Nicole Richie

by ethnic on January 3, 2008

Birth Name: Nicole Camille Escovedo

Place of Birth: Berkeley, Alameda, California, United States

Date of Birth: September 21, 1981

Ethnicity: Mexican (Spanish, Indigenous), African-American, Louisiana Creole (French, African, and distant English), other European

Nicole Richie is an American socialite, television personality, fashion designer, author, and actress. She became famous starring in the reality show The Simple Life, alongside Paris Hilton. She is married to musician Joel Madden.

Nicole was adopted by singer Lionel Richie. Her sister is model Sofia Richie (who is Lionel’s biological daughter).

Nicole’s biological father, Peter Michael Escovedo, was a band member of Lionel Richie’s band, and is a percussionist and musical director. Escovedo is of Mexican (including Spanish and Indigenous) and Louisiana Creole (including French, African, and distant English, ancestry) descent, and is the brother of singer, drummer, and percussionist Sheila E. (Sheila Escovedo).

Nicole’s biological mother, Karen Moss, is said to have been a backstage assistant of the band. It is unclear what Karen’s ancestry is. Nicole still keeps in contact with her biological mother.

Nicole’s biological paternal grandfather is Pete Escovedo (Peter Michael Escovedo, the son of Pedro “Peter” Escovedo Barrera and Anita L. Valenzuela). Pete is a percussionist. Pedro was a Mexican immigrant, from Saltillo, Coahuila, and had Spanish and Indigenous Mexican ancestry. Pedro’s parents were Manuel Escovedo Rodríguez and María Hipólita Barreda Escobedo. Anita was also of Mexican origin.

Nicole’s biological paternal grandmother is Juanita M. Garderé (the daughter of Nicholas Alphonse Garderé and Marie Laura Pelletier). Nicholas and Marie were Lousiana Creoles (of French, African, and distant English, ancestry). Nicholas was the son of Ernest Alphonse Garderé and Louise Mary Leclerc. Marie was the daughter of Joseph Ernest Pelletier and Marie Laetar Laure Nabonne.

Sources: Obituary of Nicole’s paternal great-grandfather, Pedro “Peter” Escovedo Barrera – http://www.utsandiego.com

Genealogy of Nicole’s biological paternal grandmother, Juanita M. Garderé – http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Joe Seer/bigstock.com

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Hill August 2, 2017 at 4:00 am

She’s whiter than Penelope Cruz.

Jello November 18, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Nicole’s biological dad is ethnically mixed and her biological mom is white, that’s why she looks like that.

maestro November 28, 2015 at 9:55 am

She looks white in some pictures and mixed in others.

Capricious October 10, 2015 at 6:22 am

She’s Spanish, Native and African, and yet she is THIS LIGHT?

She looks like a full Greek or Middle Eastern to me anyway, and can pass as one. She reminds me of Rita Ora, who is also full Caucasian.

fuzzybear44 October 10, 2015 at 7:21 am

@Cap

Quote:
(She’s Spanish, Native and African, and yet she is THIS LIGHT?)

You guys crack me up, with your preconceived notions of what a person of mixed ethnicity is supposed to look like

Capricious October 10, 2015 at 4:58 pm

And you crack me when you think someone with European and recent African ancestry would generally look WHITE. Yes, in rarity they can be more on the white side. But you always have to be suspicious. Remember, this is the comments section. Relax.

Capricious October 10, 2015 at 5:54 pm

And you make me laugh when you think someone with European and recent African ancestry would generally look WHITE. Yes, in rarity they can be more on the white side. So that’s why I commented. Relax.

At first glance anyway I would think that she’s a Sephardi Jew.

fuzzybear44 October 10, 2015 at 11:27 pm

@Capricious

I’m very relaxed, I’m just doing the same as you by
commenting. Now it’s not a rarity , I have give many example over the time I’ve been on the site , of mixed bloods who look completely white. Also if a mixed who looked completely white was standing right in front of you, you wouldn’t know unless he/she told you. Just like if you saw Lucy and Maria Aylmer walking down the street, your mind wouldn’t think they were sisters, much less twins

Capricious October 10, 2015 at 11:44 pm

Look that’s true. You can’t always tell who’s mixed and isn’t.

