Why Did Nicole Richie’s Biological Father Allow Her Adoption?
Nicole Richie, the daughter of legendary singer Lionel Richie, has always raised questions about her biological parentage. That usually stems from the fact that she does not look like her father.
The story behind that is simple — Lionel adopted Nicole when she was very young. But there's a lesser-known part of the story about why her biological parents gave her up.
Lionel considers Nicole a "godsend," and for her, he was something similar, too.
Why Nicole Richie’s Biological Parents Gave Her Up
Lionel met Nicole at a Prince concert back in the day. But, for the singer, the concert wasn't the main attraction.
It was Nicole.
Nicole Richie with her adoptive father, Lionel Richie, in 2018. (Photo: Nicole Richie/Instagram)
She, two years old at the time, was on the stage, accompanying Prince in his performances. She was on the tambourine, and she caught his eye.
After meeting her backstage after the concert, he realized he knew her parents. A while later, he also knew that they weren't in a great position to raise Nicole.
Her biological father, Peter Michael Escovedo, a part of Lionel's orchestra, and her biological mother were having relationship issues. And they did not have enough financial footing to bring Nicole up well.
Further, she had been sent off to live with a lot of her relatives.
So Lionel wanted to help. But he didn't help her by giving Peter monetary support.
Instead, he and his then-wife, Brenda Harvey, signed up to be her legal guardians. Initially, that's all they had in mind — to be her legal guardians.
But, they later decided to become her adoptive parents, and the guardianship turned into a legal adoption when Nicole was nine years old. He was still with Brenda when she was adopted.
Nicole Richie, Lionel Richie’s ‘Godsend’
Nicole changed Lionel's life immediately after entering it. She turned him into a great parent and changed his priorities.
"Nicole was actually a godsend. She was a little girl who needed a shot," the singer told People in February 2020. She helped him during and after his divorce from Brenda by keeping him grounded.
Nicole had abandonment issues due to being constantly passed around between relatives. So, the first thing he did was promise his daughter he'd always come back regardless of how long he was gone for.
"I’m never, ever going to leave you," he told her. She, too, changed his perspective on life with that promise.
"All of a sudden I found something that I could actually fall in love with that was never going to leave me," he said during a father-daughter conversation in 2016 on HuffPost's Talk To Me series.
He found a new purpose in life — a life that had been about only music and business until then. And Nicole found a stable support system.