They’re back! And so is the bingeable drama that defined the early aughts. Back then, Whitney, Heidi, Audrina, and Mischa—our April cover stars—launched a different kind of celebrity: one who looked like us, talked like us, and cried like us. But times have changed, and so have they.
Of course, not everything has changed. Today, for example, we’re sitting at The Ivy in Los Angeles, discussing nip slips and tattoos.
The girls are crowded around a table at the legendary restaurant, which is known for its paparazzi-friendly outdoor seating. For decades, paps have loitered across the street to capture photos of its patrons, who are typically an eclectic mix of famous people, people who used to be famous, and people who would very much like to be famous.
“I’ve had a nipple slip at The Ivy before,” Whitney Port, 34, says with a sly smile. “I remember when nip slips were the most embarrassing thing ever. I had one here and one in Miami. And now it’s like, whatever. It’s a fucking nipple.” Heidi Pratt, 32, nods in agreement.
Audrina Patridge, 33, says that the last time she was here, she ran into Ashlee Simpson.
“I haven’t hung out with Ashlee since, like, 10 years ago,” Mischa Barton, 33, offers. “I have a couple of funny stories about her. One time, we were waiting for her at dinner and I texted her, and she was like, ‘I just stopped off to get a tattoo.’ Just a quick before-dinner tattoo! I was like, ‘Okay, I don’t think you’re going to make it to dinner.’”
We all laugh. It’s so Ashlee.
Seeing these girls together again feels eerily familiar—and so right that I practically hear Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” playing in the background as each of them enters the restaurant. I can picture their full names written below their faces.