Lionel Richie A 'Basket Case' Over Nicole

The singer says speculation about his daughter's weight "hurts me more than it hurts her"

Lionel Richie says rumors about his daughter Nicole’s rail-thin physique are especially painful to him.

“I’ll be honest with you, it hurts me more than it hurts her,” the 57-year-old singer tells TV’s Access Hollywood in an interview set to air Monday night. “I’m more sensitive. I take it more so personal … I must tell you, I’m the basket case.”

Nicole, 24, herself said in the June issue of Vanity Fair, “I know I’m too thin right now.” She also said she’s been working with a nutritionist, psychiatrist and trainer in an effort to gain weight.

The elder Richie, whose new album, Coming Home, is due in September, says he’s spoken to Nicole about her health. “What are fathers for if you can’t point the finger every once in a while?” he says. “The good part of it is she is aware of it. … She has heard this all her life from me so this is just a continuation of the reminder.”

As for the Simple Life star’s current condition, her father says, “She is doing great.”

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