Lionel Richie is slowing mending his damaged relationship with daughter NICOLE, after years of drug abuse and lies ravaged their bond. Nicole began a slow downward spiral into drink and drug abuse in the wake of her adoptive parents' divorce. Lionel and his ex-wife BRENDA split in 1993 when Nicole was just 11, and she struggled with the sense of abandonment she felt. Nicole tells US ABC's 20/20, "They were dealing with their own thing. But I was also looking for some sort of authority, and when I realised I could make my own decisions, then I kind of felt like I was an adult from there and that I could do whatever I wanted." Richie reacted to his daughter's destructive ways by cutting her off from his two young children with his new wife DIANE ALEXANDER. Nicole explains, "He just really did not want my brother and sister to be around that kind of behaviour. So I was kind of cut off in that department until I got my act together." The Simple Life star eventually asked for help and checked into rehab to deal with her drug abuse, which partly stemmed from feeling abandoned by Richie went he went on the road when she was younger. According to Nicole, the pair are slowly working to repair their relationship and put the past behind them. She adds, "It's really great, and we have a really open and honest relationship. I'm really happy that I'm on the end of it."