The socialites had a much-publicized fall-out in January 2005 and have famously refused to divulge the reason behind their rift.
But Richie now insists she steered clear of her former pal after a stint in rehab made her reassess her priorities.
She tells Vanity Fair, "When I got out of rehab, I had to figure out what path to go down, and part of that included taking certain people out of my life.
"I just decided I didn't want to be her (Hilton's) friend anymore. We're just two completely different people; we don't have that much in common."
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