Nicole Richie, LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian Aim to Shift Public Perception Via VH1

The "Candidly Nicole" and "LeAnn and Eddie" stars hit the Beverly Hilton stage Friday to tout their July 17 shows.
"Candidly Nicole"

For LeAnn Rimes, Eddie Cibrian and Nicole Richie — favorites of the tabloid circuit — their latest VH1 series are a way for them to change public perception, even if they don't blatantly say it.

"This format and genre, unscripted, gave us an opportunity to do something fun and work together," LeAnn and Eddie's Cibrian told a room full of reporters Friday during this summer's TCA. If there was any question of scripted situations versus those that weren't, Cibrian emphasized that everything on the show (he called it "satire" and "comedy") is true. "What's really real on the show is our relationship — and you'll see how we interact with each other [despite] what the tabloids write," he said.

Rimes said it was near impossible not to address the tabloids, which have consumed their lives over the past several years. "We definitely hit on the tabloid fodder because that's what's surrounded our lives in the past five years," she said. "We wanted to take our life back and have fun with our story and where we are now."

Cibrian, whose ex-wife, Brandi Glanville, stars in Bravo's The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, made a point to say that LeeAnn and Eddie (premiering July 17), wasn't a platform for him and Rimes to "fire back at anybody" — though Glanville is discussed "when it needs to be," Rimes said. Instead, Cibrian and Rimes claim that the series is there "to make fun of the [tabloid] fodder" and cope with it "by laughing." Said Rimes of certain misconceptions: "We're both smartasses … and people think we take ourselves seriously. … Now is the time to have fun and take our whole story back because it is ours; it's not everybody else's to twist and turn and tell lies about."

For Richie, who returns to TV with Candidly Nicole (premiering July 17), she sees the series as "a tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek type of show." How tongue-in-cheek will it be? In a preview clip shown to reporters, Richie was seen joking about her past DUI arrests. "That's just me speaking from the heart," Richie claimed when a reporter inquired whether it was a scripted moment.

"I'm obviously a genius," Richie deadpanned when asked about public perception. "It really doesn't matter what the public's perception is of me. I think some people think I'm funny and some people don't. You can't really please everybody. This show is going to be a destination for people who want to smile and who want to be uplifted and have fun."

The former The Simple Life star says Candidly Nicole, which follows Richie as she goes about daily adventures and offers insights into fashion, relationships, work and navigating adulthood, is completely unrehearsed, though they present an outline of talking points for each episode. And while Richie was often the butt of the joke on the Fox reality series that she co-starred in with Paris Hilton, she maintains that it's a space she's comfortable in. "I'm still the butt of every joke," Richie said of her new show.

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