Star: Nicole Richie and Joel Madden are fighting, “she feels like a single parent”

This week’s issue of Star floats the theory that Nicole Richie and Joel Madden have hit a rough patch in their marriage even though they’ve only been married for about year. Of course, the couple dated for four years prior to marriage and are parents to two toddlers, Harlow and Sparrow. So to an outsider, these two eventually wed because they realized they were meant for each other, right? Well, anyone who’s been married can tell you that the after-wedding reality can sometimes feel altogether different than one imagined.

While I would ordinarily dismiss this story as symptomatic of an adjustment period in Nicole and Joel’s relationship, the photo evidence (or lack thereof) supports Star‘s story quite a bit. While the two of them used to regularly walk red carpets together, they haven’t done so since Paris Fashion Week in May (above), and they haven’t been papped in a casual setting since June (below) for a family lunch. Joel’s never been the kind of guy to broadly smile for the paps (unlike, say, Matt Bellamy), so I’ll take that into account here:

Here’s where it gets sketchy though. Over the past several months, Nicole has attended tons of events solo. Of course, this could merely function as evidence that Joel is at home taking care of the kids, but Star has spoken to an insider who says that Joel is basically never at home. He’s either jamming with the band or out on tour, and Nicole is doing all of the work with the kids. Now Joel’s new television gig is set to pull him away from his family for several months, and it sounds a lot like trouble:

The honeymoon is definitely over for Nicole Richie and Joel Madden. Just one year after they tied the knot, the parents of two are gearing up for a long separation while the Good Charlotte rocker serves on the panel of the Australian version of “The Voice” — and he’s leaving his L.A.-based wife behind fuming, an insider tells Star.

“Nicole was opposed to Joel’s doing “The Voice” form the start, because she doesn’t want to endure the months apart. But Joel isn’t listening. He insists that he needs to do it for his career and signed on without her OK, which set off a pretty nasty round of fighting,” says the insider, adding that the couple’s first anniversary on Dec. 11, was anything but a happy occasion. “They spent most of the day bickering about the show.”

A major reason Nicole, 30, is against Joel’s move Down Under is that she’s set to appear as a mentor on the NBC reality show “Fashion Star” beginning in early 2012. “She really can’t go with him to Australia, but also she just doesn’t want to,” says the insider. “Nicole relies on her family and friends in L.A. to help out with the kids, especially since Joel often isn’t around to pull his weight.”

Indeed, the pair’s relationship was already strained due to Joel’s hectic schedule. “He’s usually either huddled in the studio or on tour,” the insider explains. So perhaps it’s not surprising that Nicole partied like a single woman — sans Joel — at a VuQo Vodka event dejayed by her pal Samantha Ronson in L.A. on Dec. 13. Says the insider: “Nicole complains all the time that she feels like a single parent.”

“Nicole accuses Joel of being married to his music and his career rather than her,” says an insider.

[From Star, print edition, January 2, 2012]

Naturally, Nicole knew that she was marrying a rock star who would be away on tour for much of the time, but it still seems like she’s getting a raw deal if this story is correct. I hope it’s all just contrived nonsense on the part of Star (which might have merely taken Joel’s new employment situation and fabricated the rest); but Joel’s not exactly going out of his way to support his wife on the red carpet either, so there might be some truth to it all. Previously, Nicole has spoken of marriage in terms of her being able to get away with more, but does that also apply to Joel as well?

Photos courtesy of WENN and Fame

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50 Responses to “Star: Nicole Richie and Joel Madden are fighting, “she feels like a single parent””

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  1. Talie says:

    Motherhood definitely saved her. Unlike Paris, she seems to have transitioned very well into her 30s and being less famous.

  2. Dani says:

    Is he touring by himself? I just read that Good Charlotte is on hiatus.

  3. imabrat says:

    No. Say it isn’t so.

  4. constance says:


  5. dcdiva says:

    Just read that Nicole’s moving with the kids to Australia (?) for Joel’s TV gig and she’s been busy getting ready to launch something-or-other so them not being together all the time doesn’t necessarily mean anything. They have careers to manage. What couple is together all time anyway?

  6. Guesty says:

    I would love it if her lap band surgery were exposed…someone tell Rachel Zoe to get on that. “Better body after baby” my ass.

