‘RHOBH’: Denise Richards Recalls Charlie Sheen’s Panic Attack on the Freeway

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Denise Richards was married to Charlie Sheen for four years. Here’s what she once said about the day Sheen had a panic attack on the freeway.  

How Denise Richards knew she was compatible with Charlie Sheen

Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen | Elsa/Getty Images
Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen | Elsa/Getty Images

In her book, The Real Girl Next Door, Richards says things were getting serious with Sheen. They were at the point in their relationship where they were ready to meet each other’s families. Richards says she knew she was compatible with Sheen because they traveled well together. She enjoyed spending time with him during their trip to Hawaii.

“We ate Thanksgiving dinner with our respective families and then met up later that night at his place,” wrote Richards. “The next day, we flew to Hawaii, our first trip together. You can tell a lot about a person when you travel with someone, especially whether you’re compatible. Charlie and I traveled well together. During the trip he gave me a present, a little blue box that was unmistakably Tiffany.”

Richards says she was impressed with the gift because Sheen put a lot of thought into it and took time to pick out the right present. “I couldn’t believe it,” she continued. “Inside was a heart-shaped diamond necklace. I was speechless—and touched that he didn’t just get me a beautiful gift, he actually went to the jewelry store and picked it out. He put thought into it, and that’s what meant so much.”

Charlie Sheen had a panic attack on the freeway, according to Denise Richards

Richards says Sheen reached a point where the combined stress of having car trouble and meeting her parents for the first time resulted in him having a panic attack. Richards says she was eventually able to get the car started again and help them reach their destination.

An hour into the drive, his car locked up and stopped right in the middle of the freeway, and he had a panic attack. I thought, I have all these dogs in the car, we’re going to get rear-ended on the freeway, and he is panicked.

The excursion was not going well. Before Charlie’s superstitious mind convinced him that this was a sign from God that he wasn’t meant to meet my parents, I switched places with him, got the car unlocked, and took off down the freeway again.

Denise Richards, The Real Girl Next Door

Charlie Sheen made a good impression on Denise Richards’ parents

According to Richards, Sheen made a good first impression on her parents. He was nervous, but things worked out during their meeting. Richards says she even found his nervousness to be charming.

“I can’t speak for how Charlie felt, but he looked at ease, and [my mom and dad] did, too,” wrote Richards. “They liked him immediately. People have often asked if his past concerned me, or if it concerned my parents, and the truth is, no, my parents were great about it, and so was I. As far as I’m concerned, the past is what it is—the past. You can only judge a person by their actions in the present, and the man I met didn’t show any signs of the past.”

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