Nicole Richie Was Born In Berkeley
, California. Her biological father is Peter Michael Escovedo, a musician who played for a brief time with Lionel Richie, and her biological mother Karen was the executive assistant for her aunt Sheila E. At the age of three, her parents agreed to let her move in with Lionel Richie and Brenda Harvey because they could not afford to provide for her financially. "My parents were friends with Lionel," she told People in 2003. "They trusted that they would be better able to provide for me." Initially, Lionel Richie became her guardian. Lionel Richie and Brenda Harvey effectively raised Nicole as their daughter.
Richie was legally adopted by Lionel and Brenda when she was nine years old. Shortly after the adoption was formalized, Lionel's affair with another woman became public knowledge. Lionel and Brenda went through a bitter, public split. As a result, they indulged Nicole's every whim. "Their way of making me happy was to say yes to everything I wanted, but I don't think a little girl should have that much freedom," said Richie in an interview with Vanity Fair. Following the divorce, Lionel remarried and gave Nicole two younger siblings; Myles (b. 1994) and Sofia (b. 1998). Richie has one godmother, Nancy Davis, daughter of Marvin Davis and mother of Brandon Davis. Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson were each Richie's godfathers. Jones said in a People magazine interview that he has "known Nicole Richie since she was a baby. She's a very smart girl".
In 1986, Richie attended The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, where she met Paris Hilton. Richie graduated from Montclair College Preparatory School in 1999 and then attended the University of Arizona alongside Kourtney Kardashian and Luke Walton, where she studied Arts and Media. Richie did not have a definitive study plan in Arizona, and eventually dropped out after two years and returned to California
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