It's been nearly nine months since Charlie Sheen trashed his hotel room and held a knife to porn star Capri Anderson's throat, but up until now, the details of that night have been kept largely under wraps. The actor's ex-wife Denise Richards -- who was with Sheen at New York's Plaza Hotel earlier that evening -- opens up about the actor's epic meltdown in the new issue of Us Weekly (out now).
"Charlie invited me to this dinner with 'friends,' and once I realized what these women did for a living, I thought, 'It's one meal; you can suck it up and get through it,'" Richards, 40, recalls of dining with Sheen's porn star pals. "It's not my place to judge how they make a paycheck."
Richards goes into further detail in her new memoir, Real Girl Next Door (out now). "After I quieted [our daughters Sam, 7, and Lola, 6] down, I climbed into bed; I had to get up early for my press. About an hour later, I was awakened by sounds outside my door, including walkie-talkies, which is never a good sign," she writes. "A few minutes later, the cops showed up. Several officers went into Charlie's room, and a sergeant came into mine."
As the sergeant struggled to make sense of the situation ("Your ex-husband is staying in the room across the hall while you're in this room?" he asked Richards. "And you went to dinner with him and there were hookers there at the table?"), the actress kept her composure and told him everything she knew.
"Charlie was put into an ambulance, and I rode with the sergeant to the hospital, though I insisted I had to be back at 4:30 a.m.," she writes. "After making sure Charlie was stable and settled, the nice policeman gave me a ride back."
Given her long, dramatic history with Sheen, 45, why does Richards continue to have a relationship with her ex? "I'll never cut off contact with Charlie," she tells Us. "He's my girls' dad. As they're older they'll deal with him how they can."
"A lot of women can't relate to being married to Charlie Sheen or divorcing Charlie Sheen," she adds, "but they can relate to feeling sad, angry, scared and upset."
For much more on Richards' relationship with Sheen -- including their first date in 2001, how she finally found the courage to leave him in 2005, and much, much more -- pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, out Wednesday!