Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s Friendship Timeline

Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton have been through it all together from meeting as kids to becoming reality TV stars.

The former socialites are best known for their 2000s show The Simple Life. The series followed Hilton and Richie as they moved from Hollywood to rural America in order to experience the “real world,” leading to humorous — and cringe-worthy — results.

But, their friendship extends far before the hit show and far beyond it. Hilton and Richie first met when they were kids, and spent time together as they grew up with their well-known parents — Richie is the daughter of musician Lionel Richie and his first wife Brenda Harvey, and Hilton is the daughter of Kathy Hilton and Rick Hilton.

The pair’s long-lasting relationship hit a snag in 2005, in the middle of The Simple Life’s run, when Hilton and Richie had a public fallout.

Eventually, the two made up and found a way forward that involved a return to their reality show, support for each other during major life milestones and an understanding that even if they aren’t in constant contact, there’s still love between them. Now, the pair share parenting advice and a new reality series on Peacock.

In May 2024, Hilton and Richie shared a joint post on Instagram teasing the new show. “New Era. Same Besties. 👯‍♀️ Coming soon to Peacock,” they wrote in the caption.

From their childhood friendship to becoming mothers to their own kids, here’s everything to know about Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s friendship.

1980s: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie meet

Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie.

Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Hilton and Richie have known each other since they were kids. Not only are their parents friends, but they went on to attend the Buckley School together in Los Angeles. (Other famous alumni include Kim Kardashian and Rashida Jones.) 

Richie opened up about their childhood friendship in a 2007 interview with Harper’s Bazaar. Asked if they were “partners in crime,” Richie responded, “Oh, definitely, definitely. When we were little, our parents always wanted to separate us. And I remember, word for word, them saying it’s not that it’s me and not that it’s her. It was the two of us together.”

Richie and Hilton’s mothers are still friends today. Harvey and Kathy co-hosted Hilton’s sister Nicky Hilton’s bridal shower in 2015, and they’ve referred to each other as “sisters.” Harvey also defended Kathy during the 2022 season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

December 2, 2003: The Simple Life premieres

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie on April 24, 2003.

Dan Steinberg/Getty

Prior to The Simple Life, Hilton had already become known as a model and socialite, but the show made her and her longtime friend Richie much more famous. The series premiered in December 2003 and brought in huge ratings. The first episode attracted a whopping 13 million viewers, per Entertainment Weekly.

The first season showed Richie and Hilton moving in with a family in Altus, Ark., where they worked jobs at a fast food restaurant, a gas station, on a dairy farm, and more and connected with people outside of their celebrity bubble.

The show had four more seasons which saw Hilton and Richie go on other adventures, including a road trip.

August 8, 2004: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie host the Teen Choice Awards

Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton during The 2004 Teen Choice Awards.


In the midst of their Simple Life stardom, Hilton and Richie hosted the 2004 Teen Choice Awards. At the show, Hilton was also nominated for two awards: choice TV personality and choice female reality/variety TV star.

Richie was nominated for choice female fashion icon and The Simple Life was up for choice reality TV show.

April 2005: Paris Hilton says she wants a new Simple Life costar

Kimberly Stewart and Paris Hilton during Olympus Fashion Week Spring 2005.

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

After rumors began surfacing about a falling out between Hilton and Richie, Hilton made it clear that something was up when she spoke about wanting a new costar on The Simple Life

Hilton had been seen spending more time with Rod Stewart’s daughter Kimberly Stewart, and said she’d like her to join the reality show.

“Kim is hysterical and crazy fun, and I love that about her,” Hilton said in a statement. “Nicole and I have been best friends since we were babies, and I love her, but I want to do what’s best for the show.”

April 21, 2005: Paris Hilton confirms Nicole Richie feud

David Klein/Getty

Not long after singing Stewart’s praises, Hilton confirmed that there was indeed a feud between herself and Richie.

“It’s no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends,” Hilton said in a statement. “Nicole knows what she did, and that’s all I’m ever going to say about it.”

A source close to Hilton told PEOPLE that Richie was jealous of Hilton’s fame and resented her being invited to host Saturday Night Live in February 2005.

