Nicole Richie, whose drastic weight loss spawned speculation that she has an eating disorder, acknowledges she is “too thin” and is getting treatment to add pounds.
“I know I’m too thin right now, so I wouldn’t want any young girl looking at me and saying: ‘That’s what I want to look like’,” the 24-year-old Simple Life reality TV star told Vanity Fair’s June issue.
“I do know that they will, which is another reason I really do need to do something about it,” she said. “I’m not happy with the way I look right now.”
The 5ft 1in Richie was visibly healthier in 2003 when she began filming The Simple Life, which features Richie and ex-friend Paris Hilton thrown into normal jobs and responsibilities.
Richie, who has said she gained weight during a stint in rehab for heroin addiction, admitted she did not know how much she weighs today.
However, she said her eating habits were far from healthy: “I eat the worst foods – salty cheese-and-grease kind of stuff.”
Stress caused her to lose her appetite, she said, and her split in December from ex-fiancé Adam Goldstein, a professional club DJ who goes by the name DJ AM, did not help matters. “I had a bad break-up, and it eats me up inside when I’m upset about something,” said Richie, who is dating Goldstein again.
“I get really stressed out, and I do lose my appetite, but I do force myself to eat. I tried to put the weight on my way, eating burritos, but that wasn’t working, so I started seeing a nutritionist and a doctor,” Richie told Vanity Fair.
Dr Jeffery Wilkins, vice-chairman of the department of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, who treats Richie, said doctors were “working on a systematic plan to get more calories in, and we’re going to watch and see if it succeeds”.
“If it’s not anorexia, she should be able to gain the weight,” he said. “If it ends up being anorexia, we’ll help her with that.”
Richie is the daughter of R&B crooner Lionel Richie.