07/26/2011 04:19 pm ET | Updated Sep 25, 2011

Denise Richards Opens Up About Ex Charlie Sheen, Kids on 'Today' Show (VIDEO)

With all of the media attention surrounding Charlie Sheen, his tigerblood and his porn-star goddesses, little focus has been put on how his children are affected by Sheen's less-than-positive media image.

For the first time, the former Mrs. Sheen--Denise Richards--opens up to Matt Lauer on "Today" about how she tried to shield their two young daughters from Sheen's very public troubles.

'I was just lying to them about so much, and covering up things and totally lying," Richards admitted to Lauer. "It was just getting too confusing that I had to sit down with them."

"It's too early," she added. "I told them enough for them to make sense of things that were going on."

Yet, sooner or later, the whispers and sneers started to get through to the girls, so Richards turned to another method to help her girls understand their infamous father.

“I did have to have a conversation with them about addiction and got a book to read to them because I was just lying to them so much.”

Richards knows the power of a good book. She sat down with Matt Lauer on "Today" to discuss her new memoir, “The Real Girl Next Door,” a book she hopes will help those going through difficult times to have hope in their recovery.

However, Richards makes it clear that her memoir is “not a Charlie Sheen bashing book,” telling Lauer, “I still care for him very much and want him well...he’s a survivor and if anyone can pull themselves together, it’s Charlie.”

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