Denise Richards shares how she explains ex Charlie Sheen's behavior to their kids

She recalled how she would address Sheen's alcohol and substance abuse with their young daughters.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Maura Hohman

Actress-turned-reality-star Denise Richards may have filed for divorce from Charlie Sheen in 2005, but her life hasn't exactly been smooth sailing since then.

Recently, one of the biggest challenges she's been facing, according to Wednesday's episode of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," is raising her teenage daughters, Sam Sheen, 16, and Lola Sheen, 14. (In 2011, on her own, Richards adopted a daughter, Eloise, now 8.)

After recalling that Sam dyed her hair bright pink without asking her mom first, Richards told producers that she's "really struggling with parenting right now with my teenagers."

"Sami, I think, sometimes she does things hoping to get a reaction out of me," the mother of three continued. "It's not easy."

She went on to clarify what her life was like when she was married to Sheen, known for his struggle with alcohol and substance abuse and one high-profile interview when he claimed he had "tiger blood."

"A lot of people have an impression of me being wild and crazy, but Charlie was sober when we got married, so we were not this swinging couple that people might assume," she explained, laughing.

She added that things changed "rapidly" when she got pregnant with Lola. "It was a very dark time and very toxic, and I filed for divorce when I was six months pregnant with her," she said.

The "Wild Things" star then revealed how she would talk about her ex's condition with Sam and Lola.

"I always did whatever I could to hide Charlie's behavior," she said. "How do you tell kids what's really going on? I would say, 'Dad had to go to work, but he loves you so much. He wants to be here for you girls.'"

Since officially divorcing Sheen in 2006, Richards has remarried. In 2018, she and fiancé Aaron Phypers tied the knot. There was drama around the wedding itself, though, after fans found out she invited Sheen to her second nuptials.

Explaining the decision in a March 2019 episode of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," she said, "No matter what’s gone down with Charlie and I, I invite Charlie to everything having to do with the kids and I."

The month prior, she opened up to People about how she manages her relationship with the father of two of her children.

"Whatever is going on with a couple, the children should not be privy to it,” she said. “Obviously, there are times when emotions might flare up. But we’re human beings, and we make mistakes. I know that when someone is struggling with addiction, sometimes choices are made that are not in the best judgment, and I have empathy for that. I want Charlie to be the best person and father he can be."