Socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were like two peas in a pod. They worked together on Fox’s reality TV hit The Simple Life and spent time together off-camera doing the kind of things that all besties do, like shopping and dishing about boys. Some would even say that it felt like these two gal pals had been friends since the dawn of time. They grew up together, after all. But even friendships as strong as this one don’t always last forever.
Their fans were really rooting for Paris and Nicole to be BFFs until the very end. Sadly, all good things must come to an end... and they did. But it seems as if no one really has a freaking clue about what caused these two to drift apart and start disliking each other so abruptly.
All anyone knew was that Paris and Nicole had seemingly started disliking spending time together and it even affected their working relationship. There were no warning signs. They were bosom buddies one minute and avoiding each other the next. While no one knows for sure what led to the fallout, we have some idea as to what might've torn them apart. So let’s delve into the mysterious and dramatic friendship of Paris and Nicole, as well as their fallout.
You could say that these two had been friends since they were little. But life was so much simpler in the 2000s when they were busy entertaining us on the hit reality show The Simple Life. The show ran from 2003 to 2007 and featured the real-life BFFs getting into all sorts of hijinks as they went from being Beverly Hills socialites to performing blue-collar work.
Then out of the blue, the childhood besties stopped being friends. “It’s no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends,” Hilton told People. “Nicole knows what she did, and that’s all I’m ever going to say about it.”
The rift between Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie had turned into an all-out war, but no one was throwing any missiles, at least not the kind the public could see. Still, it was pretty obvious that something had gone terribly wrong. The besties had a falling out at some point in 2005 during the show’s third season, which led to a mid-season cancellation.
Rumors quickly swirled that the bond between the two socialites had been damaged beyond repair, which explained why the two rarely made any appearances together on television or in their personal lives. But was jealousy to blame?
Jealousy has been the catalyst for the destruction of many romantic relationships and yes, even friendships. But what would Paris and Nicole have to be jealous about? They’re both super rich and they’re highly successful women. Nicole is an author, a socialite, a model, an actress, a fashion designer, and a TV personality. While little old Paris is a business-woman, a socialite and the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the dude that founded the Hilton Hotels.
But, a source told People that Nicole Richie was supposedly oh-so jealous of all the media attention Paris was getting and she felt left out in the cold.
When Paris was asked to host on an episode of Saturday Night Live, you might have expected her BFF Nicole to be happy for her. But there was one problem. Paris was hosting the show all on her own. It might have made sense to fans to have the two of them hosting together, but obviously, SNL producers didn’t see it that way.
This totally ticked off Nicole, or so the rumors claim. According to sources, Nicole got even by throwing a party to celebrate her friend’s SNL stint in which she screened Paris’ tape. Yes, the tape that had recently gone viral after her ex, Rick Salomon, leaked it. At least, that’s what everyone believed happened. But is it all a bunch of nonsense? Or is there some truth?
It seemed pretty clear that only someone close to Paris could have gotten their hands on her personal belongings and leaked the tape. So obviously, Paris was dealing with a lot of heartbreak at the time. And she felt like her supposed best friend had gone way too far if the rumors about Nicole's party were true.
According to a source, Paris was pretty hurt by what happened, and she felt that Nicole owed her an apology for streaming her tape at that now infamous party. Not that it would have made a difference. When something like this happens in Hollywood, it tends to do one of two things: it will make your career skyrocket like it did with Kim Kardashian's, or it will ruin you forever. But here’s the thing: Nicole’s reps deny the incident ever happened!
Everyone was quick to jump on the bandwagon that Nicole had done something wrong. But her friends told People that there was another reason why she and Paris had stopped being friends.
Apparently, tension had risen because Nicole was no longer the wild child she used to be when her friendship with Paris was at its prime. She was no longer drinking and was spending a lot more time with her fiancé at the time, the late Adam Goldstein. At the time, he was all she could think about. So there didn’t seem to be room in her life for Paris.
Nicole and Paris had two different perspectives when it came to The Simple Life. Nicole saw the series as a business that was separate from her personal life. But Paris couldn’t differentiate between her working relationship and her personal one with Nicole. So once the onscreen reality stars called a time out on their friendship, a reconciliation between these two seemed impossible.
But people still wanted to know what had driven this dynamic duo apart in the blink of an eye. So eventually, Nicole set the record straight to put any annoying rumor to rest.
By this point, the socialites could barely stand each other, or so it seemed. In November 2005, Nicole went on the Today show and spoke briefly about the feud. When asked about what caused the fight between the two, Nicole stated that they had simply grown apart and suggested that the things they once shared together were simply not part of her life anymore.
But Nicole did shoot down rumors that Paris was trying to replace her on The Simple Life with Kimberly Stewart. By this point, it seemed like all hope for a reconciliation was lost, and for a time, it was.
A year after her interview on The Today Show, Nicole and Paris were spotted on a dinner date at the LA restaurant Dan Tana’s. It seemed that they had put their two-year feud and the past behind them over Caesar salads and penne pasta. They were invested in repairing the friendship that had dramatically shattered overnight.
