Denise Richards 'Realized It Wasn't the Right Thing' to Share Maskless Selfie on a Plane: Sources

A source tells PEOPLE that Denise Richards admits "she was an idiot to post the photo" of herself without a mask on

Denise Richards regrets her decision to share a maskless selfie on social media which showed her using a coat to cover her face while on a plane, sources tell PEOPLE.

Richards' Instagram story, which was shared on Sunday and has since expired, showed a close-up of her face without a mask and was captioned: "On a jet plane. Anyone that is upset I [am] not wearing a mask I'm hiding under a hoody amd [sic] a huge winter coat."

"Please. Thicker than any mask!!" Richards, 50, added.

A source tells PEOPLE, "Denise realized it wasn't the right thing to do to post the picture. In reality, she wore her mask the entire time except when she was taking sips of water. She believes in masks, and she really does follow the rules."

Similarly, an insider says Richards is "not one of those people who is anti-masks. The way she handled it was strange, posting the photo. She's ready to admit she was an idiot to post the photo!"

Denise Richards

"She was just flying home, sitting in her seat, and she put a coat over her head… you're allowed to take a sip of water and pull your mask down," the insider shares. "So when she took her mask down, took it off for a second to relax and drink water, she posted this thing 'I hope nobody's upset' and she thought it was tongue-in-cheek. But people did not think it was funny."

Those on social media were quick to call out the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum's maskless selfie with one user declaring that she should be on "the no fly list."

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Denise richards
Denise Richards. Gregg DeGuire/Getty

The insider claims Richards "put the mask right back on," adding, "She was wearing it the whole time, except when she drank the bottle of water. She always follows the rules and wants people to be safe."

The CDC recommends that all passengers and crew members on airplanes wear a mask over their nose and mouth regardless of vaccination status.

Previously, Richards has posted several photos of herself wearing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mother of three has made no further comment about the incident.

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