Millennials all remember Nicole Richie from her time starring as Paris Hilton’s best friend on The Simple Life. The socialite became a household name as a result of the show’s five-year run — and also thanks to her poor history with driving, which landed her in the media (as well as the slammer) several times.
Since kissing her reality TV days goodbye, Nicole has been focusing on her work in the fashion industry. She runs her own clothing brand, House of Harlow 1960, which started as only a jewelry line in 2008. The celebrity has also had various stints on TV shows, including Project Runway, where she appeared as a guest judge in 2010.
Aside from her professional life, Nicole has also been keeping busy by raising a family. The star has credited her husband and children for helping her tone down her image since her heyday. Nicole began dating Good Charlotte band member Joel Madden in 2006. Their daughter, Harlow, was born in 2008, while their son Sparrow Midnight was born in 2009. The couple was married the following year in 2010. Keep reading to learn how this famous couple is raising their two children.
20 Her 10-Year-Old Wears Makeup
Kim Kardashian has received grief for letting her 5-year-old daughter rock lipstick on the red carpet, but it turns out she’s not the only celebrity mama who let her daughter wear makeup while young. Nicole has revealed that she’s let daughter Harlow rock makeup since she was at least 10 years old.
“She’s a different beast than me,” Nicole revealed, People reports. “She should have this campaign. She is like a glitter, a liner, a liquid liner, a blush, a lipstick, a YouTube tutorial video. She is in it.” Maybe Harlow will have her own makeup brand in the future!
19 She Won’t Let The Kids Go On Tour With Dad
As the daughter of musician Lionel Richie, Nicole spent the better part of her childhood on tour buses touring the world with her famous father. And while that sounds cool, in retrospect, the reality star admits she doesn’t think it’s a healthy way to raise kids.
That’s why Nicole said she’s never allowed her children to go on tour with their dad and his band Good Charlotte.
“One of the biggest differences in the way I’m raising my kids versus the way I was raised is that I was on tour a lot,” she once told Du Jour magazine. “I don’t really do that with my kids. It’s important to me that they have stability. I like them to be home.”
18 The Kids Dress Themselves
Nicole Richie may nowadays be known as a fashion designer, but that doesn’t mean she controls what her children where. Rather, the celebrity says she encourages her kids to express their creativity and dress themselves. Right on, mama!
“They dress themselves,” she once told People. “Sparrow does his own thing. He likes to wear all black like his dad.” Of daughter Harlow, she added, “She has her own style. She likes to experiment with different looks. I am totally fine with that. What she looks like is ultimately up to her.”
Given how impeccable her kids always look on grocery runs, they definitely got their sense of fashion from their mom!
17 The Kids Are Definitely Going To College
Despite Nicole and Joel not being college graduates themselves, the parents are evidently already planning for what their children will be doing post-high school. And clearly, Nicole wants Harlow and Sparrow to take advantage of opportunities she never did when she was younger.
“I was taken out of school and had tutors. By the time my father went on stage, I was asleep,” Nicole said of her disruptive education as a child, Gulf News reports. “She’s really good with the kids. I’m really good with finances,” her husband Joel added. “All of Harlow’s education and all that stuff, I already have planned.”
16 She And Her Daughter Share Clothes
Nicole has always been on the petite side, but it's so much so that the socialite was actually able to share clothes with her then-6-year-old.
Back in 2014, the star caused a stir when she showed up to an event rocking a fur jacket that her daughter had previously been spotted out wearing, People reports. She styled the light pink jacket with black jeans and a casual T-shirt.
“Thanks for letting me borrow your jacket Harlow,” Nicole captioned a photo that she posted to her social media accounts, confirming the speculation. The only question we have is who wore the outfit better?
15 Her Kids Are Almost Cousins With The Kardashians
Even though Nicole was always the more famous one, her younger sister Sofia Richie is beginning to make a name for herself in Hollywood. The 20-year-old already has an impressive modeling résumé to her name. But it's Sofia’s unexpected relationship with Kardashian baby daddy Scott Disick that still has fans surprised.