    She’s still every inch the mean bitch she ever was, calling other women fat (Jessica Simpson; apparently you can nearly see the tension in their upcoming fashion show), isolating others when she’s done with them (Zoe, Barton, even arguably the despicable Paris Hilton). I’m glad she’s not coked while driving anymore (…presumably), but I’ll give kudos to people that aren’t slightly less evil versions of a herpetic hound-faced sex-tape innovator.

    • sandra says:

      Is that what she did – lap band surgery??

    • RocketMerry says:

      I have a hard time believing she’s a saved woman, too. Just something about her that strikes me as “not so nice person”, to put it delicately.
      Still, not very nice on Joel’ s part to leave the hard parenting work to her (if this is true), especially since I read somewhere that’s what his own father did (I think it was one of his interviews, so I’ll take it as reliable).
      Anyways, kids remember those things, you know, who was there and who was off doing “career” and other things, and eventually they cut off the dead weight. I know I did.

    • Alejandro says:

      Yep she still gives off a see you next Tuesday vibe.

  7. lisa says:

    I hope this is not true. but I don’t believe the tabloids. So this could be their way of focusing on other couples. They have run certain stories in the ground; Wrong about them for years.

    Nicloe and Joel are really cute together, and their two kids are stinking cute. Harlow is like some other world cute to me. He cheeks and eyes. They have my second favorite celebrity kids.

    anyway I call BS. the tabloids are wrong 95% of the time. the only 5% is when the celebrities leak or give interviews.

  8. normades says:

    Wow, he is short.

  9. barb333 says:

    I hope it’s not true. Kind of like her now. She still seems like she could be a bitch, but a responsible Bitch which makes it o.k..

  10. Enn says:

    Are his tats all photoshopped out in the first pic?

  11. Bubulle says:

    I just don’t like her, She maybe married with children but I think she’s still this mean girl who loves to make fun of others.

  12. danielle says:

    Honestly, she’s not a favorite of mine. Kudos to her for turning her life around, but she still seems like a mean girl at heart.

  13. Embee says:

    If he did make that big of a unilateral decision (working in Australia for an extended period) she has every right to be severely pissed. It’s completely unfair to screw with someone else’s life like that.

  14. Turtle Dove says:

    I don’t buy it. Some couples don’t need to do the pap photo thing. Nicole has done great post reality show and I for one am glad that she’s doing so well. She always seemed like the sweeter one, and as far as her isolating those old friends… it’s best that she did as they seem to have a lot of their own problems.

    • Bubulle says:

      Are you kidding Turtle Dove? Nicole Richie is a pure real tv product, she would be nothing without the paparazzis, she has sold every aspect of her life to the magazines. She just has decided to market herself in a different way, she’s used to be known as a wild child, and now she’s selling herself like a responsible mother of two, but it doesn’t change the fact that she’s famous for no real reason and needs the paparazzis to stay relevant just like the Kardashians.

      • Katija says:

        I must be missing something then since I haven’t been over saturated with Nicole Ritchie news over the last couple of years.

  15. Jennifer12 says:

    They were together and had kids years before they married, so I wonder why he is suddenly not pulling his weight?

  16. Dominique says:

    That’s not Joel in that picture from June. It’s his twin brother Benji, just to clarify.

  17. bluhare says:

    So basically we have two people who don’t want to compromise. Well that’s what marriage is about, and if you can’t compromise you might as well start splitting the china and crystal now.

  18. Kim says:

    She complains she feels like a single parent?? She doesnt have a clue what its REALLY like to be a single parent. She gets Joels time & money and even if he travels alot he is still in picture more often than not. She has help which she can afford because if her and her husbands money. Most single moms arent rolling in the dough and have no outside help. She should be grateful for what she has as should he.

  19. serena says:

    Those new boobs were useless then.

    • Violet says:

      That was my first thought, too! It made me sad that she got implants. I always thought she had enough self-esteem to be happy with her body, so I guessed that her marriage was making her insecure.

    • Miffits says:


  20. Skinnybetch says:

    Being a single mom with millions in the bank must be so hard. Waaaaahhhh!

