Denise Richards must have known the women of “The View” would grill her about her ex, Charlie Sheen, when she agreed to guest-host Friday’s edition of the all-female gabfest.
Still, Richards seemed taken aback at times with the relentlessness of the questions fired at her by Barbara Walters and Joy Behar. The whole exchange on the subject of the hard-partying star of “Two and a Half Men” on CBS lasted all of five minutes or so at the top of “The View.” But you could see Richards’ eyes moisten as she struggled to give her interrogators answers that would satisfy their curiosity and still allow Richards to evade the subject, at least partially.
“We can’t have you here without asking a couple of questions,” Walters said, starting out the questioning in that gentle way of hers. “But you were married to Charlie Sheen for [four years] and you have two daughters, Sam and Lola. All of this stuff about Charlie Sheen – the drinking, the booze, the porn stars, the rehab, the talking on television and radio programs now, does any of this surprise you?”
“No, it doesn’t,” said Richards, who seemed eager to brush off the subject. “This is Charlie’s lifestyle. He makes no bones about it. It is what it is.”
But that’s when Behar, who was sitting right beside her, went on the offensive. “What’s wrong with him, though?” Joy asked bluntly. “Maybe you know what’s wrong with him.”
“You know what?” Richards answered. “It’s honestly not my place to judge this situation, it really isn’t, it’s uh . . .”
“Is he an addict? He’s an addict, right?” Joy said, firing away.
“I think that you should have him on the show,” Richards answered tightly, “and get him to detail what’s going on. I can’t . . . my concern is our kids.”
This was where the women missed their opportunity to get into questions about Sheen’s fitness as a father, and whether Richards is concerned about the welfare of her children when they’re in their father’s company. They might have asked if the children see their father at all, or visit him without supervision, particularly since he seems frequently to be in the company of porn actresses and escorts, one of whom testified in recent interviews that she witnessed Sheen smoking crack.
Instead, Walters asked, “What do you say to the children about their father?”
To which Richards answered: “What can you say? It’s a very difficult situation. And this is something that I have dealt with for years. It is not a new situation. There are times when his life is more colorful than others, more public than others, and as the kids get older it’s a difficult thing.”
Walters, the boss of “The View,” then let Richards off the hook, signaling to the others that the discussion about Charlie Sheen was over.