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CNN Larry King Live
Polygamy Moms Fight for Kids; Denise Richards Speaks Out
Aired May 19, 2008 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Denise Richards.
What is she thinking about ex-husband Charlie Sheen.
Do they have the nastiest divorce in Hollywood?
About her ex-boyfriend -- did she steal Richie Sambora from best friend Heather Locklear. And about her kids -- is she exploiting them for the sake of a TV show?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Why are you sad?
DENISE RICHARDS: I'm not sad, I'm happy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: But first, more exciting claims about polygamy -- forced marriage, raped at the age of 14 and the woman who lived it, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
In a couple of minutes, we'll meet Willie Jessop, who is still a member of the FLDS and a kind of a supporter of them in verbal tones, as well. And Elissa Wall, author of the book "Stolen Innocence" -- a victim of polygamy.
We begin, though, in San Angelo, Texas with Jenny Hoff. Jenny is a reporter with KXAN-TV.
There was a hearing today.
What happened, Jenny?
JENNY HOFF, KXAN-TV, AUSTIN: Well, Larry, today the status hearings got started for all these 460 plus children that were taken off that ranch. And, really, these hearings took over this entire courthouse today. There were five judges in five separate courtrooms. And the way they split it up is that each mom got her case heard in front of a judge. So one judge would look at her case, as well as the cases of all of her children.
Now, what the judge was really doing is really looking at these service plans that CPS has given all of these parents. It lays out what the parents need to do in order to get their children back. And it's not going to be any time soon. They don't expect to reunify these families until next April and it could be longer than that if CPS requests an extension.
Now, what the interesting part is, is many of these parents had not met with their CPS workers yet. So they said that their plans were, again, one broad brush for all of the families. The plans were not specific to each family. They were not tailored to each family. And so when many of the parents were coming out of those courtrooms today, they said they were just as confused as they were before, because they don't know what the state wants them to do specifically to be with their kids.
Meanwhile, since we were back here three weeks ago, those moms have been traveling -- and dads -- have been traveling throughout this state to meet up with their kids, who in different shelters throughout the state.
KING: And you've talked with some of the parents.
What are you learning?
HOFF: Well, like I said, a lot of the parents say they're very confused when they come out of that courtroom. But when I talked to some of the dads -- in particular, I talked with one dad and a wife. They say they're husband and wife, in a monogamous relationship. They have three kids. They were all born after the wife was 18 years old. He says he doesn't understand how this plan applies them. He says he's not committing any crimes that the state accusing him of and yet his wife is living with a newborn baby inside a shelter. Her other two kids are at another shelter in another city.
He is driving from city to city.
HOFF: He was here today. And says when he looks at that plan, they want his wife to get vocational training so she's able to get a job and support the children instead of being a homemaker. So they're very frustrated. They say they don't know what the state wants them to do.
KING: Yes know
HOFF: But from what they understand so far, it's essentially changed their entire life.
KING: Thanks Jenny.
Jenny Hoff of KXAN-TV.
In San Angelo now is Willie Jessop. He's a spokesman for the FLDS.
What are your thoughts on the hearings today, Willie?
WILLIE JESSOP, F-L-D-S SPOKESMAN, IN COURTROOM TODAY: First, we'll clear it up. I am just a spokesman for the women and children of the YFZ Ranch. And that's all that I am a spokesman for -- and on their behalf.
And I think that the description she gave was very accurate. It's just a continued fiasco of the 14-day hearing, where the state has used a broad brush to try to, you know, demonize an entire people for a very specific agenda, which is to try to wipe out our faith. You know, it came out today that they've banned the Book of Mormon from, you know, being used as doctrine. And, you know, it's just a continuation where nobody knows what the plan is for. There isn't a parent in America that could live up to it.
KING: Are you saying, Willie, that this is just the actions of a few bad apples?
JESSOP: Of course it is. It's just like any other society. You know, there's an old saying that I got from my grandpa once that says, you know, in this community there is 1,100 people and four sore heads. And, you know, let's use the four sore heads to destroy the other 1,100 people. And, of course, that's very much the actions of the court today is let's take a plan that no parent in America could live up to and, you know, try to make everybody fit in it.
KING: Do the parents, Willie, have faith in the justice system?