  21. Elizabeth says:

    I always have to wonder about couples who get together and then she gets pregnant shortly afterwards. So they decide they are a real couple and have another kid or two and then get married somewhere along the way. But I wonder if they would have lasted more than six months if there was no baby. So now two people who really aren’t that compatible feel they are stuck together and all the differences start to surface. When they got together, she was the mess and he was the stable one, so maybe its changed now. She doesn’t need a “daddy” anymore and he doesn’t like her telling him what to do. Who knows?

  22. ShanKat says:

    I doubt she’d be in Australia when “Fashion Star” debuts. She has to do PR for it. Since Jessica is about to crap out that babeh, Nicole will be the PR point person.

    Joel Madden is a tool. I’ve heard so many stories about his extramarital, “on tour” love life. Lovelovelove GC, though. Such great poprocks.

  23. the original bellaluna says:

    Honey, hubs commutes 2 hours each way and leaves at 4 a.m. He works long hours (without benefits, at a moderate wage) and then fights traffic to get home before our toddler is in bed. He’s also trying to get a home-based business off the ground.

    I don’t work outside the home (and I consider myself truly lucky, as I was a single mom for several years with my 2 older kids), so I do all the laundry; all the cleaning; all the parenting (while he’s gone) or working from home; most of the cooking, and all without a car because we only have the one 10 year-old car (that’s paid off & we pray keeps running).

    Bitch, please. Don’t whine at us have-nots. We don’t want to hear it. She was with him for YEARS before choosing (yes, CHOOSING) to marry him. Did they never discuss this-type stuff?

    • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

      My husband owns his own business (works 6 days a week and gets home around 7 pm every night). I’m lucky to have my mom’s help (she takes the kids when I get called into work). However, we both work long or erratic hours and have no pension or health benefits (which we pay $13,200 a year out of pocket for). I hope your husband is able to get his business off of the ground, that way you and the kids get to spend more time with him (and you can take the car and get a break). Love ya!

  24. Lauren says:

    You can discuss issues, but after you get married, men do whatever they want. A lot of mothers feel like Single Moms, even if you are married. I know a doctor who is the breadwinner of the family (Cancer specialist-surgeon) and she is pissed cause her hubby makes her stay all up all night with their baby after working 18 hour shifts! If we want it ALL, women usually end up doing it ALL. Sadly, sometimes the hubby is jealous of the baby! Be careful who you procreate with.

  25. meow says:

    That’s not even a picture of Joel!!! That’s Joel’s twin brother Benji. He babysits their kids fairly often and is one of Nicole’s best friends. Benji is shorter and has neck tattoos unlike Joel.

  26. lol says:

    I think NIcole swings both ways.. Samantha RONSON for one.

  27. irishserra says:


  28. Chrissy says:

    This one rings true to me. He wants more celebrity than just being her husband. That is why he was in a rock band- to be famous.

  29. misstrishm says:

    I never got her appeal. But those two did make some cute kids.

  30. skuddles says:

    Hope this doesn’t turn into one of those stories where it turns out he’s too busy dicking chicks on the sly to be a proper husband and father….

  31. Ent says:

    I’m pretty sure the guy in the second picture is Benji though.

  32. Nina says:

    Yeah,that’s Benji.

  33. nnn says:

    Joel is a good person. If anyone pays attention to the stuff he posts he is at home QUITE often. She goes out to events more than him. Does he really want to go to 100 fashion events? Probably not. He’d rather keep the company of his own children instead of calling the babysitter all the time. On tour… Joel passes out on the bus first or in the hotel watching Netflix. He doesn’t party out. Trust me. Try meeting him after a show he falls asleep face against the window drooling away. He is a dedicated father. Nicole can be a huge bitch and it’s no secret. Having to deal with every minute being some kind of bother, I’m sure he doesn’t mind her going out to do her own thing. Besides. Joel has female friends who’ve known him for years. He not allowed to have friends? What about all the stuff Nicole did in the past? She’s still friends some of those shady people. and her “gays” …are they really gay? Whatever. Stop knocking Joel. He’s a good guy. Let’s not forget how he trucked the kids around on a tour that was planned months in advance when she decided to go to France and then come home and attend Britney Spears concert and clubbed with Paris this past June…

  34. Bianca says:

    I love Joel.