As the newest Housewife on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Denise Richards has been keeping things fairly lowkey so far. Her major storyline is her relationship with her now-husband, Aaron Phypers, and on Tuesday’s episode, they get married. While Richards and Phypers have made their love for each other very clear during this season (especially when she’s had some tequila), Denise Richards' relationship with her ex-husband, Charlie Sheen, has also come up a few times because they have two children together. Well, because of that, and because Teddi Mellencamp awkwardly yelled Sheen's one-time catchphrase, “Winning!” in front of everyone that one time.
On screen, Richards and Sheen seem to be on good terms. Sheen hasn’t been on RHOBH, but he was featured on a phone call when one of their teenage daughters, Sami, had to call to ask him whether she was allowed to have a date to her homecoming dance. While Sheen and Richards didn’t end up being on the same page there, this did show that they are in a pretty good place when it comes to co-parenting, otherwise Richards wouldn’t have told Sami to ask her dad in the first place.
In fact, Richards invited Sheen to her wedding to Phypers, as reported by Us Weekly. A source said back in September that she was “expecting him to attend”, but that didn’t end up happening. A rep for Sheen confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that the actor didn’t go, but said that he “wishes them both nothing but happiness!"
But seeing the couple so at ease with one another may feel new to fans who knew of them before RHOBH; things haven’t always been this smooth for the former couple. Richards and Sheen were married from 2002 to 2006, and had a very public and tumultuous divorce. ABC News called Sheen and Richards' uncoupling "one of Hollywood's ugliest divorces” and also noted that “the Sheen-Richards headlines have run the gamut from sad to malicious to just plain weird.” There was a lengthy custody battle over their two kids. Richards also filed for a restraining order. She told Oprah Winfrey in 2010, “I was terrified to file because [it] was going to be public, and I was scared of the outcome and the consequences of that.” She claimed he verbally abused and threatened her. “There was a lot of verbal abuse. He never hit me; it was a lot of verbal. Arguments got heated. That scared me." Sheen denied Richards' allegations.
Richards’ interview with Oprah came four years after the divorce and at that time, she said they were doing well. “Charlie and I are in a great place now, and I think now is a good time to reflect,” she said.
In the time since then, things didn’t calm down completely, though. Among other ups and downs, in 2013, E! News reported Richards had temporary custody of Sheen’s children with his ex-wife Brooke Mueller when they were removed from Mueller’s care by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. Then, when Sheen was at the height of his public erratic behaviour, he had some choice words for Richards.
While Richards and Sheen don’t seem to be close friends now, things are at least much less hectic. Entertainment Tonight pointed out that in January 2017, Richards posted an Instagram of herself, Sheen, their daughters, and her adopted daughter, and wrote, “We've had a colourful year ...at the end of the day we're still a family.”