JESSOP: Of course not. You know, we've been just like every other American, where we've sat around and thought that there was people that swore to uphold the Constitution and that you could go about your day to day life in a farm or construction or any other lifestyle and expect that there was people in government that would uphold the things that give you protection. And, you know, we, like everyone else, has been caught asleep. And, you know, then you realize that it's too late, like it will be for many other people when they realize, you know, what's happening. There's 10,000 parents in Texas within the last year that had their families, you know, their children taken away from them and they say they do it all the time. And nobody seems to understand it until it happens to them and then the state can't make the case of why they took them other than your address. You know, there's nothing other than that that any of the parents had in common.
KING: By the way, Willie, you're scheduled to be back on this show on Thursday night. And joining you will be some of the FLDS parents from the Yearning for Zion Ranch. We look forward to seeing you then. We'll have more time, Willie.
And thanks very much for all your help.
JESSOP: We'll see you then, Larry.
KING: That was Willie Jessop.
Here now in our studios in Los Angeles is Elissa Wall, author of "Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing up in a Polygamist Sect, Becoming A Teenage Bride and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs." There you see the cover of that book, just published. What do you make of what's going on?
ELISSA WALL, ESCAPED POLYGAMY: Well, you know, it's tough situation. Texas is a tough, tough situation. And they do have concern. And that is what has prompted this. It's not about taking their beliefs from them and it's not about squashing out one religion. They have true concerns that they are trying to address. And it's a tough process for everyone -- for the people, for the CPS workers and for the judges themselves. And I feel bad for everyone involved.
KING: You lived among them.
How do you think they're taking this?
WALL: Well, it's very hard for them. They do feel like this is an invasion of their religious rights. They do feel like this is a way to squash and stamp out their religious beliefs. And they have a deep fear for the outside world. And that's very clear in watching this.
KING: Your testimony, they say, led to the major convictions against Warren Jeffs. I mean, he was convicted on many counts, but you might have been the key witness toward sending him away for a long, long time.
Do you ever have any regrets?
WALL: No. I don't regret it. I really stood up for what I felt like was right and what I felt like needed to be done. So, no, I have no regrets.
KING: So in your mind, he was and is a criminal?
WALL: In my mind, he did go through the court system. He was found guilty and justice was served.
KING: Is it hard for you?
WALL: Well, yes, it was hard for me because he was the leader of that religion for a long time. And for so much of my life, I respected him as such.
KING: Elissa will tell us more of her forced marriage at A 14 -- at age 14, rather -- and rape and abuse.
And ahead, we're changing gears in a big way. Denise Richards will be here. We will have some questions for her and she'll have some answers.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: We're back with Elissa Wall.
We're joined now by her husband, Lamont Barlow, who is also a former member of the FLDS. Elissa, you testified against Warren Jeffs, as mentioned earlier. Part of what you said about being forced to have sex in a marriage arranged against your will at age 14. Now, you note you were a rape victim, so your face is not shown, but we're going to show a little portion of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALL: And I was sobbing and my whole entire body was just shaking because I was so -- so scared. And he didn't say anything. He just laid me on the bed and then had sex. I was crying and I was like, please, I don't want you doing this. It doesn't feel right. Please stop. Please quit. I can't do this. Just begging him to stop or at least explain to me what he was doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Was it hard to do that?
WALL: Yes, it was. It was very hard.
KING: Was it hard to face Warren Jeffs in a courtroom?
WALL: Yes, it was. It was very hard, but also very empowering and freeing.
KING: Did he look you down?
WALL: Oh, yes. We definitely had our stare contests in the beginning.
KING: What attracted you, Lamont, to this FLDS?
LAMONT BARLOW, ELISSA'S SECOND HUSBAND: Oh, I was born and raised in the FLDS Church. So I was basically a convert by birth.
KING: How did the two of you meet?
BARLOW: It was a chance meeting. I was having some really big struggles in my life and I was driving on the Arizona strip one night and I just happened by her. I really did. It was a very lucky -- a very lucky thing.
KING: You were standing on the strip?
WALL: No. I had a...
WALL: I had gotten to where I was sleeping in the vehicle to kind of get away from the situation with my marriage. And that was just one of the places...
KING: You were married? WALL: Um-hmm. This is when I was married to my cousin.
KING: So your marriage was a forced marriage?
WALL: Um-hmm. And I was going driving out one night to go find a place to park for the night and I had a flat tire. And that's where I was.
KING: How did you break away, Lamont?
BARLOW: My story was a very complicated and long one. It would take a lot to try to...
KING: Well, shorten it.
How did you get out?
BARLOW: I was sort of -- I left and I had a huge struggle, Larry. I mean because with me, I had this -- a huge struggle with the faith. And, you know, I always had this voice in the back of my head that I was going to go to hell if I ever left and if I ever did anything that was against, you know, Warren Jeffs and the prophet.
