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Nicole Richie and Jessica Simpson come from very different worlds -- one's a West Coast socialite from a famous family, the other is a Southern singing prodigy -- yet they both became reality stars, then fashion designers. (Also: they both became blondes.) They have just enough in common to be fast friends, or all-out rivals. So which is it?
Us Weekly reported on Wednesday that the two celebs have been bickering on the set of their upcoming NBC reality show, Fashion Star. Both Richie, 29, and Simpson, 31, are mentors for the fashion competition, but the magazine's insider claims that they "chat only when they need to, and they have wildly different opinions about style." The source says that Richie makes "snarky comments" about Jessica's outfits, which aren't "high-fashion" enough for her. But in a new radio interview, Richie says the report is pure baloney.
Speaking to Ryan Seacrest on his radio show on Thursday, Richie swore that the feud story "couldn't be further from the truth."
"I actually love and adore Jessica," the mother of two told Seacrest. "I've known her for years, first of all, so I already knew who she was as a person. Who she is is someone who's very kind, very sweet and extremely smart...and a great businesswoman and someone that I really respect."
Richie's admiration is well-placed: by creating wearable, flattering clothes and accessories, Simpson has built up a fashion empire worth $1 billion. (Nicole's lines aren't so shabby either, but are valued at a comparatively small $10 million.) Plus, says Richie, she really likes Jessica. So why the feud report?
"I can understand that's probably exciting to read about," says Richie, with the air of someone who's been through all this before. Maybe she's just outgrown the sparring phase of her life; after all, Richie was spotted hugging and chatting with her onetime rival Paris Hilton back in June.
So, even though it sounds like we can expect a season of fair play between the two style mavens, we're still looking forward to the premiere of Fashion Star on NBC this fall. With contestants competing for high stakes, such as national distribution at department stores for the winning line, we're thinking the fashion-hopefuls will be the ones embroiled in serious rivalry -- and who doesn't like watching a good reality TV throw-down!