Reality TV star Nicole Richie charged with DUI

Friday, February 16, 2007; 5:21 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. reality TV star Nicole Richie was charged on Friday with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, two months after police arrested her and said she was driving the wrong way on a Los Angeles freeway.

The 25-year-old star of "The Simple Life" and daughter of singer Lionel Richie was scheduled for an arraignment on Wednesday on the misdemeanor charge. Richie will not have to attend the hearing.

Police arrested Richie on December 11 when her car was found blocking a freeway car pool lane and she failed a sobriety test. Police said Richie told them she had smoked marijuana and taken the painkiller Vicodin.

Although Richie's car was pointed in the right direction when police found her, her black sports utility vehicle matched the description of an SUV seen entering the freeway against traffic nearby, police said.

The charge said she was under the influence of "an alcoholic beverage and a drug" that was not specified. It also said Richie had a prior DUI conviction in 2003.

Richie's arrest came six weeks after it was revealed that the rail-thin actress had checked herself into a treatment facility to address weight-loss issues. An arrest report showed the 5-foot-1-inch actress weighed 85 pounds (39 kg).

Richie has a previously undergone treatment for heroin addiction.

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