Denise Richards: I Had to Teach My Daughters About Addiction

Charlie Sheen's ex says she taught Sam, 7, and Lola, 6, about addiction in order to explain their father's erratic behavior

What do you tell your kids when their father has one of the biggest public meltdowns on record? If you're Denise Richards and your ex-husband/baby daddy is Charlie Sheen, you tell your children the truth -- to an extent. In an appearance on the Today show Tuesday, Richards, 40, admitted that she ultimately had to teach her daughters Sam, 7, and Lola, 6, about addiction in order to explain what was happening with their father (who, as you may remember, went on an unparalleled media rampage earlier this year following his hospitalization for an apparent drug overdose).

Richards -- whose memoir, The Real Girl Next Door, hit bookstore shelves July 26 -- said that at first she tried to shield Sam and Lola from the reality of their father's lifestyle and addiction issues. "I was just lying to them about so much, and covering up things and totally lying," said Richards. "It was just getting too confusing that I had to sit down with them."

Richards decided to "have a conversation with them about addiction," which she started by reading to her daughters from a book that explained addiction to children. Richards, however, didn't go into anything too in-depth or gritty with the kids. "It's too early (for them to understand)," she said. "I told them enough for them to make sense of things that were going on."

Even with the drama of the past year, Richards -- who recently threw a baby shower for her newly adopted daughter Eloise -- says that she and Sheen are currently in "a good place." And, no, her memoir doesn't trash-talk the Sheenius. In fact, the book refers to Richards and Sheen's early relationship as a "beautiful love story." What's more, Richards admits to still worrying about her ex -- but not too much. "He's the father of our children," Richards said. "He's also a survivor. If anyone can pull themselves together, it's Charlie."

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