April 2005: A source shares Nicole Richie’s side of the story

Nicole Richie (L) and Paris Hilton during the premiere party for “The Simple Life” on December 2, 2003.

Doug Benc/Getty

A source close to Richie said that she and Hilton had gone their separate ways because Richie was becoming more mature and wanted to spend time with her then-fiancé DJ Adam Goldstein.

“She just wants to be with Adam and get married,” a source told PEOPLE.

July 29, 2005: The Simple Life season 4 is confirmed

“The Simple Life’s” Paris Hilton (L) and Nicole Richie arrive at the “White Hot Winter on Fox” TCA Party at Meson G on January 17, 2005.

Kevin Winter/Getty

Even though their friendship seemed over, The Simple Life was confirmed for a fourth season in July 2005. Peter Liguori, the then-president of FOX Entertainment, said that the show would go on even though Hilton and Richie hadn’t made up.

“Both have been picked up, both will be ready for work, and we’ll work it out,” he said.

The Simple Life season 4 went on to premiere in June 2006. Richie and Hilton mostly filmed separately.

November 11, 2005: Nicole Richie says she won’t speak to Paris Hilton

Frazer Harrison/Getty

During a November 2005 appearance on Today, Richie was asked about her friendship with Hilton. She said that they “just grew apart” and that the issue between them “just turned into a much bigger thing than it is.” Richie added, “It’s just not part of my life.”

But, when she was asked if she would speak to Hilton if she ran into her, Richie said no.

She also commented on the idea of Stewart taking her place on The Simple Life. “That was never going to happen,” Richie said.

October 9, 2006: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are seen having dinner together

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie at the Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles, California.

John Sciulli/WireImage

Several months after season 4 of The Simple Life aired, Hilton and Richie were seen getting dinner in L.A. — and it seemed to be a pivotal meal. Photos obtained by TMZ showed the women together at Dan Tana’s Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

They reportedly arrived together in Hilton’s Range Rover and seemingly had a good time together.

June 1, 2007: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie open up about their reconciliation

Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton in Los Angeles, California.

Amy Graves/WireImage

Hilton and Richie were interviewed separately for a Harper’s Bazaar feature published in June 2007, and talked about making up with one another.

Richie said that Hilton sent her an email on her 25th birthday in September 2006. They then made plans to meet up in person and ended up being followed by paparazzi.

“I can’t get mad at her for talking s— about me. We were in a fight!” Richie said. “Our fight was so built up by the press. Half of it wasn’t even real.”

Hilton similarly said the feud got out of their control. “There was no reason why we were fighting; it was just silly. We believed what other people were saying,” she said. “People are really two-faced in this town, and they were trying to play us against each other. It made me sadder than any breakup with a boyfriend. It was just like the worst feeling ever.”

August 5, 2007: The final episode of The Simple Life airs

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie at Paris Hilton Birthday Dinner.

amie McCarthy/WireImage

The series finale of The Simple Life aired on Aug. 5, 2007. For the last season, Hilton and Richie were back to filming together, and the premiere showed them making up on camera.

“I don’t even know why we’re fighting. I think it’s just the tabloids,” Hilton said. Richie responded, “I just want to let you know half the things that the tabloids said that I said were not true.”

November 2007: Paris Hilton reacts to Nicole Richie’s pregnancy news

Joel Madden and Socialite Nicole Richie at the Launch of Richie-Madden Childrens Foundation at Los Angeles Free Clinic on December 3, 2007.

Jeff Vespa/WireImage

In August 2007, Richie revealed that she was expecting her first child with Good Charlotte musician Joel Madden. Hilton expressed her excitement about Richie’s pregnancy and said she wanted to have a baby so that their children could be friends.

“Nicole and I have been playing together since we were two years old,” she told PEOPLE. “I was just telling her, ‘I want a baby so that our babies can play together.’ ”

Richie went on to welcome her daughter, Harlow Winter Kate Madden, in January 2008. She and Madden welcomed a son, Sparrow James Midnight Madden, in September 2009.

April 23, 2015: Paris Hilton shares a cute throwback photo

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in a throwback post.

Paris Hilton Instagram

In 2015, Hilton lost her beloved dog, Tinkerbell, and posted some tributes to the late chihuahua on social media.

