Denise Richards is getting real about her 2006 divorce from Charlie Sheen.
While talking to "Real Housewives of Dubai" star Caroline Stanbury on her "Divorced Not Dead" podcast, Richards said that there were "many things" that led to them splitting up after four years of marriage.
“The behind-the-scenes stuff was way worse than what was out there,” Richards, 51, said about their marriage, adding, "it's very funny because a lot of people think on the outside, things are great."
Richards said when things got tough for her, she tried shielding her kids — Sam, 18, Lola, 17, and Eloise, 11, whom she shares with Sheen — from the drama.
“I never wanted the girls to — and I don’t know, maybe I did them a disservice, there’s no handbook for this, especially when you’re in the public too, and you have to deal with all this crap — but I never wanted them to sense any discord between us because I didn’t want them to feel unsettled,” Richards shared.
Richards admitted she “covered for him” with the kids.
“I did shelter them a lot, and then they started to get to an age where ‘so and so said this,’ and I lied my ass off and covered for him,” she revealed, later adding, “Now as they’re starting to get older, they’re more aware of more things. That’s why I say I don’t know if I did them a disservice when they were younger.”
Richards said that she knew it was time to end the marriage when she thought about the possibility of her three girls one day marrying a guy like their father.
"I said to myself, would I want my daughters to be married to this man? No offense to him, but it's true," Richards said of the “Two and a Half Men” actor. "I think he would take that — he would understand what I'm saying. That's when I was like, 'Well, why am I accepting this?'"
Richards explained that she filed for divorce from Sheen when she was six months pregnant with Lola, and once the public found out they were separating, her professional life took a huge blow.
Richards recalled being on the tabloids for "about two years straight" when her mother was "very sick."
Richards' mother, Joni Richards, later passed away from cancer in November 2007.
"It was incredibly difficult," she said of that time in her time when she had to deal with the divorce.
"It was really so hard for me," Richards added.
But despite their hardships, Richards said that she doesn't regret her marriage to Sheen because they welcomed three beautiful children and now they co-parent their kids together.
"To this day, Charlie does know he can call me at any time, no matter what,” she said. “I don’t care what he says or does, I will show up and be there because I always wanted him — and still do — to be the best dad for our daughters.”
After their divorce, Richards went on to marry Aaron Phypers in 2018. Sheen married actor Brooke Mueller in 2008 and they later divorced in 2011.