After a recent Good Charlotte concert in New Jersey, Joel Madden piled into a car with his girlfriend, Nicole Richie, baby daughter Harlow and twin brother Benji and drove to the Bowie, Md., home of his estranged father, Roger Combs. It was a family reunion that left the whole family misty-eyed — that mid-May evening, Roger, 56, held his baby granddaughter in his arms for the first time. “It was a wonderful moment,” Roger exclusively tells In Touch. “She’s such a beautiful girl. I felt very proud.”
A recovering alcoholic, Roger severed his relationship with his children when he walked out on them more than 10 years ago. But Harlow has helped the family put the bad times behind them. Since her January 11 birth, Roger says he began receiving regular text messages from his 29-year-old twin sons, Joel and Benji. “My kids were mad at me, and I don’t blame them,” says Roger, who also has a daughter, Sarah, 27, and a son, Josh, 30, with Benji and Joel’s mom. Though Joel did start mending fences with Roger three years ago, it was Harlow who really reunited them. “We are good today, and that’s all that matters,” Roger says.
Harlow also made Nicole rethink her relationship with her adopted parents, Lionel and Brenda Richie. Upon learning of her pregnancy, Nicole stopped partying and reached out to them. “There was just something inside me that felt a responsibility to mend any issues that I’ve had with my parents in the past,” she says, “because I’ve put them through a lot.”
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