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Nicole Richie: I Will Be Honest With My Kids About Past Drug Use

By David Konow 11/28/17

“What I can do is use that experience as a tool for when my kids get older. They know that people have died from drugs because they go to school and it happens.”

Nicole Richie

Reality TV star and fashion designer Nicole Richie says she has "no choice" but to be honest with her kids about her past substance use, because it's been so well-documented in the media.

As she told You Magazine, “My past is out there. I have no choice but to be honest.” Richie also said she will use her past as a way to hopefully steer her children, Harlow, 9, and Sparrow, 8, away from drugs.

“I mean, it is what it is,” she adds. “What I can do is use that experience as a tool for when my kids get older. They know that people have died from drugs because they go to school and it happens.”

When Richie was struggling, she couldn’t do it in private, which she later realized was a blessing in disguise. “I think getting into trouble and going through everything in the public eye was good because if I had cleaned up without anyone knowing, maybe I would have figured out how to slip back into it.” 

In 2007, Richie admitted, “At 18 I had just been doing a lot of cocaine.” She eventually went into treatment for it. She later began using heroin and was busted for possession in 2003. (Richie also made the news for a highly publicized DUI arrest in 2006.)

Richie would also seek treatment for an eating disorder that doctors called “in the realm of anorexia.” She told People in 2006, “I started seeing a nutritionist and a doctor. I was scared that it could be something more serious.”

In 2007, Richie, who was four months pregnant at the time, sat down with Diane Sawyer on 20/20 to talk about her drug use and how she decided to change her ways. “I, again, made the decision for myself, this is something I have to do," Richie told Sawyer. "I have to get off drugs. This isn’t the life... this was heroin.”

Richie explained to Sawyer that she got into trouble with drugs due to growing up in a life of privilege. “I got so much so fast that nothing really excited me anymore. I kind of took matters into my own hands and was creating drama in a very dangerous way.”

When it comes to talking to her children about drugs and addiction, Richie told You Magazine that she and her husband, Good Charlotte lead singer/guitarist Joel Madden, are going to “ease into it later on down the line. We’re starting with, ‘Mummy got grounded a lot.’”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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