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Denise Richards Says She Had to Teach Her Kids About Addiction

Jul 26, 2011 | 12:50pm EDT

Denise Richards went on the Today show this morning with the intention of talking to Matt Lauer about her new book, The Real Girl Next Door (which she specified that she did not write to capitalize off that period of time where Charlie Sheen was making videos and chain-smoking and believing the airplanes that flew over his house were trying to stifle him). But Matt Lauer's been doing his job for a while, so he knew that the much bigger story at his disposal was how Denise Richards managed to, you know, keep going about her life while her ex-husband was literally documenting his insanity. Denise explained that though divorce is very difficult for everyone involved, she got through hard times by telling herself that the man Charlie Sheen had become wasn't the man she married. And while that's true, she still wasn't completely able to disregard him from her life because she has two daughters with him, and she explained to Lauer that for a long time she tried to protect them from their father's downward spiral in the media. But then she said she eventually felt compelled to define what was happening to their father, and why it was taking place. And she did what most parents choose to do when they have an uncomfortable subject to explain to their kids: she turned to a children's book that introduced the topic of addiction gently. And while it was probably a very hard task for Denise to do, its interesting how the precedence her ex-husband set on the topic probably meant she had the ability to choose from a wide variety of sources.

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