It only took one night to end Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's lucrative friendship.

In the early 2000’s Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were the world’s most famous friendship duo, until their relationship seemingly came to an abrupt end.

This week, in a video series for British Vogue, the 41-year-old business owner and DJ explained how she brought her childhood best friend Nicole Richie onto the 2003 reality series The Simple Life, a show which launched both their careers. 

"One day I got a call from my agents and they said that they wanted my sister and I to go to the middle of nowhere and live on a farm and basically have our phones and money and everything taken away," Paris said in the video.

"And my sister Nicky immediately said no. The first person I thought of was Nicole Richie. She's been my best friend since we were two years old." 

So how did these two nepo-babies go from monetizing their friendship on a worldwide scale to filming separately and not speaking for years?

Allow us to explain. 

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's start as reality TV BFFs.

Paris and Nicole met when they were kids, as the heirs of two Hollywood dynasties: the Hiltons and the Richies. 

Into their 20s, they became the inseparable twosome that the paparazzi loved to photograph in the early '00s, leading to the duo landing their own reality show in 2003, The Simple Life.

To say that The Simple Life was iconic would be a gross understatement. From the fashion to the quotable moments ("loves it" and "that's hot!" are just the beginning) and the pair's chaotic antics, the reality series – which made Paris and Nicole work regular jobs – was comedic excellence. 


The pair in 2004. Image: Getty.

During the first few seasons, the pair remained close. They even dated Good Charlotte's twin brothers, Joel and Benji Madden, at around the same time, with Nicole eventually marrying the former. 

While the series aired, Paris was considered the more popular of the pair. Nicole was often mocked as Paris' oddball sidekick, and the Hilton heir was inundated with more film and TV opportunities, which brings us to...


The friendship turns sour. 

In 2005, Paris hosted Saturday Night Live – a move that would be the beginning of the end of their friendship.

Rumours has it Paris didn't invite Nicole to the filming, and thanks to that snub, Nicole showed the heiress' sex tape to a group of people at a watch party. Not cool if true. 

Paris did little to sway the rumour in an interview. "It’s no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends," Paris told PEOPLE in 2005. "Nicole knows what she did, and that’s all I’m ever going to say about it."

For her part, Nicole told the Today show that she and Paris "just grew apart". "[It] just turned into a much bigger thing than it is. It’s just not part of my life.”

But the warring reality stars refused to film the next season of The Simple Life together, meaning that for season four, Paris and Nicole filmed their scenes apart, each spending a week in a different household.

In the final episode, Paris sent Nicole a "we have to talk" text which Nicole answered "so talk" but the show was left on a cliffhanger.

A brief ratings reunion.

But never fear! The reality stars reunited in 2007 for another The Simple Life season... and they appeared to have rebuilt their friendship. 

"I don't even know why we're fighting. I think it's just the tabloids," Paris told Nicole in the season five premiere. 

Nicole responded, "I just want to let you know half the things that the tabloids said that I said were not true."

Despite this on-air reunion, the two were simply no longer the package deal they once were, and their careers went in different directions. Paris pursued film and music while Nicole became something of a '00s fashion icon. Her boho style, oversized sunglasses and flowing maxi dresses became her signature look, and she would go on to start her own brand, House of Harlow.


Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's friendship gets back on track (for real this time). 

During a 2014 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Nicole said that she still considered Paris one of her friends.

"Paris is somebody that's been in my life since day one. I haven't spoken to her in 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 every day, somebody that you can call when you need them and they're just going to be there," she said at the time.

"An idea of a true friend is somebody that's going to be there with you through and through."

Then in November 2022, Nicole was a guest at Paris' wedding to Carter Reum, with photos of the former besties laughing together circulated widely online.

In April 2023, Paris was among the celebrity guests at Nicole's sister Sofia Richie's French Riviera wedding to Elliot Grainge. Nicole and Paris posed together in cute photos with the bride.

BFFs forever? Loves it!

Feature image: Getty.

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