Lionel Richie & Sheila E. Tell Opposing Views On His Adoption Of Her Niece, Nicole Richie

Posted On : August 11, 2020

To Lionel Richie’s ex-wife, Brenda Richie, he may not have been ‘Husband of the year’ (we can’t forget about the infamous 80’s fiasco when Brenda allegedly kicked that hotel room door in and turned into Mike Tyson on Lionel and his then-mistress-turned-wife-turned-ex-wife, Diana Alexander), but Lionel sure does earn the ‘Father of the year’ title. In recent years, Sheila E. and Lionel Richie spoke out about the adoption of Sheila’s biological niece, Nicole Richie.

Lionel and Sheila E. told their stories from two conflicting sides of the coin, and here is what they revealed…

Nicole Richie with her parents, Brenda and Lionel Richie [Instagram]

In the Huffington Post video above, Lionel Richie spoke with his daughter, Nicole Richie, about why he and Brenda (pictured below) decided to adopt her when she was about 2 years old after meeting her at a Prince concert (this starts at the 3:19 mark of the video). One of the most touching things Lionel spoke on was the “abandonment issues” Nicole displayed as a toddler, that according to him was the result of her being “handed around to every member in the family” and not having a stable home at that time:

Lionel recalls what he told then-toddler Nicole: “I said to you I’m never ever going to leave you’ and you had this lil’ look on your face and I said ‘No, no listen, I’m NEVER going to leave you,'” something Nicole said she clearly remembers.

Lionel Richie continued: “It was very important that you understood that no matter when I went away- if it was two months, or one month, or two weeks…I’m coming right back. And as soon as you realized I think over time that ‘Okay he’s not leaving me, he’s just going to work,’ then I think you felt safer.” Nicole affirmed his assessment that she did finally feel safe, at home, and at peace with her new parents.

As beautiful and honorable as that was for Lionel and Brenda to love Nicole unconditionally and give her stability, it didn’t make the transition any less painful for Sheila E. and her family…although they were extremely grateful.