She honored Tinkerbell with an old photo of herself and Richie dressed as her namesake, the Peter Pan character, when they were kids. Hilton wrote in the caption, “#Tinkerbells ✨🌟👯🌟✨ #RIPTinkerbell ✨🐺✨ #TBT.”

April 8, 2018: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie reunite at an event

Paris Hilton (L) and Nicole Richie attend The Daily Front Row’s 4th Annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards.

Stefanie Keenan/Getty

Richie and Hilton were photographed at an event together in April 2018. The reality stars attended the Daily Front Row Fashion Awards in L.A. and were photographed talking to each other. Both women were presenters during the event.

The reunion got Simple Life fans hoping for a reboot of the series.

August 27, 2018: Nicole Richie comments on her friendship status with Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie.

Donato Sardella/WireImage

During an August 2018 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Richie was asked by a fan for an update on her relationship with Hilton. She explained that they would always be there for each other, even if they aren’t always in regular contact.

“Paris is somebody that’s been in my life since day one,” Richie said. “So I haven’t spoken to her for a while, technically, but if you really want to get into it, my view of a friendship is somebody that you don’t necessarily have to talk to everyday … The short answer is: I haven’t spoken to her in a while, but we are very good friends. I love her.”

December 3, 2018: Paris Hilton posts about the 15th anniversary of The Simple Life

Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie The Simple Life – 2003.

Sam Jones/20th Century Fox Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Hilton marked the 15th anniversary of the premiere of The Simple Life with a couple of Instagram posts in December 2018.

She shared a promotional photo of herself and Richie when they were on the show, and wrote in the caption, “Happy 15 Year Anniversary to #TheSimpleLife 💕 Loves it! 😍 So many fun, amazing & hilarious memories with Nicole.”

Hilton also posted a montage of clips from the series and added the hashtag “#ThatsHot.”

May 15, 2019: Paris Hilton gives an update on her relationship with Nicole Richie

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

Chris Weeks/WireImage

Nearly a year after Richie’s Watch What Happens Live appearance, Hilton was on the show herself and gave an update on her relationship with Richie.

“I love Nicole,” Hilton said on WWHL. “We actually were just texting like three days ago because it’s our high school reunion, so she was reminding me of the date.” The socialite added that she hoped to attend the reunion, but was “supposed to be out of the country.”

November 11, 2021: Nicole Richie attends Paris Hilton’s wedding

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie at Paris Hilton’s wedding.

Todd Williamson/Peacock/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty 

When Hilton married her husband, Carter Reum, on Nov. 11, 2021, Richie was in attendance. Photos from the wedding showed Hilton and Richie laughing together on the dance floor.

Footage of the pair talking to each other at the wedding was even featured in Hilton’s wedding reality series, Paris in Love.

The newlywed posted the clip on Instagram in January 2022 and wrote, “Sill & Bill Forever 👯‍♀️ Thank you @NicoleRichie for sharing my special day with me. 🥰❤️ Love you! 🤗 #Sanasa 💕” (Sill and Bill were Richie and Hilton’s nicknames for each other on The Simple Life.)

September 22, 2022: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have a sweet social media exchange

Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie The Simple Life – 2003.

20th Century Fox Television/Kobal/Shutterstock

In September 2022, Hilton wished Richie a happy birthday on Instagram with a carousel of images and videos of them together, spanning from when they were kids, to The Simple Life, to Hilton’s wedding.

“Happy Birthday @NicoleRichie! 💕🎂💕 So many fun, unforgettable and hilarious memories growing up together 👯‍♀️✨Wishing you an amazing birthday and sending you lots of love on your special day!💓,” Hilton wrote.

Richie responded to the birthday love in the comment section, and wrote, “Love you Sill! 😻” 

May 13, 2024: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie announce their new reality show

Left: Paris Hilton attends the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. Right: Nicole Richie attends the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.

Lionel Hahn/Getty; Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

In May 2024, the former reality stars announced that they would be returning to the screen.

In a joint post on Instagram, Hilton and Richie shared that they were entering a “new era” with a fresh series on Peacock.

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