Nicole Richie, daughter of singer Lionel Richie and Brenda Richie, was Michael Jackson's goddaughter. In 2003, she defended the star and shared her fond memories of Neverland.
Nicole, in particular, supported Jackson against the charges of improper sexual behavior with children. To that end, she offered tales of her own childhood romps at Jackson's Neverland Ranch, during which she often slept in Jackson's bedroom. "“You know, a group of us would all sleep in the same room,” she said. “It was like, absolutely nothing more than just…an adult kind of wanting to be a kid again. Just, you know, enjoying the company of children. I grew up with him. I have spent many evenings there and many days there." Noting that she could "only speak for myself," she still added "that absolutely nothing went on.”
Nicole also said that she wouldn't have held her tongue had Jackson tried anything with her. "I'm not a quiet person,” she said. “If there was something going on, I'd be like 'who are you?’… and I'd tell my parents. But my parents would never put me in hands that they thought were dangerous. I never had any complaints, and you know, I love him.”
Her parents, Lionel and Brenda Richie were close friends with Michael Jackson. Brenda takes an active part in the efforts to defend Michael Jackson on social media.
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Nicole's younger sister, the famous model and fashion designer Sofia Richie (daughter of Lionel Richie and Diane Alexander) also shared her memories of Michael Jackson: "He was a really sweet guy. [Neverland Ranch] was the Disneyland of Beverly Hills."