Lionel Richie reflects on adopting daughter Nicole Richie: ‘She was actually a godsend’

‘She was a little girl who needed a shot’

Lionel Richie has opened up about his family life and reflected on adopting his eldest daughter, Nicole, who he described as a “godsend.”

Richie, 72, who adopted Nicole, now 40, with his then-wife Brenda Harvey, discussed the pivotal moment in his life while speaking with People on February 10.

“Nicole was actually a godsend,” Richie recalled of the adoption when Nicole was nine. “She was a little girl who needed a shot.”

The actress’s biological parents were friends of Richie’s and financially struggling at the time, with the musician explaining: “She was used to people coming and going. She looked at me and I’d say: ‘I’m not going anywhere.’”

In the midst of his split from Harvey in 1993, which followed reports of his new relationship with Diane Alexander, Richie said that the former couple still remained focused on their daughter.

“Brenda and I went through a very interesting time,” he said. “We didn’t agree on a lot of things, but we did agree on [Nicole].”

Nicole went on to become a celebrity in her own right, with the former reality star also becoming a fashion designer. She also married musician Joel Madden, who she shares children Harlow, 14, and Sparrow, 12, with.

While reflecting on his child becoming a parent herself, Richie noted how Nicole has grown into a “fantastic” woman.

“I’ll say something and she goes: ‘Dad, we don’t use those kind of words around the kids.’ And I go: ‘Excuse me,’” Richie said. “She turned into a fantastic young lady.”

This is not the first time that Richie, who also shares children Miles, 27, and Sofia, 23, with ex-wife Alexander, has opened up about his relationship with his children. Speaking to People in 2019 about what he’s learned from fatherhood, he joked that his children were responsible for terrifying him.

“With my kids, I know their job is to completely scare me to death. And they’re doing a great job, by the way,” he said. “I told this to Nicole the other day, my job is to embarrass them as much as I could, as long as I’m here. They’re trying to do the same to me, so I think it’s an equal swap right now.”

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