You probably know Lionel Richie as one of the judges on American Idol. Or you may remember the days when he was an enormous pop star, topping with charts with hits like as “Dancing on the Ceiling,” “All Night Long,” and “Say You, Say Me.” But how much do you know about Diane Alexander, Lionel Ritchie’s ex-wife? Here’s a look into the former Mrs. Richie.
Lionel Richie Has Two Ex-Wives
Before meeting Diane Alexander, Lionel Richie was married to his first wife, Brenda Harvey. The couple were college sweethearts and together, they adopted daughter Nicole, whose biological parents were friends of the Richies and unable to care for her financially. In 1993, Richie and Harvey divorced after 18 years of marriage.
Who Is Diane Alexander?
Diane Alexander was born in Los Angeles on June 16th, 1967. Reportedly, Richie started a relationship with Alexander while he was still married to Brenda Harvey, which led to some serious drama when Harvey caught them in the act. As a result of the altercation, Richie’s first wife was arrested for assault and a slew of other charges, including resisting arrest, trespassing, vandalism, and disturbing the peace.
Richie’s divorce from Harvey was finalized in 1993, and he married Diane Alexander in 1995. The couple share two children, Miles Brockman Richie and Sofia Richie. Miles, who’s 26, made headlines of his own in 2019 when he was detained by police at Heathrow Airport for an altercation with a number of security guards.
A professional model and actor, Miles has said of his famous family: “I’d like to not be viewed as a celebrity person or something. I’d like to be known as a model or an actor, not just the son of, or the brother of. I’d like to develop my own identity in those scenarios.”
Sofia Richie, 22, is also a model and has walked runways for a number of big-name designers, including Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Jeremy Scott, and Philipp Plein. She currently has more than 6.5 million followers on Instagram, and also received tons of media attention when she began dating reality star Scott Disick (Kourtney Kardashian’s ex) in 2017.
Sofia credits her famous father with helping her nurture her creative side. “My dad, he thinks so out of the box,” she said in 2017. “He’s so weird and he can take my mind places that I probably wouldn’t go to and he opens me up to so many different thoughts. He’s my creative go-to.”
Diane Alexander Was A Dancer in Lionel Richie’s “Dancing On The Ceiling”
So how did Diane Alexander and Richie meet? Alexander was a dancer in the music video for “Dancing on the Ceiling,” one of Lionel Riche’s biggest hits. Released in 1986, the song peaked at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts and hit the top 10 in Sweden, Belgium, and Norway. The video for the song was also hugely popular and featured some effects that were pretty breakthrough for the ‘80s. It reportedly cost between $350,000 and $500,000 to shoot, which made it the most expensive short-form music video production at the time.
Lionel And Diane Split In 2003
Unfortunately, Richie’s marriage to Diane Alexander did not last. The couple split in 2003, after seven years of marriage. The divorce was both messy and costly, with Alexander requesting a staggering $300,000 a month in spousal support.
In her income declaration (as reported by Divorcemag.com), Alexander described herself as a former waitress, dancer, and clothing designer. She claimed she and Richie had an “extraordinary, extravagant lifestyle” and that they “could comfortably afford to spend unlimited sums of money on everything and anything we chose. I had no limit on what I could spend.”
According to the court declaration, those expenses included a whopping $20,000 yearly allowance for plastic surgery, as well as monthly expenditures of $15,000 for clothing, shoes, and accessories; $3,000 for dermatology; $1,000 for laser hair removal; $600 each for hair, Pilates, massages, and therapy; $500 for a personal trainer; $450 for facials; $250 for nails; and $150 for electrolysis.
In the declaration, Harvey went on to note that Richie “has never had a problem earning money. I know that he earns in excess of $300,000 per month, because we have always comfortably spent at least that in any given month.”
At the end of the day, the divorce was estimated to have cost Richie close to $20 million! Fortunately, the 71-year-old musician found love again with his current girlfriend, Lisa Parigi. “Love is not an exact science, it’s something you have to go through,” Richie told People magazine in 2019. “People don’t walk in love, people fall, which means you’re out of control, there’s no logic. How you survive is your story.”