Denise Richards: Reality Show Captures Special Moments

06/09/2009 at 05:00 PM ET
Albert Michael/Startraks

When Denise Richards first announced her reality series Denise Richards: It’s Complicated, the mother of two was met with her fair share of critics — including ex-husband Charlie Sheen — denouncing the presence of her daughters on the show.

According to the actress, however, being in front of a camera is old hat for her girls! “My daughters have been around this since they were babies,” she tells PEOPLE. “They come to photo shoots, they come to set all the time, so they’re used to this environment.” As for Charlie, he’s “actually very supportive this season. He saw how little they were on last season, as did a lot of people who gave me a lot of flak for it,” Denise explains.

With 4-year-old daughter Lola Rose making her first appearance on a movie set when she was  six weeks old, Denise explains that the filming of the toddler and her older sister Sam, 5, for her show serves as a way for the busy mom to keep the memories alive.

“There are nice moments that I will have forever. I never would have gotten a video of my daughter saying [her] Nana [is] their angel. Stuff like that. They’re in it very little and as a parent I’m so proud of them, and think it’s very cute. I don’t think my girls are exploited. If they like being around me it’s because they get to be with me, and if they want to be filmed great, if they don’t they walk away and I don’t care.”

In fact, Denise says Sam and Lola hardly notice the crew on their heels! “My father and I actually commented on how my daughters don’t even ask about the cameras,” Denise laughs. After the girls associated the shooting schedules with extra food — craft services! — during the first season, the 38-year-old actress admits that it has been smooth sailing ever since. “We set up a room in my house as the production room,” she says. “Sami would say, ‘The people with the snacks left their snacks!'”

Denise Richards: It’s Complicated airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on E!

Source: PEOPLE; PR.com

— Anya

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting , Reality TV

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 24 comments

Nina on

I still in general have a problem with any family who puts their children on a reality show, it’s not normal and it can’t be healthy, no matter what the parents say, IMO!

Neelie on

“I don’t think my girls are exploited. If they like being around me it’s because they get to be with me, and if they want to be filmed great, if they don’t they walk away and I don’t care.”
So…if they want to be with their Mother, then it’s show time, otherwise is it “Mommy’s busy”? Quite a decision for a 4 & 5 year old. Seems like a mature call for small kids…one might argue a parental decision.

Di on

I really wish these parents who decide to put their small children on a reality show would just be honest. You’re doing this reality show to get money and to stay in the spotlight. I find the whole thing about documenting memories laughable. I’m sure Denise has access to a home video camera.

It is sad that the reason why the girls feel so comfortable around the cameras is because they do not know any better. Also, I think there is big differnce between hanging out a movie/tv set and actually having a camera crew in their house-what an invasion of privacy.

I feel sorry for Denise. She is so desperate to hang on to what little fame or notoriety that she has, she is more than willing to give up the one thing most celebrities value more than anything-their privacy. I do not know why Denise has a reality show anyway her life is not that exciting; she is no Jennifer Aniston or Julia Roberts.

kai on

^^agreed with all of you. She’s not even an actress.

JMO on

Does anyone truly watch this? I can’t really find her to be fascinating enough to watch? But what do I know I am also one who can’t stand shows like the Bachelor or Real Housewives…guess I’m not really into reality tv unless it’s reality competition with some real folks with real talent.

Angie on

I don’t buy her excuse that it’s to capture special memories. Normal families manage to do that all the time, it’s called a camcorder. She should just admit the truth, she does the show because she ran out of career options.

Jane on

I’m so sick of seeing celebrities turn motherhood into a career, and exploiting their children to do it.

Anne on

Leave Denise alone! Stop to judge the people. Charlie shows his twins in a interview, show teir room. And nobody talk a bad word about it! Only Denise is the “bad one”.

Alex on

I’m undecided on the issue of featuring the children in the reality show. On one hand, if it’s a show about her life it would be a massive omission to leave out her daughters, not to mention that from the few episodes I actually saw, the girls are barely in it. On the other hand, Sam and Lola are not making the choice themselves to feature in the show so I find it a little ethically and morally unsound to feature them. With that in mind, the only opinion I can really definitively give is that they are not my children, and therefore I think the parents ultimately need to make the choice based on what they think is best for the family. And since this time around, both mum and dad are in agreement, I think that’s the main thing.

That said, I’m not sure I give any weight to Charlie’s protests about the girls featuring (I seem to remember him asking fans to boycott the show, amongst other things) since he allowed Sam to feature in an episode of Two And A Half Men as the daughter of his former girlfriend (played by Denise for those who don’t watch the show). If he was really concerned about his daughters privacy and not just trying to antagonise Denise, I don’t think Sam would ever have been allowed on the show.

I actually quite like this family, so I do like seeing photos of the girls, but I’m still iffy on the footage. I also don’t mind Denise and she comes across quite well in the show (sometimes a little too nice, but generally sweet). I like Charlie too, so none of my opinions are coming out of a ‘Team Richards’ or ‘Team Sheen’ mentality. I guess I just share other posters concerns!

All that done with, I actually did see the episode where Lola called her nana an angel and it was so sweet I wanted to cry. It perhaps should’ve been a private moment strictly speaking, but Denise has a point there. It happened at a moment I wouldn’t have had a camera to hand either, and it’s nice for the family to have that to look back on.

actualsize on

I’m of the opinion that there are degrees of everything. Having a reality show is obviously one extreme, and total privacy is the other, but there is plenty of gray area in between. If one hypothetically objects to featuring children in a reality show because they have no choice, it gives strangers access to their private moments, and because it gives their parents an avenue to profit from their childhood, then there’s no reason you couldn’t apply those same arguments to popular “mommy blogs” in which moms write and post pictures documenting their children’s lives for whoever happens to click onto that webpage. Those types of blogs are not uncommon by any stretch of the imagination. I’d argue they only differ in degree from reality shows in terms of what they’re doing.

