'She's just in an unfortunate situation'

LIONEL RICHIE did not skirt questions about his daughter Nicole's drunken-driving case after his performance at the Essence Music Festival. "She's just in an unfortunate situation," he said Saturday night.



Nicole Richie, 25, is scheduled to go on trial Wednesday. She was arrested Dec. 11 and pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. In addition, her case contains an allegation that she had a prior misdemeanour driving under the influence conviction in June 2003.

"She keeps apologising to me," Lionel Richie said. "I told her, 'You're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing to your father at this age.'"

The R&B star said celebrities today are under more scrutiny than ever before.

"There's just so much information out there right now - MySpace, cell phones, the Internet," he said.


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