And so I had a major struggle and I kind of wishy-washed back and forth.
KING: Eventually, did you walk away?
BARLOW: Yes. Eventually, I walked away.
KING: Did you think at the time you were a member of the true Mormon faith?
BARLOW: Oh, there was a time when I was convinced that I was.
KING: Rape at 14 -- does that thought ever leave you?
WALL: Well, you know, it's a tough question because it's something you can deal with. It's something you can heal from. It's a part of you and it will always be there. You know, at the time when it happened, I didn't have a concept for the word rape and what it meant.
KING: Were your -- was it happening to your friends?
Were other girlfriends having it happen?
WALL: Well, I was among the young girls that I was around were not married. And I didn't have a whole lot of friends in Southern Utah at the time. So, no, it was not happening to them. And that was really tough for me was to be one of the few young girls that was married.
KING: Did you have wives?
BARLOW: No. I was never married in the FLDS Church.
KING: Why not? How old were you?
BARLOW: I was about 24 years old, I would guess. And...
KING: Wasn't marriage part of the scene?
You're supposed to be married.
BARLOW: Yes. Marriage is definitely part of the scene. But, you know, young men are, you know -- any if you show very much rebellion or resistance to the will of your priest or head or the prophet, then you're labeled as -- even as a young man, even with slight resistance. And you will go without. You won't be married, because marriage is by appointment.
BARLOW: You (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: You have two children, right?
WALL: Yes, we do now.
KING: When they get older and they're going to ask about this -- or would you tell them about this?
They won't know to ask, you'll have to tell them.
Will you tell them?
WALL: Well, yesterday, I think with the book especially they will know growing up. They will know where we came from. And we aren't ashamed of our roots. We aren't ashamed of our family at all. And I -- I will just tell them the truth, and that is that this is what happened. And I hope they can gain something from it.
KING: Do you still have friends in FLDS?
BARLOW: Yes, I do. I have some friends there. I have -- my whole family is there, all my immediate brothers and sisters. And I love them very, very much. And it pains me to see what's happening now, but, you know, something has got to be done. And -- KING: Do you think the raid was correct?
BARLOW: Well, I think that, you know, there's a whole bunch of different issues on the table. I mean you've got the raid, then you've got the child custody issues. You've got all sorts of different issues on the table here.
And I think that when officers received the call -- when they, in good faith, went and looked, they had an obligation to look. And when they found abuse, they had an obligation to investigate abuse.
But as far as the individual cases, they ought to be tried individually. They ought to be dealt with on an individual basis.
KING: What about the children, Elissa?
What's going to happen to them?
WALL: Well, you know, that's a tough one because I know very well what their mind set is going through, what they are personally going through in being taken from there and put in these foster homes. It's very tough for them. They have a fear of the outside world. But not only that, is they've never -- they're in their own little box. And this box is the only thing they know.
But I do also understand the concerns that the CPS and Texas officials do have.
Who's head of the FLDS now?
BARLOW: Yes. You tell me. I don't know.
KING: Well, you've got friends in there. I don't.
BARLOW: Well, they're not going to -- you know, my friends are -- you know, sometimes I wonder if they talk to me just to hear what I'm going to say so they can, you know, be a little informant or something. But, you know, because, obviously, Elissa played a huge role in putting Warren in jail.
KING: Are there people angry at you over this book?
WALL: Well, yes. There is people that are angry.
KING: Are they threatening you?
WALL: Well, you know, we haven't received any threats yet. But I think this is tough. This is going to be a tough book for them to swallow because it shows a lot of Warren's personal -- what it took and what it -- the situations that were -- around getting him where he is today.
KING: The book is "Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in A Polygamist Sect, Becoming A Teenage Bride and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs.
Thank you both very much.
WALL: Thank you.
BARLOW: Thank you.
KING: It takes a lot of coverage.
Elissa Wall and Lamont Barlow.
Denise Richards is waiting in the wings and about to take the hot seat. And I'll ask her about Charlie and Richie and the kids and a lot more next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY E! TELEVISION)
RICHARDS: Bye-bye, Charlie.
(EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE) pain in the (EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE).
(INAUDIBLE) sell this firm?
Richie referred me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back.
And WE welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Denise Richards, the actress, ex-wife of Charlie Sheen. They, by the way, have two young daughters together -- two beautiful young daughters.
Her new reality show is "Denise Richards: It's Complicated." It premiers on E! On May 26th, produced by our friend Ryan Seacrest.
What do we mean by complicated?
