Lionel Richie opens up about Nicole’s adoption and drug abuse

Nicole Richie became a household name when she joined then BFF Paris Hilton for the reality TV show The Simple Life, which we still miss very much.

The under-rated but very much loved series introduced us all to Lionel Richie’s adopted daughter and put Nicole in the media spotlight.

66-year old Lionel spoke with Piers Morgan recently about difficult it can be to suddenly be pushed into the spotlight. He also shared the very cute story behind how he and Nicole became family.

“I went to a Prince concert and there on the stage in the middle of the concert was this four-year-old kid playing the tambourine.”

He says when he went backstage, he realised he knew Nicole’s birth parents. The couple where however having relationship issues at the time.

“I said, ‘While you are having the difficulty the kid is sitting out here in limbo so I’ll tell you what I’ll do, just put the kid in my house until the tour is over with and then we will sort this out later’.”

He explained that after a year of living with Nicole, he became ‘Dad’ to her and he decided to adopt her officially.

“I said, ‘OK here is what we are going to do… You are going to make everyone in your family wish they actually had a chance to get you back,’ and that’s when I said, 'Let’s adopt her.'″

Now happily married to Joel Madden and mother of Harlow and Sparrow, Nicole has certainly made some lifestyle changes since her early 00s days. In 2003 she was arrested for heroin possession.

When Lionel heard the news he cancelled his tour so he could go to Nicole’s rehab centre:

“I went to her and I said, 'When I was growing up I lost three friends, they were the hippest friends I ever knew in life … I don’t want you to be in that list of three’.”


A photo posted by @nicolerichie on

After Nicole lost two friends as a result of drug abuse, she called her father and asked for help. He said at the time he and her mother were not on good terms but the family came together to support Nicole through her rehabilitation.