Nicole Richie & Joel Madden fighting over her friendship w/ Rachel Zoe

The National Enquirer claims that Nicole Richie and Joel Madden are fighting like cats and dogs. My first assumption was that Joel’s heart wasn’t into it, but as it turns out, Joel is committed. So committed he’s demanding that Nicole end her friendship with someone he sees as destructive, and a horrible influence. That person is Rachel Zoe, celebrity stylist, star of Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project, and professional whack-job. I’m saying that as a devoted fan of The Rachel Zoe Project – Zoe knows everything about clothes, but beyond that, she is a horrible, limited, selfish, vapid person. It’s actually great television.

After the styling stuff, Rachel is most famous for the rumors of her handing out diet pills to her clients, and encouraging them to cultivate eating disorders, all for fashion and fame. Where Hollywood’s motto is “You can never be too rich or too thin”, Zoe’s philosophy is “You can never be too thin.” On The Rachel Zoe Project, she never eats, not even for the cameras. She just downs copious amounts of coffee and mohair.

It seems that Nicole cut Rachel Zoe out of her life around May 2007, when Nic found out she was pregnant, and became a rehab out-patient. According to the National Enquirer, this was when Joel gave Nicole an ultimatum to clean up and cut out every bad influence. It seems that Nicole did just that, because within a few months she seemed utterly transformed and healthy. The following January (of 2008) Nicole gave birth to Harlow, who was totally healthy. Since then, Nicole has been maintaining a healthy weight, and has seemed drug-free and well-adjusted. But Joel fears that Nicole’s past behavior may come back, especially since Nicole has resumed her friendship with Rachel Zoe:

At a time when Nicole Richie and Joel Madden should be picking out baby names, they’re instead locked in a bitter feud over Nicole’s renewed friendship with celebrity fashion stylist Rachel Zoe.

Joel believes Rachel, star of Bravo’s “The Rachel Zoe Project,” is partially to blame for Nicole’s struggles with an eating disorder – and he’s fuming that the two women have reconnected, say sources close to the couple.

“Joel is very protective of the mother of his child, and he thinks Rachel is a terrible influence on Nicole,” an insider told the Enquirer. “He and Nicole have had some pretty heated arguments over the issue.”

Nicole broke off her personal and professional relationship with pin-thin Rachel in November 2006 amid claims that the fashion maven was an unhealthy influence. It was also around the time that she and Joel started dating.

The former “simple Life” star also entered rehab on an outpatient basis to focus on nutrition and proclaimed she “wanted to surround herself with positive people and influences.”

Just weeks later, Nicole posted a thinly veiled jibe at Rachel on her MySpace page, referring to her as “raisin face,” saying she “hides her deathly disorder by pointing the finger at me.”

Despite Joel’s steady influence and a period of recovery and healthy weight gain, Nicole continued to drift off-course. In May 2007, 5-foot-2-inch Nicole – pregnant and weighing just 83 pounds – checked into rehab to battle a prescription pill addiction and anorexia.

“Joel gave her an ultimatum and threatened to leave her unless she cleaned up,” said the insider. “He associates that nightmare period of Nicole’s life – the pills and the dieting – with Rachel. He is convinced that she corrupted Nicole.”

Rachel, who has styled weight-challenged starlets Lindsay Lohan and Mischa Barton, has fought back against charges that she’s encouraged clients to use dangerous weight-loss aids.

But the insider insisted, “Joel doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that as soon as Nicole erased Rachel from her life, she got healthy and gained 20 pounds.”

“Now with Rachel back in the picture, he’s scared of Nicole relapsing.”

Nicole, already mom to 16-month-old daughter Harlow, is expecting her second child with the Good Charlotte rocker this summer. She reunited with Rachel in November 2008 because she thought it was time to “forgive and forget” and because she believed Rachel could be an asset as she launches her new fashion and accessories line, says the insider.

Nicole has assured Joel that she’s in a different place in her life now and won’t fall back into her dangerous habits, but Joel refuses to drop the issue.

“It’s a shame that Nicole and Joel are bickering when they should be bursting with happiness over the impending arrival of their second child,” added the insider.

“But Rachel has become a big sticking point in their relationship.”

[From The National Enquirer, print edition, May 18]

I think there’s a lot to the idea that Nicole re-friended Rachel because Nic “believed Rachel could be an asset as she launches her new fashion and accessories line.” If it’s just business, Nicole is being smart. Rachel’s good word can launch a new clothing or accessories line.

I’m a huge fan of this new-and-improved Nicole Richie, but I still worry about her. She got healthy very fast, and she put her life on track within a matter of months. I want to believe she’s going to stay healthy for Joel, Harlow, and the baby she’s carrying, but old habits die hard. I have to admit, a relapse might be possible. But Nicole’s weathered worse, so here’s hoping she comes out ahead, no matter what.

Nicole Richie and Joel Madden are shown out on 5/2/09. She is also shown with adorable Harlow on 4/28/09. Credit: Fame Pictures. Nicole and Joel are also shown at the launch of House of Harlow on 5/6/09. Credit: Johnny Louis/

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10 Responses to “Nicole Richie & Joel Madden fighting over her friendship w/ Rachel Zoe”

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  1. Bodhi says:

    I hope she stays away from Zoe, she is bad news

  2. guest says:

    so the zoe chick is the cult leader & nicole was one of her followers? riiight.

  3. okay... says:

    Diet pills? I’m pretty sure that Zoe is the “stylist, meth dealer” that was featured in a blind item from a couple of years back.

  4. cherryblossom says:

    Oh, I hope that if she’s spending time with Zoe it’s simply business…I kinda dig the new Nicole. She went from vapid little celebwhore to responsible adult in under a year.

    I clearly missed something, because why the hell is Joel blonde?!?!?! He looks like a chubby wayward Malfoy spawn.

  5. cara says:

    Well, Nic and J better not steal Scarlett Begonias (sp?) or else Zoe will go “BanAnaaaaaaaas”!

  6. Katharine Jaynes says:

    methamphetamines come in pill form its called adderoll.

    Nicole, Lindsay, and Rachel

  7. kiki says:

    i am very surprised that Joel is the Man he is, Nicole is lucky to have him. She must be too busy with joel her baby and another baby to be pals with a single Zoe. the way zoe talks is classic vapid monotone she does know her fashion thou Look at Zoes bulima jaw due to binging and purging the jaw unhindges hence big jaw and chimpmuck looking cheeks Zoes face is so haggard looking

  8. j. ferber says:

    As good as Joel’s intentions are, he’s treating her like a teenager telling her who her friends can or cannot be. He can suggest, but he cannot force. It’s out of line to do so.

  9. Dani says:

    Adderall pills are amphetamines, not methamphetamines. Pharmaceutical companies do not manufacture meth. Please educate yourselves.

  10. gg says:

    Oh I wish Joel would SHAVE already …