RICHARDS: Well, that's pretty much in a nutshell. The last few years have been extremely complicated in my life, going through a very public divorce and being a single mom. And I recently lost my mom, so there's been a lot of stuff.
KING: And that all comes through?
RICHARDS: It all comes through.
KING: The past three years have been rocky, right?
KING: I mean we've got that. A bitter divorce, split with a former -- you split with your former friend, Heather Locklear. We'll get into all this.
RICHARDS: I'm sure you will.
KING: No, why do a show?
RICHARDS: You know what, something -- to give me an opportunity. There's been a lot of stuff written and said about me, very negative, most of it not true. And it was an opportunity for me to do a show and let people see who I really am. And I'm also a single mom that needs to support my kids. And it was an opportunity to work at home.
KING: Don't you get acting roles?
RICHARDS: I do. But a lot of stuff shoots in Canada or out of state. And I will never get these years back with my girls.
KING: No, you won't.
KING: Ryan Seacrest said that you were hesitant for a long time. And when he sat down with you, you finally agreed.
RICHARDS: I did.
RICHARDS: It's true.
KING: So you had resisted this before?
RICHARDS: I did. You know, over the last few years, with everything going on in my life publicly, I had been approached to do a reality show. And, you know, I was going through so much that I wanted to get through which would make for entertaining television. But it was things -- there were things that were very personal and devastating.
And then when Ryan approached me, I felt, you know, that the timing was right. I felt safe with him. He's also a celebrity and he understands some of the other thing that other producers may not. And the timing of it felt right.
KING: What's it like, though, before a reality show to be very public?
You're in the tabloids every week.
RICHARDS: Yes. No, it's -- it's -- I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't difficult. It was -- these last three years were so difficult. To go through a divorce is hard enough. And to lose the family unit and have two very small children, it's very hard. And to have everything public about it is just devastating. And then, at the same time, my mother was very ill. She had cancer. And I lost her over the holidays so...
KING: How old was she?
RICHARDS: She was 54.
RICHARDS: She was young. KING: Let's take a look at some promotional material on E! .
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY E! TELEVISION)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The real Denise Richards.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you still keep in contact with him?
RICHARDS: No. His ex wasn't too fond of us being together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've heard the gossip.
RICHARDS: Do you sell the sperm?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've read the stories.
RICHARDS: I wanted to cover up the tattoo that I already had.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right.
RICHARDS: Bye-bye Charlie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, Denise is ready to let the world see for itself.
RICHARDS: I'm divorced. I have two kids. My dad's living at my house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's just a normal single mom looking to start over.
RICHARDS: For me, normal is a famous actor or a rock star.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Forget normal.
RICHARDS: I can't help that I am attracted to hot, sexy guys with big (OBSCENE WORD OMITTED). I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rumors were one thing. Real life is so much better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Why -- what do you say to people who look at that presentation and think, one, it's overly provocative -- which it is -- and inappropriate. It doesn't show you -- it's your own show and it doesn't show you in a flattering light.
Those are pieces of the show put together and they're all different sides of me. There's a side of me that's provocative. There's a side of me that's conservative. There's a side of me that's very motherly. And so I think that that's what makes it complicated and myself complicated.
KING: How much, Denise, of tribulations of your life do you say are my fault?
RICHARDS: Well, I think any time you fail in a marriage, you look at yourself and think what -- where did I go wrong, what were my mistakes in the failure of our marriage?
And I can take responsibility for the mistakes that I made with Charlie.
KING: So you can say I should have done this?
RICHARDS: Absolutely. And -- but it's -- it is what it is and I just have to move forward and be the best mom that I can be with my daughters.
KING: Of course, Charlie is a little wild, too.
RICHARDS: Yes, he is.
KING: I know Charlie and -- what do you -- why did you include your young daughters in the show?
Because there might be some people who say that's putting them -- that's exposing them.
RICHARDS: Well, in making a decision to do a reality show, I needed to commit to that and I wanted it to be real. And the reality is I'm a single mom to two little girls. The show's not about my children. They aren't featured in the show. And they are definitely not being exploited. They're in it very little.
KING: They're not?
KING: Will it have -- do you worry about a possible negative effect on them?
RICHARDS: You know, it's only the show. They're -- they are very unaware of the cameras. We're just doing everyday life and it's being filmed. They're -- I wish people could at least watch the first episode and then...
KING: Oh, I'm sure they will.
RICHARDS: ...and then make a decision. And I mean I could take it -- a lot of people have said I've exploited my kids. And that goes into a broader area.
Are child actors being exploited? KING: Some people think, yes.
