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Richie Has a Low-Carb Bun in the Oven?

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MOMMY DEAREST TO-BE? Nicole Richie

Every once in a while the tabs run a story so tragic one can only hope the former stylist providing the tip is wrong. Life & Style‘s piece last week about Nicole Richie being knocked up was just that kind of story. But the tale refuses to die, and Nic’s boy toy du jour, Joel Madden, tells the mags he’s not commenting on the issue—which is of course practically a rock solid confession. Now the mag says a wedding’s on the horizon.

In Touch likes the story and suggests Nic may use the pregnancy as a get-out-of jail free card on her DUI charge. OK!‘s in, too, acknowledging the rumors in a photo caption.

Star, however, wastes little time on Nic’s pregnancy (yeah, yeah, she’s expecting, Bonnie invented the term “baby bump,” blah blah), focusing instead on the skinny starlet’s pill popping. An insider/coat-check girl at New York club Stereo reports that Richie’s taken not one but 73,000 pills in four years—”enough for an entire population!” (Which population is never specified.) An AMI photo editor, still high after doctoring Jen Aniston‘s art catalog into a $5 mill manuscript, chips in with a playful illustration of candy-colored pills. Team AMI closes with reports that the pregnancy’s inspiring the sobriety-challenged star to clean up her act—which is sort of a shame.

It’s very tempting to put Nic in Patty Duke’s role in Valley of the Dolls. Can’t you just see her clawing the air behind a theater, calling out to former friends Paris and Lindsay, begging for one beautiful doll?

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