Richie Escapes Paps By the Skin of Her Teeth

10/3/2007 10:35 AM PDT

Richie Escapes Paps by the Skin of Her Teeth

The dour Nicole Richie startled paparazzi by flashing -- a smile. Shock!

Nicole, who's been trying (badly) to hide from cameras since announcing her pregnancy, made a deal with photogs outside of hair lord Byron Williams' salon in Beverly Hills -- she'd give up the goods if paps stayed at a distance.

After a quick fakeout, Richie emerged and prompted one photog to cheesily sing James Blunt's "You're Beautiful." She laughed ... but anything's better than that Good Charlotte crap!