For the last few years, Sofia has been involved with Scott, despite him being 15 years older. Nicole’s family has known the Kardashians for years - she and bestie Paris Hilton were often photographed partying with Kim K. But if Sofia does end up settling down with Scott (who has three kids with his ex Kourtney K), technically this would make Nicole's kids cousins with the Kardashian brood. Now that’s a complicated family history!
14 She's A Lot Stricter Than Her Own Parents
It appears that Nicole is doing a lot of things differently than when she was raised. The celebrity has admitted to being a strict parent because she things it was unhealthy that her parents never did that with her.
Speaking to Du Jour magazine, Nicole explained that her parents never denied her anything after their divorce due to their guilt over splitting up.
“Their way of making me happy was to say yes to everything I wanted, but I don’t think a little girl should have that much freedom,” she told the publication. Nicole blames this freedom for contributing to her infamous downward spiral in the mid-2000s.
13 She Took Her Daughter To The Women’s March
Nicole’s daughter may not even be a teenager yet, but that isn’t stopping the celebrity from educating her on important issues, including women’s rights. Just last year, the mother-daughter duo attended the Women’s March in L.A., and it turns out that it was actually Harlow’s idea to participate.
“She knew what it was, she heard about it last year. I went last year, a few of her friends went,” she told People. “She and her friends had decided they wanted to go. It was their decision. She and four friends came with us. I really loved it. I was so happy that she was there.”
12 Divorce Has Never Been An Option
On numerous occasions, Nicole has revealed both she and husband Joel know what it’s like to common from a split family. So they’ve gone the extra mile to ensure their kids always have stability within their home life - which means this couple won’t even consider divorce as an option.
"From the second we found out we were going to be parents together, we looked at each other and said, 'OK, both of our parents are divorced, we've both had ups and downs with our parents, and we don't exactly have a strong example of what a healthy family life is," Nicole has said, Entertainment Tonight reports. "But, we're recognizing that now, so let's work at it. Let's go through this together as a team, and it's been great. And I would say that that's the easiest and hardest part."
11 But They’ve Had Their Ups And Downs
Just because Nicole and Joel have refused to consider divorce as an option doesn’t mean things have always been rosy for them. Given that they’ve been married for almost a decade, there have been numerous times the media has suggested things are rocky between the couple.
In 2015, for instance, a source told In Touch that things were particularly tense between the parents. “[They’re] spending more time apart because all they do is [clash] when they’re together,” the insider dished. “The last thing she wants is a public split with the children involved, but she’s desperately unhappy.”
10 They’ve Even Lived Apart Before
The same source as above told In Touch that Nicole and Joel we living separately for the time being, in 2015, although the two did reconcile in the end.
“It’s better for everyone right now if they just stay apart because it’s really not working anymore,” the insider explained. “It’s very obvious to friends that a divorce announcement will probably be happening soon.” They added that Nicole had been talking to one of “LA’s most prominent divorce attorneys.”
However, four years later and Nicole and Joel are still very much together. It looks like this couple was luckily able to work through things!
9 The Kids Are Already Obsessed With Their Phones
While there’s no word on whether Nicole has gotten her kids their own iPhones, she has spoken about just how enthusiastic her kids can be about technology - just wait until they’re old enough for their own social media accounts!
Speaking to People, the mom-of-two revealed last year that her son and daughter love goofing around on her phone. She often finds the silly photos and videos they leave her, which makes us wish she’d reveal them on social media for fans to see.
“Oh my God, they make me laugh every day,” Nicole shared. “I’m always finding funny pictures and videos on my phone of them that they take.”
8 Nicole’s Household Is Very Health-Conscious
Many fans have speculated how Nicole has managed to keep so petite throughout the years, with some fans fearing problems were at play. However, the celebrity is said to have become very health-conscious since becoming a mom and keeps a close eye on what her family is putting into their bodies.
“Nicole is obsessed with doing everything she can to try to keep her children healthy and safe,” an insider once shared, Gulf News reports. “She insists on everything being organic. The food, the diapers, the clothing. She’s always at Whole Foods.”
Nicole has admitted to using simply a cloth and water over baby wipes, so she’s definitely committed to her eco-conscious lifestyle.
