Nicole Richie and adorable Harlow on the cover of People

Even in the first photographs of little Harlow Richie Madden, you could see that the girl had personality. She just has such an expressive face, like she finds the world funny. Her mom Nicole Richie, 27, has gone through her public trials with drug abuse and multiple DUIs and has come out the other side intact and healthy, if still a bit thin. You can tell that Nicole dotes on nine month old Harlow and that having a baby has really changed her attitude, outlook, and life. In the article to accompany her cover story in People, Nicole’s boyfriend and Harlow’s dad, Joel Madden, talks about what a great mom she is and how she works hard for their little daughter:

She purees her own green beans and records her daughter’s every smile in a journal – making her “the best mom I’ve ever seen,” Joel Madden, speaking in PEOPLE’s latest cover story (on sale Friday), raves about girlfriend Nicole Richie.

Richie and Madden just moved into a new L.A. home after spending the summer touring with Madden’s Good Charlotte band, and are in the midst of organizing an Oct. 19 walk in L.A. to help end family homelessness. But when they spoke with PEOPLE, what they really enjoyed talking about was their 9-month-old, Harlow.

Nicole: “Harlow’s a delicate soul. She studies people. She’s very coy. People say that she and I make the same expressions. But everyone says she looks like Joel.”

Joel: “I’m cool with it, as long as she doesn’t look like me in a wig when she’s 16. I like that she looks like me – it’s my get-out-of-jail-free card.”

Nicole (on maternal responsibilities): “I think my sense of self is still the same. But I don’t do things, we do things. I work around her.”

Joe: “Nicole is completely dedicated. I do whatever she tells me to do. I’m cool with that. She’s really good with the baby. I’m really good with finances. All of Harlow’s education and all that stuff, I already have planned.”

Nicole (on marriage plans): “When we get married, everyone will know. It will happen when it happens.

Joel (on having more kids): “If it could be as easy as Harlow, sure.”

[From People]

One thing that’s also changed for Nicole and Joel is their dedication to charity. They founded the Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation right before Harlow was born and have since raised thousands for charity. Their current campaign is dedicated to building a playground at the facility for homeless families, Beyond Shelter, in Los Angeles. You can help and donate $5 by texting CHILD to 90999. Here’s a link to a video that features Nicole visiting with the children and families there. (It’s set to music and there isn’t talking until the end when a little girl recites a poem.)

Nicole really has changed her life around since becoming a mother and she’s sincere about it. You can see how that adorable little girl would provide plenty of inspiration.

Now that Nicole and Joel have moved they’re just a bit farther from Joel’s twin, Benji, and his girlfriend, Paris Hilton. Benji used to live right down the street and his proximity was said to be annoying Nicole after he took up with Paris. If Paris and Benji have kids together Nicole will never escape her.

Nicole Richie is shown out at DUI class on 10/6/08. Credit: VAH/Fame Pictures

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33 Responses to “Nicole Richie and adorable Harlow on the cover of People”

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  1. Candy says:

    awww she’s such a cutie ! what a lovely kid! I love it that she’s chubby and happy. Seems like NR is doing well, too. By the by, baby looks just like daddy. She’s adorable.

  2. vdantev says:

    Baby’s head is almost as big as mommy’s.

  3. anony says:

    I never really liked her but she seems stable now and looks beautiful. She has interesting features and really has never looked better. Gorgeous.

  4. Syko says:

    Baby heads ARE bigger than adult heads, proportionately.

    This is one cute little girl. No doubt who the daddy is.

  5. Cinderella says:

    Joel can’t deny that little cutie.

    It must drive Paris batshit crazy that Nicole and Harlow are getting all of this attention.

  6. Kaiser says:

    Man, Harlow really looks like her dad. I hate to say anything bad about babies, but for that alone, poor kid.

  7. Alecto says:

    Looks like everybody including Nicoles genes have forgotten that she’s African American. Funny how a blond haird blue eyed baby has Black as her race on her birth certificate.

  8. Lane says:

    Her life as a mom? Ugh. Can’t stand this trash.

