gross!"

Her separation from Hilton was the result of divergent values, Richie tells Bennetts. "We never had a fight," she says. "I just decided I didn’t want to be her friend anymore. We’re just two completely different people; we don’t have that much in common. I really don’t have anything horrible to say about her," she says. "When I got out of rehab, I had to figure out what path to go down, and part of that included taking certain people out of my life.… When Paris made her little announcement that ‘Nicole knows what she did,’ I didn’t really understand what that was about, because we hadn’t been friends in such a long time. I can only guess that she had House of Wax coming out."

Richie tells Bennetts that once she tried China White heroin she immediately found herself hooked. "To me it was the epitome of caring about absolutely nothing," Richie says. "There were points when my mom would come home and scream at me about something, and I literally didn’t care about anything. It was like watching a really dramatic movie with the volume turned down. I thought I was getting away with everything, when the reality was that I was arrested three times and had five car accidents. Two were totals."

Richie says she didn’t feel bad about the angst she caused her adoptive parents growing up. "I thought they didn’t understand and were just being really strict. I didn’t feel bad at all." But she finally faced up to her heroin addiction. "I went to my parents and said, ‘It’s time for me to get help,’" she recalls. "I had to sit in a room with my parents, and they were crying. I kind of put down my shield, and I wasn’t as defensive—and then I felt really bad. We all had to change the way we dealt with each other. My parents didn’t speak for 10 years, until we went into rehab and they both had to figure out what to do about me." Now, says Richie, "I have a really good relationship with both my parents. I know they both love me."

"Part of the reason I don’t really talk about being sober is that I don’t want to feel the pressure of being a role model," Richie says. "I am learning so much about myself that for me to tell other people what to do in their lives is something I’m not really fit to do. I’m a work in progress. I’m not ‘there’ yet. I don’t know whether I’ll ever be ‘there.’"

Despite her success on The Simple Life, Richie tells Bennetts, "I never wanted to be on television; I always wanted to be a singer. I always wanted to do Broadway."

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  • Stacey

    All Hail Nicole!!! I love this girl… she’s more real than people think!

  • Johnny Digital

    *Stacey illustrates how "real" is relative*

  • Shannon

    She’s starting to remind me of Star Jones in that she’s gotten too small—-their heads are too large for their bodies. Like bobble heads or caricatures. It’s weird-looking.

  • Kristine

    She’s definitely become more elegant over the past year.

  • xyz

    From her interview, she makes it sound like she is naturally thin and loses weight when she is stressed out, etc. I am not quite sure how she can "anorexic" if that is truly the case, since you have to do it willfully. My guess is soon it’s gonna come out she is/was truly anorexic and this article is sorta ramping up for that.

  • ivy

    Anorexia can really mess with your head. I know from experience, you can be in such denial. I truly didn’t think I was either although I see now I was obviously doing things to cause is hard to explain but you lose your perception about things especially your body. I was going through some serious life issues and thought it was just due to stress since I didnt think I was the type who cared about my body image or not. It can sneak up on you. I admire Nicole for getting help, regardless of what her problem is.

  • angelina mmm

    She looks like a person who should be thin, not anorexic but thin suits her. On the other side Paris Hilton looks like an insect.

  • aveeno1

    I am so so proud of her for coming out to speak about this and to admit that she is too thin and to actually urge her doctors to talk about it. It seems the doctors are treating her and leaving the door open, for now its try to get her back to good health and wheight and that if it turns out to be Anorexia they’ll help her with it. Just the fact that she’s come to this point is a HUGE step forward, a lot of people with such problems can’t see what’s infront of them in the mirror and stay in denial. I think its great, I think people who like her will see that she’s doing her best and admiting her issues (actually she’s always been open about her addiction issues) I’m also glad she didn’t trash Paris in the article that makes Paris’s article and words in OUT magazine sound mean, vindictive and out of jelous. Nicole is great, I’m looking foward for her getting back to good health and continue with whatever she wishes to do. She seems real and thats nice.

  • xyz

    Hey ivy, I can understand how anorexia can creep up on you, but the definition in the DSM does state that there is some willingness to starve there. I haven’t ever suffered from anorexia myself, but I do know that for people with AN, their perception of their weight is skewed. What is not skewed is that they know how much they are eating. People with AN in fact fo go to the other extreme of counting every single calorie. Which is why Nicole’s account of what she eats, how she loses weight, knows she is too skinny, and yet her doctor’s suspicions of possible AN seem somewhat contradictory to each other. Regardless though, I do agree that the very fact that she is open about it and willing to discuss it is a good sign compared to the Lindsay Lohans and Hilary Duffs of the world.

