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Locals dish dirt on Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie's FOX 'The Simple Life' production

By Wade Paulsen, 05/19/2003 

It sounds like such an easy thing to do: take two pampered, spoiled, beautiful young women to rural America and film them living "The Simple Life." However, as Fox and Bunim-Murray Productions are learning, there is nothing simple about it ... and keeping it a secret isn't simple either. has been told some exclusive details of events during filming of the upcoming Fox reality TV show The Simple Life, starring the socialite team of 22-year-old hotel heiress Paris Hilton and 21-year-old music heiress Nicole RIchie.

For starters, Paris and Nicole are filming the show in Altus, Arkansas (population 817) in the Ozarks, not too far from Fort Smith (and ironically also not too far from Paris, Arkansas). To give them the true rural experience, the producers decided that Nicole and Paris should live with a local family. However, to make sure that a local family would welcome them, Fox built an addition onto the house of the people with whom they were staying, at Fox's expense. No mobile homes for Paris and Nicole!

Paris and Nicole's skimpy attire has certainly drawn attention ... and criticism, although mostly behind their backs. One local referred to them as the "nearly naked models." Apparently, many of the locals are giving them a wide berth -- but at least their looks impress the teenage boys (and their underlying wealth doesn't hurt any, either). Needless to say, the teenage girls are jealous.

Paris and Nicole have been working a series of odd jobs, apparently to show off their complete unsuitability for manual labor. They spent a day working at the Sonic Drive-in in Ozark (one of the 85(!) Sonics in Arkansas), they worked a local cattle auction, they milked cows, and they worked at a local gas station that doubles as a bait shop. While working at the bait shop, the owner (called "Buffalo") dared them to eat a minnow and showed them how it was done. Supposedly Paris accepted the challenge, but Nicole refused, perhaps because she might need a chaser after eating one.

In addition, the vixens have been attending town events, such as the spring gala. They also went bowling on "quarter bowling night." Unsurprisngly, Paris and Nicole hadn't bowled before, and Paris suffered a pratfall in her first attempt, sprawling onto her backside. Her tumble won't be on TV, though, because the bowling alley refused to allow the camera crew inside. Looks like there are limits to small-town hospitality.

Paris and Nicole have been stuck with an old blue truck for use when they are being filmed. The truck is a piece of junk and has broken down several times. However, when they aren't being filmed, the two vixens apparently have use of an SUV. Not exactly the simple life, after all. In fact, another local referred to the entire venture as "bogus bullsh--."

The crew has put a crimp in Paris and Nicole's social life by refusing to allow them to be out late every night. Crew members may want to watch their step, or Paris might sic her stylish dog Tinkerbell on them when they return to La-La Land.

Stay tuned for additional updates from the filming, exclusively on

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