Brody Jenner, Nicole Richie Hitting if Off

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The budding romance between Nicole Richie and Brody Jenner may look like a typical, quickie Hollywood rebound affair that's destined to crash and burn, but don't be fooled: The pair go way back. He even predates Paris Hilton.

"I was there when (Brody) was born!" Lionel Richie, Nicole's dad, and a longtime friend of Jenner's parents, tells People. "They grew up together. To see them together now is like, ‘Where are you going with this?' But they're having a wonderful time."

Nicole Richie And Brody Jenner Picture

Just three months after splitting up with ex-fiancé DJ AM (for the second time), Richie, 24, has been cozying up with the 23-year-old Jenner.

Jenner recently ended a high-profile relationship of his own, breaking things off with sizzling Laguna Beach alumna Kristin Cavallari.

From lunch at Hollywood's La Conversation Café (a Nicole fave) last week, to dinner at Mr. Chow, to an A-list birthday bash in Hollywood, the two are getting along famously, dishes a source who knows Richie and Jenner.

"They are a very normal couple and Brody is a decent, nice, down-to-earth guy. Even though it's relatively new, it seems like they've been together forever," the source said.

Or, at least it's new since the '80s, when the pals often played at one another's houses. Jenner's mom, Linda Thompson, remembers it fondly â€" and approves of the current romance.

"(Nicole) is like my godchild. … She's a darling girl, very intelligent and very together. I think they're very cute (as a couple). Will they get married? Who knows? He's young and so is she," said Brody's mom.

But does Jenner get the all-important dad stamp of approval?

"Oh, yeah," says Lionel. "He's a great kid."

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