Richie's romance result of long friendship

Aug. 31, 2006 at 4:13 PM

MALIBU, Calif., Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Nicole Richie's romance with "Princes of Malibu" star Brody Jenner is the product of a nearly life-long friendship between the two Hollywood celebrities.

People magazine reported that the celebrity couple has known each other since they were children.

"I was there when (Brody) was born!" said Lionel Richie, Nicole's father. "They grew up together. To see them together now is like, 'Where are you going with this?' But they're having a wonderful time."

Lionel Richie says he is full support of his 24-year-old daughter's blossoming relationship and his sentiment seems to be echoed by an unnamed source close to the couple.

"They are a very normal couple and Brody is a decent, nice, down-to-earth guy," the source told People. "Even though it's relatively new, it seems like they've been together forever."

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