Then you have the sticky issue of “help shows” like Supernanny and the ilk. I haven’t seen (though correct me if I’m wrong) any discussion of how harmful those type of reality shows might be for the children who appear in them, whereas shows that document the daily lives of children (such as Denise or Tori’s show, or Jon & Kate plus 8) are targets for major criticism. Personally, I think appearing on shows like Supernanny could potentially be hugely damaging to a child (in terms of the peer response) as compared with a straight reality show. It also depends on the child’s age, their personality, whether they have a natural desire for privacy or if they are a natural performer, and how their parents handle the issue.

All in all it’s a big can of worms, and I’m glad it’s not me who has to make these decisions (either for my own child, or for anyone else’s)!

Jane on

“Charlie shows his twins in a interview, show teir room. And nobody talk a bad word about it! Only Denise is the “bad one”.”

If he puts them on a reality show then I’ll be just as disgusted as I am by Denise’s actions. But since he hasn’t, it’s comparing apples and oranges.

Lis on

I have to agree with the majority of you. I would never, EVER want to be on a “reality” show documenting mine and my family’s life. NEVER. No amount of money could possibly be worth it to me. I see what is happening with the Gosselin’s and I literally could cry…

It’s just not healthy… Although I don’t know if Denise is on the same “level” of exploitation as Jon and Kate…

lilyrose on

I love Denise… it is great that she and Charlie are getting along now. It is always sad for me when I read comments on this site and see how judgemental some posters are. It must be nice to be part of the perfect parent club lol.

Melissa on

I don’t see what the big deal is they rarely show the kids on her show and if they do it’s quickly.

Shannon on

Charlie did an interview in a couple hours to show his sons to the world, because let’s be honest, people wanted to see them. Yeah he showed off their room-also something people like seeing. I show people my kids’ rooms when they come to visit, but I’m sure not going to invite them to move in, now am I? No. Which is pretty much what Denise is doing. Big difference between Charlie’s interview and Denise’s reality show. I am glad to see these two getting along now though, for the girls’ sake. I can think of some other celeb couples who should take a lesson from them on how to turn your anger around and give your kids a positive experience.

Jenna on

I agree with you, lilyrose. People really need to get off their soap boxes and stop judging people. Denise clearly loves her daughters and is trying to find a way of balancing career and motherhood. This option allows her to do both.

stedine on

I watched her show last season and most of it is her and her dad. The two of them are cute. The kids are barely on it. The show is not about them. It is not one of those TLC shows.

A lot of you guys in here on the soap boxes remind me of the perfect “PTA” moms whose children would later grow up to be sluts and drug addicts. Hmmm… Just saying.

Dakota fanning basically grew up on the big screen, in the limelight and she does not seem maladjusted as of yet.

Di on

I do not see Denise’s show as a way to balance career and family. I see this reality show as a last ditch attempt by a C-list actress to stay in the public eye. When was the last time Denise starred in a tv show or a movie. This woman’s career has been going down hill for years and the ratings for this show are not even great. In addition, people who do reality shows do not make nearly as much as money as movie/sitcom stars because reality shows are cheap to produce. Furthermore, everyone knows that reality shows are incredibly contrived and orchestrated. This is not a documentary. The producers get together and decide what kind of story they want to sell the public.

In response to someone who claimed that Dakota Fanning grew up in the public eye is perfectly fine. For every Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman and Ron Howard there is Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Aaron Carter-former childstars whose lives have been irreparably harmed as a result of early fame.

Lastly, it is always funny how people go on a tangent against people being judgmental on this site when they are in the process of judging someone else. Everyone to a certain extent is judgmental unless you are one of those people who does not have an opinion on anything. There is no reason to believe that the people who are praising Denise know anymore about the situation than the people who are criticizing her.

Amie on

I used to like Denise until I saw her show. While I like the fact that her daughters are in very little of her show, for some reason this woman just rubs me the wrong way. I only have her “reality” show to base this on but it seems like she’s suppressing a lot of anger and that she will rip someone’s head off if she doesn’t like them.

Alex on

Di – to be fair, there will always be children who grow up to be unhappy adults, whether they are in the public eye or not. Most of the drug addicts and losers out there are not famous. I know you weren’t trying to say that early fame always equals these things, and I actually do agree with the majority of your post. Personally I think that while featuring children on reality shows could be exploitative (and certainly is in some cases), it’s not going to be the worst thing that ever happens to a child and could be a positive experience depending on the individual child. Besides, it’s not like that Jon & Kate Plus 8 thing (which I’ve never seen as it’s on a UK pay channel that I don’t have) which I understand is all about the children, Sam and Lola are not in the show above a few minutes if at all.

Terri on

I like Denise, but only caught a few seconds of her show. It’s her and Charlie’s call as to whether the show is detrimental to their daughters and so far they’ve come to agree that it isn’t. They are in a far better situation to judge their daughters’ well-being that you or I.

Di on

If Charlie has acquiesced to his daughters being on the show it is because he lost in court. Charlie was vehemently against his daughters participation and would not give his consent at the outset and Denise took him to court and the judge for some reason sided with her. There is nothing Charlie can do about his daugthers being on the show so I assume he has made peace with the decision and hopes his ex-wife will exercise good judgment and limit their involvement anyway she can.

Manon on

Di – you hit the nail on the head with your summing up of those who get so terribly angry about people expressing an opinion!

katie on

has anyone noticed that the older daughter, sam, looks terribly saddened and miserable in nearly every single picture. i think its very sad that she has to stop her life in order to give her fake smile to every dude that comes along to take her pic.

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters