September 12, 2006 04:00 PM

Nicole Richie admits in a new interview that in some pictures she “definitely” looks too thin, but insists that when she looks in the mirror, “I think I look okay.”

On an episode of The Tyra Banks Show airing Tuesday, Richie, 24, tells Banks, “I definitely wouldn’t mind gaining a few more pounds at all. I think that people’s weight fluctuates. It happens. It happens to everybody.”

She also blames her thin appearance on stress – “A lot of people gain weight under stress and a lot of people lose weight under stress and I am one of those people that loses weight,” she says – and her body type: “I am naturally a thin person and I am 5’1″ and putting on five or 10 pounds, that looks like a lot on me.”

Another factor: misleading paparazzi photos. “I know that the photographers that follow me every day, they are looking for some sort of – something wrong, a picture with a bone sticking out,” she says. “You bend a certain way, they get the shot.”

In fact, paparazzi are so omnipresent in Richie’s life that she says she rarely goes out during the day. “I do not leave my house and if I do, I go with a group of people,” she tells Banks. “I feel like a prisoner in my own home.”

One photographer made her cry recently, she says, by making vulgar comments implying she had an eating disorder. “I just broke down. You can’t talk to people like that. If someone is anorexic, that’s a serious disease,” she says. “I would never say if someone was losing their hair they had cancer. You can’t say someone has a disease if they don’t.”

Asked straight out if she’s anorexic, Richie says, “Absolutely not. One-hundred percent not. I am not anorexic. I am not bulimic. I do not have a eating disorder.”

Still, she says she is seeing a therapist weekly and recently hired a nutritionist to help her deal with stress and put on pounds. “I just thought it was important to get the right team around me to make sure whatever I put in my body is helping me put on weight,” she says, “and slowly but surely, I am doing so.”

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