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Super-slim Simple Life star Nicole Richie allegedly checked into the Beau Monde treatment center last Thursday to seek help to gain weight, but checked out 72 hours later, insisting she needed some retail therapy.

Seriously. We couldn’t make this stuff up, hard as it is to believe. Then again, when Shanna Moakler and Travis Barker spar through divorce parties and MySpace rants, everything seems normal by comparison.

Anyway, regarding Richie, a source is quoted by Star magazine as saying:

Nicole Richie Book Cover

“Nicole is in complete denial and oblivious to how sick she is. She said she wanted to go shopping. The center’s staff begged her to stay but she wouldn’t listen and left.”

The 25-year-old, adopted daughter of singer Lionel Richie denies she has one or more eating disorders and insisted she entered the $80,000-a-month centre in Newport Beach to undergo tests to find out why she couldn’t put on weight.

Maybe she got ahold of the same Nicole Richie pictures we’ve been looking at in recent weeks. A spokeswoman said last Thursday:

“Nicole has decided to undergo diagnostic treatment to determine why she’s not been putting on any weight.”

“She is working with a team of doctors and specialists whose focus is nutrition. It is important to Nicole that she achieves this goal in a healthy way as this is not a treatment for an eating disorder.”

Regardless of what she has, Nicole Richie looks pretty damn rough. Though perhaps not as much so as Anna Nicole Smith. You be the judge.