Nothing could have prepared Denise Richards for a “public divorce” from Charlie Sheen.
The actress first met the actor while filming “Good Advice” in 2000. However, it wouldn’t be until Richards, 49, guest-starred on the now-55-year-old’s sitcom “Spin City” in 2001 that a romance blossomed.
The couple tied the knot in 2002. They welcomed daughter Sam Sheen in 2004. Richards was six months pregnant with their second daughter Lola when she filed for divorce. At the time, Sheen was in the midst of a drug and alcohol relapse.
“That was a hard thing for me to go through and deal with,” Richards told People magazine on Thursday. “I just wanted to keep doing what I loved to do and keep plugging away.”
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“It was a hard thing to navigate and I’ve made a lot of mistakes,” Richards reflected. “I obviously went through a very public divorce. It was hard for me to comprehend that my public divorce affected my work. I didn’t understand it at that time because I thought, ‘How come? That’s my private life. It shouldn’t affect my work.’ But it did.”
DENISE RICHARDS ON HER RELATIONSHIP WITH EX-HUSBAND CHARLIE SHEEN: ‘COMMUNICATION’S GREAT WITH HIM’
Richards said throughout her career she was very determined to keep her personal life out of the spotlight.
“When I would do interviews I was very private, which I’m sure people now would find it hard to believe because I’ve done reality shows and I’m on Instagram and stuff,” the former “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star explained. “When I started out, they wanted to imagine the actor in that role. And we would do our best to keep it and keep our private life private.”
According to the outlet, Richards originally got her start in Hollywood in 1997’s “Starship Troopers.” A year later, she starred alongside Neve Campbell and Kevin Bacon in “Wild Things.” Richards also became a Bond girl in 1999’s “The World Is Not Enough,” which featured Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.
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Richards immersed herself in work and, with time, she found happiness again. In 2011, the star adopted a girl named Eloise. Then, in 2018, she married Aaron Phypers. According to the outlet, Richards announced in 2019 that the 48-year-old was in the process of legally “adopting” Eloise, 9.
Today, Richards is active on social media, where she hopes to “dispel rumors” about her life.
“It’s hard being misunderstood and having stuff that is not true out there,” said Richards. “My older daughters, they’re teenagers and I can’t keep stuff away from them at all. They will hear everything. I miss the time when I was able to shelter them from the negative publicity around our family quite frankly.”