Denise Richards Gets Candid: 'The Real Girl Next Door' Author Tells Almost All

07/29/2011 03:16 pm ET | Updated Sep 27, 2011

In her new book, "The Real Girl Next Door," Denise Richards makes sure to divulge just enough so that she's got a page-turner on her hands, without revealing all of her secrets.

“The book isn’t so much about telling my side of the story,” Richards tells me. “I’m not trying to change perception or anything like that. I wanted to do something inspirational for other people going through challenging times.”

Yet, at the same time, Richards acknowledges that it's ex-husband, Charlie Sheen, that her readers want to know about.

“I haven’t done an interview in the last five years when I’m not asked about Charlie so I’m used to it. A lot is private between Charlie and I and I want to respect our marriage and the details aren’t important. What I wanted to get across are the feelings.”

And those feelings weren't always the easiest to relive on the page, especially when recalling the time when she was heavily depicted as the evil wife who stole her best friend's husband -- referring to her post-Sheen relationship with Bon Jovi guitarist, Richie Sambora, who was at the time married to Heather Locklear.

“I was going through a very heated custody battle and getting a lot of negative press," Richards explained. "All of that affected my job which was very difficult for me to accept. It was very emotional for me having all [that] affect my work. I couldn’t get a job so it was hard.”

Not being able to find work also put a huge financial burden on Richards and her family, leading to her parents offering to sell their home to help out.

“Anyone going though a divorce knows the legal bills can be very expensive and my mom was also fighting cancer. It was a rough time. I hit rock bottom and have gotten on [the] other side and I want to give people hope.”

No doubt that Richards is back on the rise, although we wish we could say the same for Sheen.