"I know what's happening with her right now, she’s a nervous wreck," Richie tells Access Hollywood. "She's like her father, you can either blow up or you can shrink away."
The R&B singer says Nicole is just feeling the pressures of show business, and people shouldn't worry that she's gotten so much thinner than during her appearances on The Simple Life with Paris Hilton.
"Dad is on the case," Richie adds.
Nicole has said in numerous interviews that though she was heavier during The Simple Life, when most of the TV-viewing public came to know her, she’s always been thin – and she has adamantly denied she suffers from an eating disorder.
"Nothing people say really bothers me, but that bothers me because I wouldn’t want somebody younger than me, someone who looks up to me, to believe it," she recently told Jane magazine.
Last month, FOX announced that it was canceling plans for a fourth season of The Simple Life, but Nicole, who is engaged to Adam Goldstein, has said the show will likely air on another network.