But when it comes to African and whites, it’s very obvious. And most of the time, they look on the African side. I don’t mean it as a bad thing of course, it’s just what I see.

fuzzybear44 October 11, 2015 at 12:23 am

@Capricious

First you say,You can’t always tell who’s mixed and isn’t. However, you contradict yourself by saying But when it comes to African and whites, it’s very obvious. Which one is it ? In your early comment, you admit to there being rarities, so therefore by your own statement, it isn’t always obvious. the truest part of your comment is when you stated (it’s just what you have seen ). That’s the whole point about passing as white, is not to advertise that you’re part black. The people that either have met, or you see online, want you to know

Manila August 28, 2015 at 2:15 am

I forgot to add that Pedro was the son of Manuel Escovedo Rodríguez and María Hipólita Barreda Escobedo. Take note of the spelling between Barrera and Barreda. It is not a typographical error because Pedro’s maternal family name is Barrera as reflected on his baptismal record (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11771-34856-90?cc=1502401&wc=MKCQ-4WL:64891201,64891202,65574301 ) while her mother María’s paternal family name is Barreda as reflected on her baptismal record.

Manila August 27, 2015 at 5:02 am

Pete is the son of Pedro “Peter” Escovedo Barrera and Anita L. Valenzuela. Pedro was a Mexican immigrant, from Saltillo, Coahuila.

Here’s Pedro’s obituary: http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040219/news_1m19escovedo.html

Manila August 27, 2015 at 5:15 am

I have no info about Anita yet. I am not sure if this was her divorce from Salvador Rodriguez: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPRS-S9C

Manila August 27, 2015 at 6:07 am

I am sure that Nicole’s Mexican ancestry includes indigenous Mexican because of her ancestors’ (Felipe Rodríguez de la Serna and María de Jesus Tornera Rodríguez) marriage record’s castes: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11084-112553-82 (Please, don’t cite this because this is now too far. I comment this to verify her specific Mexican ancestry. So far, no Spanish or African ancestry has been verified yet.)

fuzzybear44 August 27, 2015 at 6:51 am

She has stated a number of times in interviews that she is part black

Manila August 27, 2015 at 6:55 am

That’s from her paternal grandmother’s side. I am talking about her paternal grandfather’s side. :)

cwm85 August 27, 2015 at 7:51 am

Its low in comparison to her other ethnic makeup.

Manila August 27, 2015 at 6:52 am

Nicole’s Mexican ancestry also includes Spanish because one of her ancestors, Manuel Domingo Barreda y Olmedo, was recorded on the baptismal records for ethnic Spanish: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6PLQ-NTG

sparkles180 August 11, 2015 at 7:15 pm

She’s pretty! Omg I thought she was full italian!

California July 24, 2015 at 9:20 pm

She looks part Indian.

M June 4, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Whatever she is, she is scary looking. Her eyes look demonic.

Capricious April 2, 2015 at 8:24 pm

She looks Lebanese or Chaldean. Their women tend to look like that.

Nino February 17, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Since we don’t know her mother’s bloodline. .she could easy be consider a Rican, but her dad is mexican and black, and Shelia E is her auntie? Why did Leonel adopt her, does anyone know? This girl’s bio daddy wasn’t a bum..and had a good career as a musican, why didn’t he raise her? Naw something ain’t right in the kitchen. .

amckenzie November 29, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Ethnicelebs, thanks so much for putting “European” instead of “Caucasian” as her ethnicity! Lol however, maybe y’all should specify on “Creole” by saying “Louisiana Creole” since there are numerous creole ethnicities…sooo, can I ask for a “CORRECTION”??? :)

Princess June 14, 2014 at 9:36 pm

She looks very Mediterranean. Could pass for Greek, Italian, and Spanish.

midori29 February 6, 2015 at 6:33 am

When she was a little girl she looked alot more biracial
link: https://kolorblindmagazine.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/nicole-richie-and-mother.jpg

Nino February 17, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Definitely as a young girl tri-racial, blatino (black-latin)and white mixture. When she became older she colored her hair blond and used lighter make up than her complexion, she’s definitely a coco brown complexion as a kid..you can see that..and her adopted mother is african american, Leonel Ritchie ‘ s wife..and Leonel her adopted father is african american also. .

theropod April 1, 2015 at 7:47 am

True.

If I were to see her I’d say she’s a full blooded Greek or Sicilian.

cwm85 July 17, 2015 at 8:45 pm

I don’t think she could pass for those. But spanish, black and other European groups. If she said she was greek, Italian or Spanish I doubt people would believe her. But clearly she has european with mix black on her.

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