Why Nicky Hilton didn’t star in ‘The Simple Life’ with sister Paris despite being asked

Nicky Hilton turned down an opportunity to star in “The Simple Life” alongside her sister, Paris Hilton, leaving the door open for producers to cast Nicole Richie.

On the 20th anniversary of the reality show’s premiere, a source tells Page Six exclusively that the reason Nicky never signed up for it is because she’s “anti-reality TV.”

“They’ve always asked her, and she’s always passed,” the insider says, noting how, even to this day, the socialite rarely makes appearances in unscripted series despite her mom, Kathy Hilton, being cast on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and Paris having her own show on Peacock.

“The only reason why she films ‘Paris in Love’ is because it’s more controlled,” the source tells us.

“Nothing would run that would make her look bad.”

A source tells Page Six that Nicky has always been “anti-reality TV.” Getty Images

The insider also points out that Nicky, 40, was “never the wild child,” so Richie, 42, was ultimately the better fit.

Paris, also 42, recalled in her self-titled memoir how her younger sister first reacted to “The Simple Life,” which followed two wealthy heiresses who temporarily moved to a farm in middle America.

“‘Don’t be insane,’” the “Stars Are Blind” singer said Nicky told her at the time. “‘You’ll embarrass yourself.’”

Paris rose to stardom alongside Nicole Richie when “The Simple Life” premiered on Dec. 2, 2003. AP
In the series, Paris and Richie traveled to different small towns in America and took up random blue-collar jobs. Michael Yarish/FOX

“The Simple Life” became an instant success following its premiere on Fox on Dec. 2, 2003, and is still referenced as an iconic piece of pop culture to this day.

Our source tell us that Nicky, like Paris, was part of Richie’s friend group, so there are no hard feelings.

The handbag designer is also “very happy” that her older sister has built a successful empire that has lasted decades after the show.

“‘You’ll embarrass yourself,’” Paris claimed her sister once told her of starring on reality TV. FilmMagic
Nicky was never the “wild child,” a source tells Page Six. Pacific Coast News

However, Nicky — who married British banking heir James Rothschild in 2015 and shares three children with him — has not changed her opinion of reality television in recent years.

In October 2022, amid her mother Kathy’s feud with Lisa Rinna on Season 12 of “RHOBH,” the fashion entrepreneur slammed the Bravo series for being “mean-spirited” and “negative.”

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“I used to love the lightheartedness and escapism of the program,” she told E! News at the time, “but I feel like, recently, it’s become a bit mean-spirited and negative.”

Nicky added, “When I watch one of those shows, I want to laugh. I don’t want to be sad. So, hopefully, they could be a little kinder.”

Nicky is “very happy” for her sister’s success. nickyhilton/Instagram
However, Nicky recently slammed “The Real Housewives” as being “mean-spirited” and “negative.” Getty Images

Paris, for her part, still holds dear memories of her time on “The Simple Life” and recently revealed on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” that she and Richie have plans to commemorate its milestone anniversary.

The “Nothing in this World” singer shared Wednesday, “Nicole and I have been talking, so we have some surprises in store. I can’t believe it’s going to be the 20-year anniversary. It’s so crazy.”

Kathy, who was also a guest on the talk show, then chimed in, “It seems like yesterday.”