Denise Richards: Charlie Sheen wanted to 'bleed me dry' during divorce

For love or money. Denise Richards opened up about turning to reality TV amid her costly divorce from ex-husband Charlie Sheen and her mounting debts.

“Back during the show I did at E! [Denise Richards: It’s Complicated], I had to do that. I had too many legal bills with my ex-husband,” the reality star, 48, admitted during the Wednesday, August 7, episode of the “Daddy Issues” podcast. “He said he wanted to bleed me dry, and he did. Those legal fees add up quite fast.”

Richards explained how her relationship with Sheen, 53, further impacted her career choices. “It was difficult for me to get a job back then because I was perceived as doing something very [negative] with Charlie, so that was very hard — when you’re misunderstood and you want to keep your personal life private and when it’s out there,” she said.

The actress starred in two seasons of the E! reality show, which ran from 2008 to 2009 and documented her life as a famous mom navigating work and parenthood post-divorce.

Richards wed Sheen in June 2002. She filed for divorce in March 2005, and they finalized the proceedings in November 2006. The exes share daughters Sam, 15, and Lola, 14.

The Wild Things star, who married Aaron Phypers in September 2018, joined The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in season 9. She lamented her divorce’s effect on her children during an April episode. “It’s surreal when you start to see your kids become adults. It makes me cry,” she said at the time. “I just feel like I f–ked up a lot with their dad. I don’t want them to look back at their childhood and remember [arguments].”

She added: “My girls have been through a lot. 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.”

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Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Actors Charlie Sheen (L) and Denise Richards attend the New York Yankees vs New York Mets game at Citi Field on June 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen look for their seats as the New York Yankees take on the New York Mets on June 23, 2012 during interleague play at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen watch the New York Yankees take on the New York Mets on June 23, 2012 during interleague play at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Charlie Sheen and his wife, Denise Richards. (Photo by Francis Specker - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 5: Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards attend 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Shrine Exposition Center on February 5, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen during 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals at The Shrine in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards during 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals at The Shrine in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen 8505_SG26_0131.jpg (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards 8505_KM10_28.jpg at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 16: Actors Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen arrive at the 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel January 16, 2005 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards during "The Big Bounce" - Los Angeles Premiere - Red Carpet at Mann Village Westwood in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Lee Celano/WireImage)
Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen during "The Big Bounce" Premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen during "The Big Bounce" Premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen during "The Big Bounce" Premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Actor Charlie Sheen and his wife Denise Richards arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of Warner Bros. "The Big Bounce" at the Mann's Village on January 29, 2004 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images).
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