  9. Chamalla says:

    Alecto – Nicole was adopted.

  10. Leandra says:

    Anyone that helps people in need are okay in my book. Haters will grasp at any straw to find something nasty to say.

  11. WTF?!?! says:

    Nicole was adopted, but her biological father was black.

  12. Sarah says:

    Nicole was adopted by Lionel Richie and his wife (who he is now divorced from). Nobody actually knows who her real birth father is and Nicole has never confirmed that she knows who he is. How do you know she is part African American??

  13. Bodhi says:

    Well thats the miracle of genetics for ya. Nic is fair skinned & her baby daddy is Casper pale, of course their child will have light skin. Who the hell cares & why the fuck does it matter anyway?

  14. aleach says:

    i think nicole looks great! she isnt so scarry skinny and really looks healthy. motherhood has been good to her. and harlow is just a doll.
    i like nicole richie and think shes got a good head on her shoulders when shes away from all those influences she hung out with years ago when she was a party girl.

  15. MomInNH says:

    I read somewhere that Lionel confirmed that Nicole’s birth parents were a white woman and a mixed heritage father. Nowhere in the interview did he say that her birth father was black. Not that it should make a difference.

    Nicole looks so much healthier since she’s had Harlow. I’m so happy for her!!

  16. Alecto says:

    I don’t think that skin color should make a difference anywhere. I was only trying to point out that years of bleaching skin and hair straightner she looks like she’s pretty much caucasion decent. If you look at earlier pics of her she looks like she’s of mix decent. Which she is by the way. Yes I know that she was adopted. But I was only trying to point out the unfairness that in La. if you are of 1/32 black then you are black. I don’t know how it is in Ca. but that’s how it is in my redneck community. Things need to change about race. Everywhere. Everybody needs to be considered one race of humanity. Cause it all gets fugged up with the details.

  17. prissa says:

    I’ve read that Peter Michael Escovedo III (Shelia E’s brother) is Nicole’s father, even though she denies it. Her birth name is Nicole Camille Escovedo and she has a good relationship with Sheila E (who would be her aunt if this was true). So depending on who her mother is that would make her Latino mixed with ???? To me, she looks like she could be mixed with black (we come in all shades… my daugher has red hair and porcelin skin, but she’s “black”) so maybe her mom is black or mixed with black??? Anyway, she looks great, is doing SO much better :-) and Harlow is very cute mixed or not.

  18. prissa says:

    I think we should all be considered AMERICANS, keeping the distinctions just keeps prejudices alive. I don’t agree that Nicole has bleached her skin or straightened her hair. I’ve seen pictures when she was a kid (like 7 – 9) and she was just as fair skinned and had fine-textured hair.

  19. gg says:

    sez wiki:

    Early life and family

    Nicole Richie was born Nicole Camille Escovedo in Berkeley, California. Because of her birth surname, she is well-rumored to be the biological daughter of Afro-Latin American Mexican percussionist Peter Escovedo III, however her birth father has not been identified publicly. Her birth mother has been identified only as a woman who was employed as a backstage assistant on Lionel Richie’s 1980 world tour; Escovedo was a member of Richie’s band. In a November 15, 2005 CNN interview with Ryan Seacrest, Richie stated that her birth father (whom she declined to identify) was not a member of Lionel’s band. Richie still speaks with her biological mother but has no contact with her biological father. Richie also denied that Escovedo was her biological father in a November 2005 Jane magazine interview.

    Lionel Richie first met Nicole as a child playing tambourine on stage at a Prince concert. Richie became her guardian. At age two, Nicole went to live with Lionel Richie and his wife, Brenda Harvey-Richie, who began to raise her as their daughter. When she was three years old, Nicole began attending weekly sessions with a psychotherapist and remained in therapy throughout her childhood. She was legally adopted by the Richies when she was nine.

  20. aspen says:

    Wow…self-loathe much? My parents live in southern Arkansas where Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas share the corner. There’s a bunch of cute little mixed babies down there, too, Honey, so I’m not sure why you care what color Nicole Richie’s skin is.