Diners claimed the two of them looked like besties again and there was no sign of animosity. They laughed out loud and were very happy hanging with each other and when they left the restaurant, they did so hand-in-hand.
The media was having a field day with the hopes of a reconciliation, but Hilton’s publicist, Elliot Mintz, told People, “They had a meal last night. It’s not my place to say what was discussed or the nature of the meal. But it’s a good thing when people have a meal together.”
Obviously, he couldn't go ahead and say that the two had put aside their past differences. That would have been a little premature. They weren’t exactly BFFs again. So for the time being, Mintz suggested that people just wait and see.
Paris and Nicole’s friendship was difficult on fans, but the breakup also ricocheted and hit The Simple Life. The show’s producers were scrambling to figure out how to save the show. The only thing that could have possibly helped is if the two could have mended their friendship, but the stars had refused to work together.
Despite this, a fourth season of The Simple Life was filmed. However, if you’ve seen it then you may have noticed that Paris and Nicole shared very little time onscreen. And yet somehow, they managed to squeeze a fifth season out of the show too.
Producers were stumped, but FOX still had a plan to bring Paris and Nicole back together to do another season of The Simple Life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite the hit the network expected. Producer Jon Murray wanted to put the two on a deserted island with other survivalists. But Paris and Nicole were able to agree on one thing. They disliked the island concept, really badly, which sort of led to them rekindling their friendship.
But then a new idea popped up that fans hoped would give them an insight into the reality stars’ totally unpredictable friendship.
Instead of survivors on a deserted island, Nicole and Paris became camp counselors. That’s right, the socialites went camping, which was something Murray hoped viewers would learn to love.
But viewers only wanted to know one thing: would this season give them an insight into the complicated events that had been taking place over the past two years? Murray assured his fans that the show would focus on the misunderstandings that led to the two besties calling it quits. But the show wasn’t able to save their friendship.
Nicole and Paris’s personal lives tended to overlap with their professional lives, which created all sorts of logistical issues when they had their feud. Aside from making it difficult to work together, the two had some socially awkward moments, too.
Like the time when they showed up at the Hyde Lounge in LA but decided to ignore each other the whole time. A month later, they ran into each other in the MTV Video Music Awards green room, but the results were the same. They just weren’t speaking to one another and life for these two went from simple to impossible.
Although the former BFFs weren’t spotted together in public after that, Hilton did make an effort to reach out to her friend when she wished Nicole a happy birthday on IG. In fact, Nicole had received one of the most joyous happy birthday wishes from her former co-star when she turned 36.
Paris shared a couple of photos of her on IG, one of which included throwbacks to when the girls were younger and celebrating Halloween dressed as fairies, and later when they became reality stars. Their friendship might have been in a coma, but it hadn’t crossed over.
Paris wrote on Nicole’s IG, “Just wanted to let you know that I am so happy for & proud of you. Such a beautiful family you have created & loving your new TV show @NBCGreatNews, so hilarious!”
If Paris was still holding a grudge, she obviously wouldn’t have been watching her TV show let alone praising it on social media for the world to see. It seems that love really did conquer whatever it was that had separated these two besties. But that didn’t explain why Paris was a no show at one of Nicole’s most important days of her life.
In December 2010, Nicole got married to Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden. Her wedding was full of guests who undoubtedly lavished her with a bunch of gifts. But there was one person who was noticeably absent: Paris.
Reports claimed that she hadn’t been invited, but it turns out that she was. Unfortunately, Paris had another commitment that was planned months in advance and she couldn’t break it. But Paris made up for her lack of appearance by sending Nicole and Joel a wedding gift and wishing them the very best. And she wasn’t done expressing her love for Nicole.
In July 2014, Nicole told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live that she has nothing but love for Paris. She admitted that she hadn’t spoken to her in a while but that a true friend is one that’s there for you through and through. She added that she loved and respected Paris like family.
Then in November 2016, Paris did something that was so cute. While in Australia to promote her perfume Gold Rush, she gushed about Nicole in an interview saying that she always cracked her up because she’s the funniest person she’s ever met.
Nicole and Paris had a very public feud, but it appears to have ended and the former reality stars are now in a great place. In 2018, they reunited at the Daily Front Row Fashion Awards and made us nostalgic for The Simple Life days.
Photographers snapped the two of them together, but they looked a bit stiff. Then Hilton went online and told the world how much she loved Nicole. She even said that no one could make her laugh the way she could. She also added the hashtag #SanaSa, which the girls used to sing everywhere back when they were on the show. But what really stuck out was the hashtag #SimpleLifeReunion. If only!
Paris had planned to marry actor Chris Zylka, and yes, she confirmed that Nicole was invited to the wedding (duh!). But sadly, Paris and Chris called off their engagement. She appeared to be doing quite well despite the heartbreak. But she’s not shedding too many tears over it because she felt that her heart just wasn’t in it.
Paris fans know that she has a thing for Disney stories and love stories, but it looks like her happy ending will have to wait. But that’s quite all right. Men may come and go, but if she’s proven anything, it’s that her friendship to Nicole will live on forever.