Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen wed in 2002 and split in 2005 while she was six months pregnant with their oldest daughter

By Dave Quinn
April 23, 2019 10:00 PM
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Denise Richards was in tears on Tuesday’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, as she reflected back on some tough times during her divorce from ex-husband Charlie Sheen and wondered how they might have affected their two daughters.

The Wild Things actress, 48, was working out with new husband Aaron Phypers as she got to thinking about how much her daughters with Sheen — Sami, 15, and Lola, 13 — had grown. Though it was a sweet memory, it also left her examining past choices she made.

“It’s surreal when you start to see your kids become adults. It makes me cry,” she said, her eyes welling up. “I just feel like I f—ed up a lot with their dad. I don’t want them to look back at their childhood and remember [fights].”

“My girls have been through a lot,” she told audiences. “How I chose to relate to the dysfunction that was going on with their father was to hide it from the kids. I don’t know if I did a disservice or not. … It just made me realize how fast it goes. Life is so short and their childhood is so short.”

Phypers, 46, was there to support her. “You protected them from a lot,” he said. “You did the best you could. You’ve got to know it. And you’re right, life is short. So focus on right now and enjoy every moment. From my own perspective in my life, I wouldn’t change anything. Because it led me to right now — this moment with you.”

Denise Richards
Bravo

Richards and Sheen, 53, wed in 2002 and split in 2005 while Richards was six months pregnant with Lola. (Richards is also mom to 7-year-old Eloise, whom she adopted as a single mom in 2011.)

As fans will remember, it a very public and contentious divorce — one that only got worse after Sheen relapsed on drugs and alcohol, going on bizarre rants about tiger’s blood and “winning.”

[It was] extremely disheartening,” Richards told PEOPLE back in February, reflecting on it. “Times were extremely negative and I would have to tell myself, ‘This too shall pass.’ … I was never bitter about my divorce. Going through everything, it changed me. But I love life and I’m a glass-half-full kind of person. And I did my best to rise above.”

Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

They’re fine now, Richards and Sheen continuing to peacefully co-parent their daughters. And Richards, at least, seems able to laugh at the hard times now and again.

On Tuesday’s RHOBH, she cracked a joke or two at Sheen’s expense when she read reports that he wanted to renegotiate their child support deal.

Last August, Sheen had filed requests to modify the payments he was making to Richards and his other ex-wife, Brooke Mueller (with whom he shares sons Max and Bob, 10). In the court documents obtained by PEOPLE at the time, the actor claimed he couldn’t afford to make his monthly payments because he’s “been unable to find steady work, and [has] been blacklisted from many aspects of the entertainment industry.”

The Anger Management star went on to claim to be in a “dire financial crisis” with less than $10 million to his name.

Denise Richards
Noel Vasquez/Getty

Though she admitted she “didn’t want to deal with this,” Richards kept her sense of humor.

“Charlie and I didn’t have a prenup when we got married and when we got divorced, I could have asked for half of what he made and I did not because I ain’t a greedy f—ing whore,” Richards said, teasing that he was on his 14th lawyer since their split. “Poor bastard. How do you blow all that f—ing money? He should have given me half of that goddamn money because I would have put it away for him!”

Ultimately, Richards seemed amicable to meet Sheen’s needs. “I texted him, ‘Why you got to file this? We can work things out discretely and privately,’ ” she recalled. “It’s been 13 years!”

“I never anticipated the journey I would be on after our divorce,” she added.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.