Pop Culture | Celebrities | 80s

The Lionel Richie Love Triangle That Literally Got Him "Drop-Kicked"

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The arrest of Brenda Harvey-Richie was a big scandal in the '80s, and to this day there are still questions surrounding it. The now ex-wife of the iconic Lionel Richie was definitely arrested, but it's the why that got people talking.

Their Relationship

In 1975, Lionel married his highschool sweetheart, Brenda Harvey. The couple were the epitome of true love, and people thought they would last a lifetime. Together, the couple adopted their first child, Nicole. Nicole's biological parents were unable to provide for her, so when she was three years old, they agreed to let her move in with the Richies.

"My parents were friends with Lionel," she said. "They trusted that they would be better able to provide for me."

The couple were thrilled to have a child, but that's about where the happiness ended.

The Affair

In 1986, Lionel Richie began having an affair with Diane Alexander, who was a dancer at the time. According to friends, the couple met at the 1984 Olympics, where Lionel had performed "All Night Long" at the closing ceremonies. That performance that was seen by more than 2.6 billion people in 120 countries. She also appeared in his 1986 music video for "Dancing On The Ceiling."

Lionel and Diane were pretty hot and heavy for years, and according to neighbors, he snuck out to see her at her apartment constantly.

“He parks in the back and walks right by my window all the time," one neighbor claimed.

In 1988, Lionel Richie filed for divorce from Brenda. Clearly, she was not who he was looking for. Friends said that for a year before their official separation, Lionel and Brenda were living separately.

“It’s been pretty intense for the last year,” a friend said at the time. “Obviously, things aren’t too good at home.” But no one could have guessed just how "intense" things were about to get.

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