When Brenda Harvey-Richie caught her man red-handed, she couldn't stop the rage burning inside her from the betrayal and beat him up.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 10, 2020. It has since been updated.
Finding the one you love and marrying them is the most beautiful thing that can happen to anyone. But when your special one deceives your love and trust, it shatters you into a million pieces that cannot be fixed. You don't understand how to process your feelings. That's exactly what Lionel Richie's ex-wife, Brenda Harvey-Richie, felt.
Harvey's arrest in the '80s was one of the biggest scandals of its time with several questions surrounding the event. It is not the arrest that shook the people around the world, it was the "drop kick" which left people amused.
Harvey and Richie were highschool sweethearts who tied the knot in 1975. According to the close ones of Richie and Harvey, the lovebirds were the epitome of love with a marriage that was sure to last for a lifetime. The duo adopted their first child, Nichole, when she was 3 years old from her birth parents. Harvey and Richie agreed to take care of Nicole since her birth parents were unable to provide for her.
Explaining the situation, Nicole said, "My parents were friends with Lionel," reported Throwbacks. "They trusted that they would be better able to provide for me," she continued.
Adopting Nicole was a big step in the couple's life which they accepted with excitement but there were things which Harvey wasn't ready to accept, ever.
Cracks started to appear in their marriage when Richie began an affair with Diana Alexander, a dancer during that time. According to Affair Post, they met in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics ceremony where Richie performed All Night Long. Later Alexander appeared in his 1986 Dancing On The Ceiling music video. She was an unknown face until the news of their affair hit the media.
According to Richie's neighbors, he had to sneak out to Alexander's apartment to meet her for years. “He parks in the back and walks right by my window all the time," claimed one neighbor, as reported by Throwback.
According to an insider, the Richies were having marital problems for a year before filing for divorce in 1988. The Stuck On You hitmaker had moved out of the couple's Bel Air mansion for a couple of months before moving back in, reported People. Richie's friend revealed, “It’s been pretty intense for the last year,” and continued, “Obviously, things aren’t too good at home.”
Following her suspicion about her husband's treachery, Harvey surprised Richie when she appeared at Alexander's apartment at 2 a.m.
Like any other woman, she couldn't believe that her doubts were after all, true. Fuming with uncontrollable emotions, Harvey drop-kicked her betraying husband the "stomach area," reported People. While Richie fled the scene, neighbors called the police hearing "a woman screaming". According to the officials, they walked into an assault in progress.
Harvey was unloading her wrath on Alexander, who was present at the scene. Lt. Robert Curtis said, "Our officers arrived in less than a minute, observed suspect Brenda Richie striking and kicking the victim on the floor of the apartment." He continued, "A second victim, entertainer Lionel Richie, later phoned and stated to officers he had been kicked in the stomach area by Mrs. Richie (at the apartment)."
According to People, “They were screaming and you could hear everything,” said Francies Devinney, a neighbor of Alexander’s. “Lionel was there, and it was obvious that his wife had just found him with Diane. His wife was really, really mad. Glass broke and furniture crashed around inside. It sounded like she was killing someone. It wasn’t very civilized.”
Sandra Moss, who had always thought Harvey as a “very soft-spoken" person was shocked by her friend's reaction. She said, "She’s just the most adorable, caring, pretty, bright...I can’t believe she did this.”
Harvey was booked on suspicion of corporal injury to a spouse, resisting arrest, trespassing, vandalism, battery, and disturbing the peace and later released on $5,000 bail.
Describing the event, another neighbor said, “They had to push her down on her chest on the ground to get the cuffs on her,” and continued, “She kept screaming for Diane to help her; she kept screaming, ‘Diane, don’t let them do this to me. Please, Diane.’”
The unfortunate incident took a toll on their crumbling marriage and the couple got divorced in 1993. Richie didn't wait for too long and tied the knot with Alexander in 1995 but their marriage lasted only for eight years. Richie fathered two kids with Alexander, Miles, and Sophia.
In an interview with the Mirror in 2016, the Hello singer admitted that his ex-wives ruined the concept of marriage for him. He said, “I’ve been there twice and it was very expensive for me. I’ve no idea to go there a third time - women have killed it for me." Divulging into the idea of having more children, he continued, "Kids aren’t the problem - ex-wives are. That’s why I won’t marry again, but I’m happy to commit in other ways.”