Denise Richards protecting daughters from Charlie Sheen

Jan 19, 2011 at 12:01 p.m. ET

Denise Richards is trying very, very hard to shield her two daughters from the downward spiral that has become the life of their father, Charlie Sheen.

Denise Richards

Denise Richards is doing her best to protect her two daughters from the antics of their out-of-control dad, Charlie Sheen.

"I think a lot of people are concerned about Charlie, and my concern is obviously -- what becomes difficult is things become so public," Denise told Access Hollywood. "I try my best to keep that quiet from our daughters because, you know, this is something I've never dealt with in my life until this situation.

"I'm learning how to deal with it and just keeping a lid on it for our kids has been my main priority and it does become difficult," she added.

Charlie gave up custody of Sam and Lola last year after he was accused of holding a knife to the throat of his then-wife Brooke Mueller while their twin boys were in the next room.

Charlie and Denise had one of the most bitter and public divorces in recent Hollywood history, but have put the enmity behind them for the sake of the kids.

"Thankfully, the last -- I would say two years, Charlie and I have been in such a much better place and it makes it so much easier for our daughters," Richards said. "When we went to New York, that was our intention -- to have a nice time with the girls and I thought it was great that we could all travel together and go out to dinner and do things even though we're not together anymore.

"The events that took place after that, you know, it was… difficult."

That was the trip Charlie was found screaming the N-word in a cocaine-fueled rampage leaving a hooker scared out of her wits.

Judging from Charlie's recent weekend in Las Vegas, he still hasn't learned his lesson. His girls are getting older -- Sam is six and Lola is five -- and won't be able to be protected from the stories of their father's shenanigans forever.

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