RICHARDS: They do. And for my ex-husband, it didn't -- it wasn't consistent with his reasoning. And he had no problem, originally, when I asked him about the show.
KING: He didn't?
RICHARDS: Originally, he was fine with it and he signed a waiver that I was able to have the kids come.
KING: Has he changed his mind?
RICHARDS: He changed his mind. And that's...
KING: And is now complaining about it?
RICHARDS: He was not happy with it and that's why we went to court, to see if I could have the kids in the show.
KING: And you did win?
RICHARDS: I did. I get to have them in the show. But they're in it very little.
KING: Very little?
RICHARDS: Very little.
KING: When they get older, though, they're going to know about this.
RICHARDS: They're going to know a lot, unfortunately. This is not...
KING: You're going to have to deal with that.
RICHARDS: I'm -- both of us are going to have to deal with a lot of this, unfortunately. Our divorce has become so public, our custody has been very public. And it's not a healthy situation for our kids.
KING: Do you want to remarry?
RICHARDS: I would like to get remarried. I will never go through another divorce.
KING: So it had to -- you have to be triple sure, right?
RICHARDS: I have to be triple sure.
KING: Would it be someone in show business?
Do you rule that out? RICHARDS: I don't rule that out. I don't. I don't want -- I wouldn't want someone to say I wouldn't, you know, want to be with her because she's in the public eye so I don't want to say that about someone else, either.
KING: It's going to take a strong guy, though, would you admit?
RICHARDS: Absolutely. I have a lot of baggage.
KING: Yes. You know, when you walk into a restaurant, you know, it's Mr. Richards.
KING: In tonight's Quick Vote, by the way, who do you side with concerning Denise and Charles' -- Charlie's children on the reality show -- Denise, who wants the kids on the show, or Charlie, who doesn't?
Just go to CNN.com/larryking and have your say.
We'll be back with Denise Richards right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARDS: His ex wasn't too fond of us being together, so it kind of caused a bit of a problem.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you talked to her at all anymore? Or is that kind of --
RICHARDS: I have her over for coffee every Sunday. We shoot the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). It's great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Denise Richards. Her new reality show, "Denise Richards: It's Complicated," premiers on E on May 26th. Since you are what you are, do you care what the public thinks?
RICHARDS: Of course I care.
KING: Do you? Some people might say, I go with it.
RICHARDS: I go through phases where I care and phases where I think, you know what, I'm just going to live my life. But I'm human and it, you know -- definitely the last three years have been -- there were periods where it was hurtful.
KING: What is your control over the show?
RICHARDS: My control over the show is I'm an executive producer on it, and if there's something in the show that I'm not comfortable with or I don't want out there, they'll definitely take out.
KING: That's for sure?
RICHARDS: That's for sure.
KING: In the past, there have been stories that sometimes the producer will say, that wasn't the deal.
KING: Well, Ryan would never do that.
RICHARDS: Ryan definitely can persuade me into letting some things in there that I'm like --
KING: How are you the daughters reacting to it so far?
RICHARDS: What they care about the Kraft service. That's what they want, the people with the food, the snacks.
KING: Will they get to watch the show?
RICHARDS: You know, some episodes, yes. Some, as you put it, are a little provocative and not right now.
KING: What is the situation between you and Charlie right now?
RICHARDS: Hmm. Well, honestly, the situation is not good. It's -- we don't communicate.
KING: Does he see the kids?
RICHARDS: He sees the kids, yes.
KING: Comes and takes them for the day like --
RICHARDS: We have a nanny that takes the kids to his house and he's with the kids.
KING: Hard for you?
RICHARDS: The situation is very hard for me. As a mom I -- you know, it's -- I don't want come from a divorced family. My parents were together up until my mom passed away. And I can't imagine growing up with us as parents.
KING: Was it a turbulent, violent marriage?
RICHARDS: It was not a very healthy marriage. You know? We were -- we're very different people. We have different beliefs on a lot of things. We have different life styles. Not to say one's right or one's wrong. We just didn't fit.
KING: Was it a very strong attachment to begin with?
RICHARDS: Yes, right away. KING: Your ex-husband has spoken to Extra about some of your legal battles. Let's take a look at some of his comments and we'll get your reaction. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: I wasn't going to say anything but -- but she continues to reveal what type of person and parent she is through her behavior. What's been lost in this entire -- this ridiculous and unnecessary circus is that the initial request was just to be able to hire my own fricking nanny. That's all I asked for, and an extra weekend. And this, you know, smash cut two months later is what I'm forced to deal with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Want to respond?
