Brenda Harvey-Richie – Everything About Lionel Richie’s Ex-Wife

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Once upon a time, Brenda Harvey-Richie was the talk of the town in the City of Angels. The Alabama-native achieved huge fame in Hollywood not just for her marriage to budding musician , but because she was also a pleasure to look at and had some grace about her. Read on to find out more about what happened to her marriage to the Grammy Award-winning singer and what she has been up to ever since.


On the 2nd of September, 1952, Brenda Harvey-Richie was born in Brewton, Alabama as one of two children to her parents; Lucille and Marshall Harvey. Her brother’s name is Stephen Harvey. Nothing else is known about her family other than that she is of African-American descent and has American nationality.

Just as details about her family is not known, very little is also known about her childhood. A look at her educational history, however, reveals that she attended Southern Normal School in her hometown of Brewton before enrolling at Tuskegee University. She went on to complete the requirements for a degree in social work and graduated in 1974.

Other Facts About Brenda Harvey-Richie

Relationship With Lionel Richie

There are conflicting reports as to where and when exactly Lionel Richie and Brenda Harvey-Richie began dating. Some reports say that the two were high school sweethearts while others say that their relationship began at Tuskegee University where Richie attended on a tennis scholarship.

Regardless of these, the two were said to have been deeply in love with each other when they were in college. Lionel’s commitments to his musical group, the Commodores, however, meant that he was not always around as he had to go out on tour. This almost ended the relationship as Harvey-Richie moved on to date someone else who she almost got engaged to if Lionel had not returned at the right time to get her back.

A year after Brenda Harvey-Richie graduated from college, she and her musician lover exchanged marital vows and became man and wife in 1975. During their marriage, Lionel Richie was able to break out a successful solo career that ensured that the couple would always be the talk of the town. Everything seemed rosy from afar for the two until news broke out that Lionel was cheating on his wife.

Lionel was having an affair with dancer who he had reportedly met at the 1984 Olympics. Things between the two got serious in 1986, but it was not until two years later that Harvey-Richie discovered the affair when she suddenly showed up at her husband’s mistresses Beverly Hills home where she caught the two. According to reports, an angry Harvey-Richie kicked her husband in the stomach as he fled the home before turning her attention to the woman. Lionel Richie and neighbors who heard the commotion went on to call the police who arrived just in time to rescue Alexander from Harvey-Richie’s wrath.

Brenda Harvey-Richie was subsequently arrested on charges of corporal injury to a spouse, resisting arrest, trespassing, vandalism, battery, and disturbing the peace. The next morning, she posted bail of $5,000 and was released. She and her husband went on to get embroiled in a nasty divorce that was finalized in 1993.

She Has An Adopted Daughter

Unlike her ex-husband who went on to have children of his own with his second wife, Brenda Harvey-Richie does not have a child of her own. She was, however, able to adopt a daughter named Nicole Richie with her husband during their time together.


Nicole Richie is the biological daughter of musician and member of Richie’s band, Peter Micheal Escovedo and his wife Karen Moss. The couple decided to give away their daughter at around three years of age to the Richie’s after they found it hard to provide for the baby. The Richie’s went on to officially adopt Nicole when she was nine, giving her the best possible upbringing that money could buy as she grew up to become a fashion designer, author, and actress among other things.

Net Worth

While the exact figure of her net worth is not known, Brenda Harvey-Richie is known to be doing very well for herself. She notably owns a music publishing business named Brenda Richie Publishing which she serves as President and CEO of. Her company notably owns the rights to most of Lionel Richie’s classics, including “Hello,” “All Night Long,” “Dancing on the Ceiling,” and “Say You, Say Me.”

Also Read: Top 10 Richest People in the world with full biography and details.