Denise Lee Richards is an American actress and former fashion model. She became famous in the late 1990s, after a string of films that highlighted her sex appeal, including Starship Troopers, Wild Things, and The World Is Not Enough. She also has her own reality TV show, Denise Richards: It's Complicated which airs on E!.
Early life and career
Richards was born in Downers Grove, Illinois, the daughter of Joni, a coffee shop owner, and Irv Richards, a telephone engineer. She has one sister, Michelle, and grew up in both Mokena, Illinois and Downers Grove, Illinois. She graduated in 1989 from El Camino High School in Oceanside, California, although she neglects to mention this association when talking about her teen years. As a child, she was a "tomboy", the "only girl on the baseball team".
Before she was an actress, Richards was a fashion model. Richards spent the majority of the 1990s appearing in lower-budget films and TV shows like Saved by the Bell, television movies, and guest starring in episodes of several television shows. Her first starring role in a wide theatrical release was Starship Troopers in 1997, which was followed by her role in the moderately successful cult film Wild Things in 1998.
Richards was cast as the geo-physicist Christmas Jones in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough (1999), which had a high box office gross. Though she considered her role "brainy", "athletic", and having depth of character, she was criticised as not credible in it. Her outfit, which often comprised a tank top and shorts, elicited comments. She was ranked as the worst Bond girl of all time by Entertainment Weekly in 2008, and was chosen as "Worst Supporting Actress" at the 1999 Razzie Awards for the role.
In addition to her film work, Richards made regular appearances in the situation comedies Spin City, Two and a Half Men, Friends and Seinfeld. She also starred in the short-lived UPN series Sex, Love & Secrets in 2005.
Throughout the early 2000s, Richards appeared in several film roles which both parodied and utilized her image as a sex symbol, including Valentine, Undercover Brother and Scary Movie 3. In December 2004, she posed for a nude pictorial in Playboy magazine. Richards also posed semi-nude for the July 2006 issue of Jane magazine to raise money for the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation. In 1999, she ranked 9 in Maxim's 50 Sexiest Women and in 2001 she was voted 2nd in FHM's USA 100 Sexiest Women, 5th in FHM 100 Sexiest Women and 19 in AskMen.com 50 Most Beautiful Women.
In 2002, she married actor Charlie Sheen, with whom she appeared in Scary Movie 3, in which she played his character's wife who was pinned to a tree in a car accident. They have two daughters, Sam J (born March 9, 2004) and Lola Rose Sheen (born June 1, 2005).
In March 2005, Richards filed for divorce from Sheen. The couple briefly reconciled and were seeking marriage counseling to mend their relationship. However, on January 4, 2006, Richards' representative announced that she was continuing with the divorce, and she later sought a restraining order against Sheen, citing his alleged death threats against her. Richards briefly dated Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora shortly after their respective separations from Sheen and Heather Locklear, ending what Locklear had considered to be a close friendship. Richards once dated actor Patrick Muldoon; she has also been linked to actor John Stamos, whom she dated during her teenage years.
On April 19, 2006, Richards filed formal legal papers asking for divorce from Sheen under the laws of the state of California. In her court filing, Richards alleged that Sheen's behavior was increasingly erratic, making their marriage impossible, and that she feared for her safety and the safety of their daughters.
Richards claimed that Sheen was physically and verbally abusive and threatened to kill her or have her killed, and that despite having accidentally shot his previous fiancée, Kelly Preston, he wanted to place firearms under their coffee table to protect them. Richards claimed that Sheen had become paranoid and obsessive, citing his belief in 9/11 conspiracy theories, a belief that baby formula caused brain damage, a desire to purchase gas masks, and an "abnormal fascination" with Nicole Simpson's death.
Further, Richards alleged that Sheen visited prostitutes and was addicted to gambling, prescription drugs (which he bought over the Internet), and pornography. Richards also alleged that Sheen posted a picture of his erect penis on his online profile of a "sex-search type" website and that he frequently viewed pornography featuring "very young girls," and websites "involving gay pornography also involving very young men who also did not look like adults." Based on these allegations, Richards sought and received a restraining order against Sheen.
Sheen denied the allegations. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he described Richards' actions as a "smear campaign" and insisted that he was a responsible father who would "give his life for his children." He added that Richards is "the only one entirely culpable for putting these radical allegations out for public consumption... my children included."
On November 8, 2006, officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were called to the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C., where Richards was making a movie. After seeing two photographers taking her picture from a nearby balcony, she confronted them, and threw their two laptop computers over the balcony. One laptop struck an 80-year-old woman in a wheelchair. The other laptop grazed the arm of a 91-year-old woman. Neither woman suffered serious injury, and no charges were pressed against Richards.
On December 1, 2007, it was announced that Richards' mother, Joni, died from cancer.
In 2008, Richards decided to include her two daughters with Charlie Sheen in her confessional reality program on E!, Denise Richards: It's Complicated, which premiered on May 26, 2008. He deemed her plans "greedy, vain and exploitative". On January 25, 2008, Richards won a court case against Sheen so that she can include her daughters in the show. When a judge rejected Sheen's request to block it, the latter urged fans to boycott it.
An agreement was reached between Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards regarding the custody of the children.