RICHARDS: That's Charlie.
KING: Is that all he asked for was for his own nanny?
RICHARDS: No, not quite. There's a lot the public doesn't know and, you know, there's things I'm not supposed to say regarding our custody situation. Every opportunity that Charlie has to say something negative about myself, he does or releases a statement. From day one, I really was hoping to keep our situation as private as possible. And that's not case.
KING: Is he a good father?
RICHARDS: Umm --
KING: You could have an opinion on that.
RICHARDS: I think that we have very different views on parenting.
KING: Example? What's a view you have that he wouldn't?
RICHARDS: Well, number one, I believe in vaccinating our daughters and health -- I know there's a lot of controversy around vaccinations. I don't believe in all of them. I believe they need some of them.
KING: He believes in none of them?
RICHARDS: None of them. That's been a bit of a struggle with us.
KING: Have they been vaccinated?
RICHARDS: They have been vaccinated a bit.
KING: Not the full -- RICHARDS: Yes. So it's hard when you're parents and you're trying to -- we can't co-parent together. We're not speaking, which makes it very difficult. They're three and four years old, so we don't even see eye to eye on anything. We don't communicate at all. Nothing.
KING: You don't put him down to the kids, though, do you?
RICHARDS: Never. That's the one thing that I would never -- you know, that's the unfortunate thing with our situation. It has become so public and one day, they are going to things said that have been said and things that have been in the public.
KING: He fears autism?
RICHARDS: He fears more than autism. He fear that -- he believe that vaccinations are poisonous, and I disagree. I think that they're needed. And now that they're in school, it's become a bit difficult.
KING: That's sad. You know, we hope he doesn't put you down to the kids. Or do you know if he does?
RICHARDS: You know I --
KING: Three and four.
RICHARDS: It is a very difficult age. They're very impressionable.
KING: You ever still have feelings of caring for him?
RICHARDS: He's a stranger to me. It's --
RICHARDS: -- strangest thing. I can run in to any ex-boyfriend or anyone I've had a relationship and there's that bond that's there, and the familiarity, and the friendship and everything else. And with Charlie, he truly is -- I do not know this person. And I have children with him.
KING: All right. Our guest is the incredible Denise Richards. What a life. We'll get to the Richie Sambora affair still ahead on LARRY KING LIVE. Don't forget, the reality shows starts on May 26th, next week. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARDS: You know, I know that I have made a lot of mistakes and it means a lot that my dad and I are able to have a fresh start. It's important to me, dad, that you are here and that the girls have their papa. He's done so much for me and I'm thrilled that you are here, pa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, honey.
RICHARDS: Thank you. Oh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
RICHARDS: Thank you for coming here, dad.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you sad?
RICHARDS: Mom's not sad. I'm happy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Your father is living with you.
RICHARDS: Right now he is, yes.
KING: What does he do? Is he retired?
RICHARDS: He helps me a lot, and right now, we're helping each other. Like I said --
RICHARDS: It's wonderful. I love having him there.
KING: Did he live out here?
RICHARDS: Near San Diego.
KING: Good grandpa?
KING: We have an e-mail question from Diane in Ohio: "I have read that you wanted Charlie to father a third child with you. Is that true?"
RICHARDS: Is this the sperm donor thing? Well, no. I have nothing against Charlie's sperm. I have two wonderful children, but I don't want anymore of it.
KING: He wanted as a donor?
RICHARDS: He said that I wanted his sperm as a donor for a third child.
KING: Did you?
RICHARDS: No, I did not.
KING: I don't think that would play well.
RICHARDS: No. I can get it elsewhere.
KING: How do you feel about -- Charlie has a fiancee, Brook Muller. She has a role in your daughters' life, I guess. They know her.
RICHARDS: Yes, they do.
KING: Does that bother you?
RICHARDS: No. I want my girls to be very happy and healthy. And that's all I care about, no matter who he's with.
KING: If he marries, is that OK too?
RICHARDS: Actually, they are getting married.
KING: Oh, they are getting married. Going to go?
RICHARDS: Yes, I'm the maid of honor.
KING: Explain the Richie Sambora thing. He was married to your long-time friend Heather Locklear. Let's clear this up. Heather has been on this show. How did that happen?
RICHARDS: I get asked this a lot, as well. I met Heather through Charlie. They worked together on "Spin City." The four of us were friends. And shortly after Charlie and I split up, Heather and I -- our friendship disintegrated.
KING: Because of Richie?
