Sam Jones  /  FOX
Nicole Richie embarks on the ultimate road trip when "The Simple Life 2" debuts this year on FOX.
updated 6/23/2004 12:10:12 PM ET 2004-06-23T16:10:12

Her father was a "Commodore,"  her childhood friend is Paris Hilton, and her godfather is Michael Jackson.  At age 22, Nicole Richie has lived both the high life—and "The Simple Life"—but which does she prefer? 

Richie sits down with Deborah Norville, Thursday to discuss the ups and downs of fame and celebrity, as well as her role in Fox’s, "The Simple Life 2: Road Trip."

Born September 21, 1981 in California, Nicole is the daughter of a Latin percussionist. She was taken in by singer Lionel Richie and his first wife Brenda at age 3  and adopted by them by age 9.  During her time at the private school Buckley, she befriended heiress Paris Hilton. The two have been inseparable ever since.

“'Crazy' is the word,” Lionel Richie said of the pair, in a previous interview with Norville.  “We don‘t know what they‘re going to do from one day to the next!”

Richie, along with Hilton, was asked by FOX in early 2003 to star in the television series "The Simple Life." The reality show placed both girls on a farm in Altus, Arkansas where they lived with a family for a month.  The girls were stripped of their cash, cell phones, and credit cards, and were challenged to live (gasp!) middle class.

Before the series aired, Richie’s life took a dark turn when she was arrested in February 2003 and charged with heroin possession and driving with a suspended license.  She pleaded guilty to both, receiving probation and time in drug rehab. 

“To me, it was actually a great wake-up call for her,” said Lionel Richie.  “I know this may sound terrible, but I was glad it happened. I could no longer buffer her anymore and I wanted her to have a real life experience.”

This dark period was short-lived:  Not only has Richie been sober since the incident, "The Simple Life" turned out to be a hit.

Richie is also an aspiring singer and dancer. Right now, she is starring once again with Hilton in "The Simple Life 2: Road Trip." This time the girl’s colorful antics are caught on tape as they travel cross-country from Miami, Florida to Los Angeles, California.

Do you have a question for Nicole? E-mail us and we just might ask her your question!

Cathy Finkler contributed to this report.

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