Nicole Richie talks about going to jail; says she wasn’t in “opium den” before

The new issue of People Magazine features Nicole Richie and 6 week-old baby Harlow on the cover. In the accompanying interview, Richie and her boyfriend, Joel Madden, talked about their experiences having a baby and how it changed their lives. Both Nicole and Joel said that the baby helped bring their family closer together, and that their parents and Joel’s brother are a big help. As for how her life has changed, she said that it’s like she doesn’t remember what it was like before, but it’s not like she “was in an opium den.”

Nicole admits that she struggles with her identity now that she’s had a baby. She said “I used to be fun! What if I’m not fun anymore?” She concedes that she’s still fun but just in a different way.

In terms of whether Nicole is going back to work, she said she has a lot of projects underway including a perfume, clothing line, maternity, children’s line and jewelry line:

What was the experience of going to jail like when you were pregnant?
Joel: For her and for me, it was just like, “Let’s just get this over with,” Nicole was just doing what she had to do, doing the right thing, going in and facing it and taking care of it. We wanted to close that chapter.
Nicole: And move on.

Do you feel healed? You said getting pregnant saved your life.
Nicole: Did I?
Joel: So dramatic

You said it to Diane Sawyer
Nicole: Now that I look back on it, I was a different person last year than I am now. And listen, sometimes I’ll be here and I’ll think to myself, “I used to be fun! What if I’m not fun anymore?” I have all these feelings. But you know what? I am who I am. I’m still fun, just not in that way.
Joel: People have this perception that Nicole was, like, in an opium den.
Nicole: And I wasn’t
Joel: She made some mistakes. But look at where we’re from. I’m in a rock and roll band. Nicole is who she is. It’s not like we had to give so much up because of the baby. It’s just time to be parents.

Do you plan to go back to work anytime soon?
Joel: She’s working on a perfume, she’s working on a clothing line.
Nicole: A maternity line and a children’s line. And a jewelry line. I’m doing it with Mouawad (Thanks KatyAlia for the designer name)

[From People Magazine, print edition, March 10, 2008, transcribed from scans available on PopSugar]

Nicole says earlier in the interview that she doesn’t have a nanny, and that she doesn’t deserve criticism for going out occasionally because Harlow is with family when she’s out and she’s with her all the time otherwise.

Do you have help at home?
We don’t have a nanny. We have our moms. They’ve helped us a lot.
Nicole: And we have to give credit to Benji. He lives six houses down. He babysits, like really babysits.
Joel: There was a day when I’d been at work all day and Nicole hadn’t left the house for 48 hours, and I was like “Let’s go to a restaurant down the street,” and Benji was with the baby. Then someone said they read somewhere that we were out all the time. It’s crazy. You leave the house for one hour and everyone’s like “She’s out! She’s leaving the baby!”

[From People Magazine, print edition, March 10, 2008, transcribed from scans available on PopSugar]

At one point Nicole is asked if Harlow has met Paris Hilton and you can almost see her roll her eyes when she answered “Yeah. They went to the Ivy. Just kidding.” She then talked in general terms about how her friends are reverent and careful around the baby, but didn’t mention Paris again.

It’s clear that a baby only changes you so much. It doesn’t take away your personality.

Congratulations to Nicole and Joel on their new arrival.

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