Michael Jackson Is Nicole Richie’s Godfather, Nicole Richie was adopted by Lionel Richie when she was nine years old. Her genetic father is 1980s pop musician Pete Escovedo Jr., whose sister is singer Sheila E. Their father, Pete Escovedo Sr., is a noted Latin jazz musician. Richie and Paris Hilton became best friends when both girls were two years old, attending The Buckley School. She sprang to celebrity in 2003, co-starring with socialite in Fox's reality show The Simple Life. In February 2003, Richie was arrested for possession of heroin, a felony, and driving with a suspended license, a misdemeanor. She posted a $10,000 bail, allowing her to continue appearing in The Simple Life.
Michael Jackson was Richie's godfather, and she publicly came to Jackson's defense against charges of improper sexual behavior with children. As a youngster, Richie says, she often visited Jackson's Neverland Ranch, and slept in Jackson's bedroom. Richie also came to Kobe Bryant's defense during his rape trial, publicly stating, "I want to have sex with him."
In a June 2004 interview, she proclaimed her virginity.
More recently, Richie has lost so much weight she appears emaciated and frightfully thin, but has repeatedly denied having an eating disorder. In October 2006 her publicist announced that Richie "has decided to undergo diagnostic treatment to determine why she's not been putting on weight." Days later Richie reportedly passed out in a Los Angeles nightclub.