7 She’s Completely Honest With Her Kids
Some parents feel its in their kids’ best interest if they’re protected from certain truths and realities. But Nicole feels the opposite - that it’s actually better to be open and honest with your children. That’s why the star says she rarely hides anything from her son and daughter.
“My kids operate best when I let them have a voice," she once said while talking to Oprah. "I really explain things to them, because really, kids want to be told the truth. They just do. They just want you to be truthful.” Nicole added, “They can feel it and they know you. And they know you more than you know yourself.”
6 She Wishes Kids Didn’t Have Social Media
To say Nicole was a wild child in her younger years would be an understatement - and the celebrity understands how consequential her actions could be if she was a teenager growing up in the modern era. That’s why Nicole has expressed disappointment over how social-media-obsessed many kids are nowadays.
"I got caught — everything I did, and we didn’t even have camera phones! And I still figured out how to get caught every time I did something wrong. Can you imagine? I'm telling you, I'm like, ugh, thank God I was born in 1981," she once said, Hello Giggles revealed. “I would have been a monster.”
5 Motherhood Made Her Clean Up Her Act
Before she became a mom, Nicole was making headlines for all the wrong things. Most famously, she was always stirring up trouble with her then-bestie Paris Hilton, which led to her subsequent 2006 arrest for DUI. The celebrity spent 82 minutes behind bars for her reckless actions.
However, sources say that having her first child made Nicole seriously clean up her act. Her now-husband Joel also played a huge part in it.
“Joel gave her an ultimatum and threatened to leave her unless she cleaned up,” a source told Gulf News. “She said she liked how Joel was a ‘good mama’s boy’ in a bad boy body,” they continued. “He took her from that dark path she was heading toward and turned her around into a truly responsible person.”
4 Nicole Is Still Doing TV
Although she’s kissed her days of reality TV goodbye (though we’re still hoping for a Simple Life reboot!), Nicole continues to keep busy on TV. Since 2014, the socialite has been starring in her own show called Candidly Nicole. She’s featured a variety of guests on the show, from her famous dad and sister to her musical husband and his twin brother.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever really connected the two, other than the fact that they’re both TV shows,” Nicole one told Vanity Fair. “They’re two very different shows. The Simple Life was about pulling us out of our lives and filming that journey. Candidly Nicole is not reality. It’s more of a mission-based comedy. It’s a totally different thing. I’m also in a totally different place in my life.”
3 The Kids Are Light Sleepers
Some parents are able to get the vacuuming done when their baby is napping. But we doubt that’s ever happened in Nicole’s household!
The celebrity admits she was too strict about having things completely quiet when her kids were babies. Now they’re used to sleeping in silence, which means they wake up easily if anything goes bump in the night.
“I was very quiet around my kids when they were babies and now they’re light sleepers,” Nicole admitted to People. “I wish I had been a little more rough with them.”
2 She’s Careful About The People Her Kids Idolize
Considering her kids are growing up in the center of the hustle and bustle of Hollywood, they’ve likely met a lot of celebrities IRL. And while Nicole and her family are often mixing shoulders with the world’s most famous people, the celebrity said she’s choosy about who her children look up to.
“I was talking to a friend of mine, who has two little girls, about a certain singer whose name I won’t mention. He was really upset, saying she wasn’t a good role model for his kids,” the mom-of-two once said. “But here’s the thing: that girl is 20-something, so she shouldn’t be a role model to your little girls. She’s human, and it’s unrealistic to put people on a pedestal and expect that they’re not going to make mistakes.”
1 Nicole Refuses To Judge Other Moms
Nicole might be strong in her beliefs regarding how to raise her children, but the celebrity has said multiple times that she doesn’t believe in one exact way to raise your kids. And with that, the star has also said she doesn’t support judging other parents for how they raise their family.
“That’s something that’s always stuck with me because there’s not one way to raise children,” the star once shared with People. “There’s no one right way to be a mother. It depends on your house and lifestyle. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to judge and to be open and honest with other women. That really helps them to relax and know that they’re not alone.”