Denise Richards Opens Up About Charlie Sheen on 'Oprah'

The ex-wife of the embattled actor recalls the drama in their marriage

Most moms feel pangs of sadness when our kids hear the truth about Santa Claus from a friend -- so just imagine what Denise Richards recently went through, when daughters Sam, 5, and Lola, 4, learned from a classmate that their father, Charlie Sheen, was in jail. Richards shared the poignant anecdote during her Oprah Winfrey Show appearance on Tuesday.

Richards recalled that on Christmas Day, when her girls were playing with their new American Girl dolls, Sheen was in an Aspen, Co., jail cell, arrested for allegedly threatening his wife, Brooke Mueller. Richards said she initially decided to keep mum about her ex-husband’s crisis.

But when a kindergarten friend asked little Sam if her dad was still in jail, Richards says, "I did have to tell them about their dad." Of Sheen and Mueller's situation, the 38-year-old actress says, "It's sad." She added, "Perhaps people can understand what I went through."

During the interview, Winfrey asked if Sheen was abusive during their four-year marriage, and Richards replied that they'd had “a lot of verbal arguments that got heated... that scared me,” adding that he had pushed and shoved her; Richards said he never hit her. Sheen’s "pushing" did lead her to seek a restraining order and to file for divorce when she was five months' pregnant with Lola. "I was terrified and relieved that I had the courage to do it," the actress told Winfrey. "Our daughters didn't ask to be born into our conflict.” Richards said that although she tried to make the marriage work, “it was impossible.”

Now, however, Richards says she and Sheen are friendly. "Charlie and I are in a great place now," she said, pointing out that she now trusts her ex with their daughters.

Plus: Will Brooke Mueller Reconcile with Charlie Sheen?

Do you think Denise Richards should publicize her history with Charlie Sheen while his latest marriage is in crisis? Chime in below!

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