RICHARDS: No, not because of Richie. And then Richie and I, we were friends and they were going through their divorce. She had already filed for divorce.
KING: So you didn't break up that marriage?
RICHARDS: I did not break up the marriage.
KING: Where did those stories start?
RICHARDS: Why did they those stories start?
KING: Where did they come from?
RICHARDS: Who knows?
KING: They were getting divorced and you had a relationship.
RICHARDS: They were getting divorced; he and I were friends and it happened. And she had moved on. She was already involved with someone else at the time. And we were both going through a difficult divorce and we were friends and --
KING: Is that break with her irreparable? Do you see each other or talk to each other?
RICHARDS: We don't. Heather and I?
KING: Yes. RICHARDS: No.
KING: How about Richie?
RICHARDS: Richie and I are still friends. We will always be friends. We were there -- shortly after everything exploded with he and I, my mom got sick and then two weeks later, Richie's dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. And both of our parents passed away, so we'll I think always have a friendship.
KING: Why did it explode with Richie?
RICHARDS: Well, everyone said I stole my friend's husband and then the media it turned into what it did.
KING: That affected you and him?
RICHARDS: It affected, I think, the circumstances. It was very difficult to sustain a relationship with -- we were so slammed in the press. We were dealing with our parents dying. We were going through very difficult divorces and custody and it put a strain on our relationship. I will always care for him. I think he is an amazing man. The timing was not good and I take responsibility for that. He is an amazing man. He's a great father and it happened.
KING: So you will always be friends?
RICHARDS: I will always be friends with him.
KING: More e-mails, your calls for Denise next.
KING: By the way, we'll be on tomorrow night a little later than usual, 12:00 Eastern/9:00 Pacific, following all these primaries, as we are in the home stretch, as they say, toward Denver and Minneapolis and the conventions.
Our guest is Denise Richards. Her new reality show, "Denise Richards: It's Complicated," premiers on E on May 26th. I want to further clarify something. Someone said that there's supposed to be an e-mail about sperm and you and what is it?
RICHARDS: You know what? Like I said, every chance that Charlie tries to discredit me or say negative things about me in the press, he does. And the fact of the matter is I have no desire to have another child with Charlie. Nothing against his sperm. I have two beautiful kids but I don't want anymore of it.
KING: There's no e-mail that exists --
RICHARDS: No truthful e-mail that exists.
KING: Is this supposed to be an e-mail from you to him?
RICHARDS: There's supposed to be an e-mail from me to his girlfriend.
RICHARDS: Saying that I want his sperm and wanted to get back together, which -- the date of that e-mail, I was with Richie. So if I wanted anyone's sperm, it would have been Richie's sperm, not Charlie's.
KING: I -- so this is a phony e-mail, you think?
RICHARDS: This is a doctored e-mail.
KING: Doctored e-mail?
KING: Why would you e-mail his girlfriend?
KING: Wouldn't you e-mail him?
RICHARDS: I wouldn't send an e-mail. My mother was -- What Charlie doesn't know at that time was I talked to my mother's doctor. My mother didn't know about this. My mom was given two to six months to live. I was in a relationship with Richie. The last thing I would want is to have another child. My mom was dying and I'm in a relationship with a man I was in love with.
KING: Let's take a call for Denise Richards. Macon Georgia, hello.
CALLER: Hi Larry, hello Denise.
CALLER: My question is: after seeing or hearing about Jessica Simpson or Hulk Hogan's reality shows, which we both know ended in splits, are you worried that you will regret doing your reality show down the road?
RICHARDS: Oh, well right now, I'm not involved with anyone or married. So I don't have to worry about a split. I'm single.
KING: All right. What worries you, if anything, about the reality show? What concern at all do you have?
RICHARDS: Well, I'll be honest, I mean, I have thought about that. I have had every single negative thing said and written about me in the press. And as far as my image, I have nothing to lose with my reality show. What more could someone say about me? So this is an opportunity for me to be myself and let me people see who I am.
KING: You have nothing to lose?
RICHARDS: I have nothing to lose. I can't go anywhere but up from here.
KING: We have an e-mail question from Tracy in Tom's River, New Jersey; "Do you consider yourself a loyal friend, and how do you define loyalty?"
RICHARDS: I do consider myself a loyal friend. And I know that the public thinks otherwise because of the situation with Heather. And the fact of the matter was that our friendship was -- had ended. And if we were friends, Richie and I, obviously, would not have gotten together. But my best girlfriend I've had since I was 16 years old.
KING: What can you say about the Heather thing publicly? I mean, because of course people were concerned about it. What can you say?
