The Lowdown on: Denise Richards

July 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

denise-richards.jpgSh*gging her best friend’s husband, a messy divorce and raunchy roles: what is Denise Richards all about?

Does anyone take Denise Richards seriously these days? It seems that every week there’s another story splashed across (who absolutely detests her) about her latest publicity stunt or the most recent machination in her divorce from Michael Sheen. But there has to be more to her than that, right?

‘The only girl on the baseball team…’

Denise was born in 1971 in small-town Illinois. Her mother owned a coffee shop and her father was a telephone engineer. Denise didn’t embrace her feminine side until later in life. As a kid she was a tomboy who shunned girly stuff, preferring sporty pursuits like baseball.

Model and actress

Denise decided to capitalise on her good looks by becoming a model. This led to her being cast in a string of low-budget films and shows during the 1990s like Saved By The Bell. In 1997 she got her big break starring in Starship Troopers, followed by cult hit Wild Things in 1998.

World’s worst Bond girl…

Denise must have thought all her Christmases had come at once when she was cast as – ahem – Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough in 1999. She felt that her character possessed great depth of character and was “brainy and athletic?. The viewing public wasn’t so sure. She was criticized for the skimpy tank top and shorts combo that Christmas wore throughout most of the film, and lost credibility as quickly as Bond loses bullets during a particularly vigorous shoot-out. Unfortunately for Denise, she was voted worst Bond girl of all time by Entertainment Weekly in 2008. Harsh – but fair?

Sex symbol

Most of the time in Hollywood the pretty girls don’t get the gritty roles that would allow them to prove their acting mettle. This was exactly what happened to Denise. In the early 2000s her film work consisted solely of roles which highlighted her sex symbol status, like Valentine, Undercover Brother and Scary Movie 3. She posed naked for Playboy in 2004 and was voted among the world’s sexiest women in various lads’ mags.

Love troubles

In recent years it’s been Denise’s rocky personal life that has kept her in the headlines. Her split with Charlie Sheen (with whom she has two young daughters) is a favourite topic on gossip websites. She married Sheen in 2002 after meeting on the set of Scary Movie 3. The pair had two daughters together before Denise filed for divorce in 2005. It all got a bit messy when she took a restraining order out on him for his alleged death threats against her. She claimed that he was obsessed with prostitutes, addicted to gambling and drugs, and had a penchant for porn. This smear campaign didn’t endear Denise to her public…

My best friend’s husband

Nor did her affair with Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, which began soon after Sambora split from Denise’s best friend Heather Locklear. Word of advice for the future – best not to choose your close friend’s ex-hubby as your rebound fling… Suffice to say, Denise and Heather are no longer on speaking terms.

Airing her dirty laundry…


Despite relying on the paparazzi for her continuing slice of limelight, Denise directed her temper at a pair of snappers who dared to take her photo while she as filming in Canada. She flung their laptops over a balcony. One hit an 80-year-old wheelchair-bound woman, and the other hit a 91-year-old. Oops…

Reality bites

The saga of the Richards-Sheen divorce rumbled on when Denise signed up for her own reality show on E! called Denise Richards: It’s Complicated. She wanted to include her and Sheen’s two daughters, Sam and Lola, but Michael wasn’t too happy. He called her “greedy, vain and exploitative?, but his case against her wasn’t successful and the show went ahead featuring the girls.

Despite something of a renaissance after never quite making the A-list for her movies, Denise isn’t exactly Miss Popular in Celebville. But these days all publicity is good publicity, so we’re sure she’s perfectly happy with what she has. What’s life without a bit of scandal anyway?

by Susie Gordon