  • ivy

    #9 yeah, I understand your point. Hopefully, she is keeping a food diary and getting good nutrional and medical advice. For me, I just honestly thought I was too stressed to eat very much, I just didnt have an appetite. .. however I made sure i ate three "meals" a day. I really just thought well, i needed to lose 20 lbs anyway and maybe this is how im supposed to look. I am small boned. I wasnt hungry… yet i made sure i ate some fruit and veggies every day.. never was a big meat eater. I rarely stepped on a scale so i really didnt think An was a problem i had. Now, in hindsight, I can see that what i was eating, however healthy the food was it was far too little. and i now know that this was all a big control issue with me becaus e i felt so out of control of most things in my life at that time. This was something i was doing that felt right to me and no one could make me stop.

  • Jude

    I’ve always thought she was the more worthwhile half of the Hilton/Richie duo. She’s got some wit and sass in her–it just takes time to emerge. As with any girls still growing up. I say, "Go, Nicole!"

  • Huxley

    I really like her and admire her honesty – she seems to think about what she’s saying, which way her life is going etc in away that Parisite does not – she’s maturing. She may have problems, but she’s willing to sort them out and face up to them. I wish her luck, as it wont be easy with the media watching her every move.

  • Lisa

    She’s full of doo doo. She was stick thin way before her and DJ AM broke. She basically went from one addiction to another. And I like this photoshoot but she looks sick and should not be promoted in fashion mags, this probably encourages the sickly-thin look.

  • JFP

    Am I the only one who remembers The Simple Life season one? She was a fat, rude, spoiled, bitch. I don’t understand how being skinny changes all that. She’s the same person. I don’t understand why people are congratulating her for her syaing shes got a problem. Last time I checked, her agenda was the same – publicity. Just cause you get skinny all of a sudden, doesn’t mean your’e a better person. Anorexia is a disease that effects people with egos. Really, why else would you not eat? You do it to impress others or to feel better about yourself."hey! give me attention!"

  • lovesit

    She’ll be bigger than Paris!

  • Rachel

    she’s looking better lately! if she learns from her mistakes, she’ll do better than paris.

  • Bee

    To be honest with you, I’d like to know how she does it. How does she stay so skinny? She’s short and went from 120lbs to 90lbs! What’s her evil secret?

  • Ally

    #14, That’s why she stopped being friends with Paris. She’s been trying to turn her life around. She doesn’t want to live the bad life anymore. She’s changed… on the outside atleast. I think she’s got a touch of class now. Lionel Ritchie did good somehow. Or maybe Nicole’s got angels watching over her. There’s something special about Nicole… and i’m not a fan or anything… but i can tell when someone’s got it or they don’t. And she’s got it… well, she’s got something, atleast.

  • Woody

    Wouldn’t she make a cute couple with Elijah Wood?

  • Katie

    #17…she was NOT 120 when she was fat, more like 145-155. I’m the same height as her and I know what all of those weights look like on our frame.

  • eimoeimo

    she got an ass? oh my for a skinny girl with an ass that gotta b a bonus! go nicole! u rock way better than parasite bitch ;o)

  • diane

    Lisa I totally agree with you it seems when Paris was skinny Nicole decided to follow . Why is this lady so popular what has she done but get bone thin and shop oh and also write a book. It seems she doesnt like Paris too much but always wants to emulate what she does. DIdnt Paris have a book out first?

  • Duude

    She’s still a hideous bobble head. can’t see her changing any time soon.As for becoming more classy. Thats her new stylists. Nothing to do with her, herself.

  • movie fan

    #14Yes, I remember Simple Life Season 1 — and the others. SHE was the one who got the laughs, SHE was the one who saw what the producers were going for and would make things happen, SHE was the one who knew how to push people’s buttons to make good TV. All Paris did was giggle, say "That’s hot" and react. Nicole knew what was needed to make a scene work and to have fun with it. She has comic timing and is the smarter half of the duo. The whole reason why Paris wanted her on there was because she IS funny, and naturally so, and very quick. She’s grown up, and Paris didn’t, and Paris thinks everyone loves her and is jealous of her, so that’s what she has blamed Nicole for — trying to be herself and have her own stardom. Paris will be an afterthought in five years, and Nicole will be a sitcom star.

  • krista

    the hell she looks like a famine victim…

  • sarah

    #14, she wasn’t fat, she was HEALTHY, she was hilarious, while oblivious paris only had the ideas that the producers fed her.and, even though i haven’t gone through anorexia problems, i’m psoitive that they don’t do it for ATTENTION. maybe at first, to lose weight, but then it becomes a sick lay off—she’s trying.

  • mejane

    i like nicole and hope she is turning her life around…SHE WAS THE ONE.. who Made Simple LIFE.. Paris was soo BORING….she looked Stupid half the time standing ther trying to be like Nicole but it didn’t WORK….i wish Nicole all the best for her ..and her baby… and new man…:) u rock girl!!!

  • noah

    I like her very much ..

    I am a chinese .and many of my friends like her too.

  • Lena

    I love you, Nicole

  • tes,ann

    that amazing girl tells always the truth ans she is so real!i found her sooooo sexy soooooo cute soooooo hot sooooo beautiful and i love her!

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