RICHARDS: Publicly --
KING: What happened?
RICHARDS: I understand why people think the way they do. I understand why people --
KING: Is the thinking Heather's mad at you because you took Richie from her? Is that the thinking?
RICHARDS: I believe that's the thinking, that I stole Richie from her. The truth of the matter is that they had already -- she had already filed for divorce. She was already in a relationship.
KING: What's the reason you and Heather broke up as friends.
RICHARDS: We had different life styles and interests. And, you know, our friendship dissolved. We weren't as close as the public portrayed us to be.
KING: You were never as close.
RICHARDS: We were friends. We were not best friends. My best friend is my girlfriend Kim since I was 16 years old. And when you go through a divorce, your friendships change and things change. And with Richie and I, it's something I'm not -- I don't regret it. He's an amazing man. I regret the timing, perhaps, and I feel terrible anyone that was hurt and involved. But I did not split up their marriage.
KING: Fair Hope, Alabama, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Denise. I noticed in some of the video that you had a crucifix around your neck and, you know, obviously you're a religious person. I'm was wondering how your faith and religion has guided you and helped you through your life and especially these last three years?
RICHARDS: Well, I was raised Catholic. And, you know, which I -- you know, with my mother passing away, you really are faced with death and heaven and then having to explain that to my children. And so between that and between my family, as what -- and friends have helped me get through these last three years.
KING: Are you a Roaming Catholic, as some people say? Jackie Gleason used to say, I'm a roaming catholic.
Do you have faith?
RICHARDS: I do have faith.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Denise Richards right after this.
KING: We're back. In march, Richie was pulled over, DUI charge. His girlfriend, 10-year-old daughter, were in the car. He plea bargained it out. What was your reaction?
RICHARDS: Well, my reaction is that he made a very, very unfortunate mistake.
KING: Does he drink a lot?
RICHARDS: He did. He went to rehab, briefly. And he's -- he has taken responsibility and addressed the issue.
KING: Is that tough for you?
RICHARDS: We weren't together.
KING: Oh. Any contact with him since the DUI?
KING: What's he said? How's he doing?
RICHARDS: He made a mistake. He feels terrible about it. And the irony is he's -- with the whole child endangerment, he's an amazing father. And he's stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility for his mistake.
KING: On the show -- I'm told, I haven't seen this -- you can occasionally use tough language.
RICHARDS: I do.
KING: Is this part of your life? That's you.
RICHARDS: I'm working on it.
KING: Is it hard for the children or are the children used to it?
RICHARDS: Oh, I don't swear in front of my girls ever. But with my girlfriends and --
KING: Are the girls going to see this, though? RICHARDS: Well, it will be censored.
KING: You won't see it? The audience won't see it?
RICHARDS: No. Definitely not.
KING: California, hello.
CALLER: Hi Denise, hang in there. After being so falsely betrayed, or letting everybody say what they want about you, don't you find this is refreshing for you to have your own show?
KING: Yes. Good point.
RICHARDS: It is -- yes. I'm -- you know, again, I've been approached and it was something my mom really wanted me to do. She -- I can't imagine as a parent reading and hearing different things about my daughters. And my mom really wanted the public to see who I really am and I know that I'm going to get a lot of flack for it. I already have. But at the same time, I have nothing to lose. I have had every horrible thing said about me. And I just want to be myself and I'm fortunate I get to do a job that's at home and be with my girls.
KING: Do you miss being in a relationship?
RICHARDS: I miss -- yes. Well, a healthy relationship. I definitely don't want to be in a relationship to be in a relationship. But, you know, I -- when things were good with Charlie, I loved being a wife. I loved being married. I'm a relationship type of person. I love that partnership. And it was very sad when I ended.
KING: Someone as pretty as you must have had relationships very young.
RICHARDS: My parents were very strict, so I couldn't date until I was older.
KING: People look like you are usually out and about at 15.
RICHARDS: No, I couldn't date at 15.
KING: Good Catholic girl.
RICHARDS: Yes, my dad was pretty strict.
KING: Thanks, Denise.
RICHARDS: Thank you.
KING: Denise Richards, her reality show "Denise Richards: It's Complicated" premiers on E on May 26th. Go to our website CNN.com/LarryKing, not too late, take our quick vote about Denise and her kids. And you can download our latest podcasts.
Plus, about last night, where I tell you what struck me about our latest show. We'll all over the primaries tomorrow, with a special Midnight edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We're on at 12:00 Eastern/9:00 Pacific with the results of races in Kentucky and Oregon. Time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?