Denise Richards is a busy actress and reality star but when it comes to her priorities, it is her role as a mom to her three girls that’s at the top of her list.
During a couple of new interviews, the newest addition to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast has opened up about the challenges she’s faced with her youngest daughter, seven-year-old Eloise, and her thoughts on her past marriage to the often controversial Charlie Sheen.
“I’m most proud of raising my kids, especially in a time that is very different from how I was raised,” Denise told PEOPLE on February 6. “It’s extremely hard to keep children grounded. This is not an easy time to grow up.”
Denise is a mom to 14-year-old Sam and 13-year-old Lola, who she shares with Charlie, and seven-year-old Eloise, who she adopted in 2011 as a single mom. Sadly, over two years ago, Eloise was diagnosed with a chromosomal disorder that “has caused a lot of developmental delays for her,” the actress explained.
“Every child is different,” Denise explained. “You take care of your children no matter what is going on with them. I don’t know if [Eloise] is ever going to talk like a typical child. But as a parent, you want what’s best for your children, and you just do it.”
According to Denise, she noticed her youngest child wasn’t reaching the expected milestones when she was just a baby.
“She wasn’t able to sit up on her own for a very long time, and she didn’t start walking until she was 2, and that was with physical therapy,” she said. “She can only say a handful of words and there are times when she feels like her age in understanding, and then other times where it feels she’s emotionally 3 years old. It’s been challenging.”
“I’m learning every day because they don’t really have a road map for her particular case,” Denise added.
As for her marriage to Charlie, which ended 14 years ago when she was six-months pregnant with their second daughter, Denise said she has no regrets.
“I was never bitter about my divorce. Going through everything, it changed me, but I love life and I’m a glass-half-full kind of person. And I did my best to rise above it,” she explained during a second interview with PEOPLE.
Although Denise acknowledged that it was “extremely disheartening” to see Charlie suffer a drug and alcohol relapse years ago, during which he claimed to be on “tiger blood” and “winning” at life, she told the magazine they are now in a great place and that she’ll always be supportive of her former husband.
“No matter what happens, Charlie can call me at any point,” Denise revealed. “I don’t see our relationship as a failure. It’s a journey. It went a different way than we anticipated, but that’s okay. And I will always be a good friend to him. I know that when someone is struggling with addiction, sometimes choices are made that are not in the best judgment, and I have empathy for that. I want Charlie to be the best person and father he can be.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season nine premieres on Tuesday, February 12 at 9 p.m. on Bravo TV.
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