  21. kate says:

    nicole is as cute as a button, and hopefully harlow will not take after her daddy, cause he is not cute as a button. but it is cool that nic seems to have calmed down, doing the charity thing, etc. she looks really happy. and you know paris is hating it, which makes me love it all the more!

  22. cara says:

    That baby is absolutely adorable. I really hope these guys make it against such odds. (the same odds ALL couples have) I’ve met the Maddens, waiting out the rain on the Haight and I think that they are good guys. (I wonder if they’d remember…street girl w/ two babies – well I’m safe, amazingly, and surprisingly suburban now boys if you do)

    I think it’s great that after all, they weren’t just passing through, they remembered the homeless and are giving back in such a major way. Very cool.

    P.S I was an adopted baby of the ’70′s and my birth certificate says caucasion, (as well as my adopted parents as my parents ?!?!) and I found my bmom and know now, that that is not true, my dad was a black native american. So Prissa, I’m with you,enough already, we’re all Americans. For some reason this whole p.s makes me think of slaughterhouse-five.

  23. Amy says:

    Not that this should matter at all, but I’ve seen exactly one episode of the Simple Life and Nicole stated herself that she’s black.

  24. xiaoecho says:

    I prefer Nicole skinny and angst ridden but I’m in the minority so that’s alright. Harlow reminds me of Katie Price’s baby Princess Tiiami —if thats how you spell it

  25. ab says:

    everyone on the planet is of mixed race…I cannot believe how off topic this discussion has become. Harlow is adorable and Nicole looks good and happy. Harlow does look like Joel. A match of what happens when you have children. Blending of all.

  26. Carrie says:

    Kind of odd that her birth certificate names her Escovedo if she’s nothing to do with the guy….who just *happens* to be working with her adoptive father at the time of her conception……

  27. gg says:

    @ aspen: Who are you riding? I just posted a passage from wikipedia, for the edification of those above who were speculating.

    I think a lot of the vitriol above is based on the fact that Nicole in the past has delighted in causing other actresses to feel really bad about themselves with her hate-spewing emails and messages to former friends and acquaintenances (and I’m not talking about Paris). She looks like she might have changed for the better. I certainly hope so.

  28. MomOfTwins says:

    “it’s my get-out-of-jail-free card.”

    lol… The baby was her get out of jail free card too!

    Can I ask one thing without being jumped on? Why is every comment section filled with people arguing back and forth? Someone makes a comment & it ends up spinning into a whole racial debate. I guess some people just like to argue.

  29. Tina says:

    Honestly, I don’t give a rat’s behind whether or not Nicole Richie is black or white. She is an attention whore. She and Paris deserve each other as BFFs. They must drive each other insane with who gets the most publicity.

  30. Codzilla says:

    Funny how Joel’s features looks so adorable on Harlow yet so dismal on him (and his douche brother). She really is a cute little baby.

  31. Newsflash says:

    uh..hello. NR is black!!!!!!!!!! where have you guys been? her father was african american, and her mother white. they were all apart of a band with LR…he went over all of this on Oprah, and so did she. she does not deny being black, and she quoted “she considers herself a black woman” her birth parents were young and unstable, LR already knew her from hanging around the studio at about 2. yes it’s apparent to me (as a blk woman) i know my people, and yes she’s bleached her skin. but she admits to being a black woman and that’s good enough for me. there are a lot of blk ppl with complexes about their complexion, she’s just another one/was another one. she’s doing great now, and yes the baby is considered blk. AMERICA follows the one drop that would make the baby african american…that isn’t a bad thing ppl! so what…my people are beautiful and unique. in my opinion biracial children (blk & white) are the most beautiful creations ever… yet we despise each other so much!

  32. gg says:

    Speak for yourself about the despising so much. I don’t have such a compunction, myself.

  33. Tyne says:

    Nicole Richie is a black woman…has no one seen her childhood photos? White kids do not have hair like that! Hello! Though I do not believe that she is all black either; and her child is a quadroon not black!