When we think of Denise Richards, we think of her sexy "Wild Things" era, her Bond Girl days, and of course, her tabloid divorce from Charlie Sheen. But now, the 40-year-old mom happens to look hotter in a bikini than ever before.
Self.com's "Selfy Stars" column caught up with Denise, who just adopted a third daughter (Eloise Joni Richards, adopted domestically as a newborn and named after Denise's late mother, Joni) and whose memoir, The Real Girl Next Door, comes out next month, to ask her what she wants women to learn from her public "heartbreak" -- and how she keeps her abs looking washboard-flat.
Your memoir is about your happier times with your ex-husband, Charlie Sheen. Why have you chosen to celebrate that moment? What do you hope other women will learn from your memoir? "I share a lot in my memoir from when I was a child until now. As far as my marriage, I do share the good memories but also get into my divorce. Not the details, more the feelings. Many women experience divorce and it is heartbreaking to go through. I'm hoping anyone who has gone through what I did will have hope that it does get better.
Is it possible to recover from a bad divorce? And is it possible to stay friends with your ex? "I recovered from my divorce -- it wasn't easy but I got there. And yes, I do think it's possible to be friendly with your ex, especially when you have children."
How has motherhood changed you, and how do you find time for yourself? (In addition to Eloise Joni, Richards has two daughters from her marriage to Sheen: Sam, born March 9, 2004, and Lola, born June 1, 2005.) "I love being a mom more than anything. My children are the light of my life. It's hard to find time, but I do find moments to myself."
Your bikini body is amazing, especially your abs. Do you have any diet and exercise secrets you can share? "I am very active. I found what works for my body -- everyone's body is different and I think it's best to find what works for you. For me it's Pilates and dance. My diet is 80 percent vegetarian and I eat all day long. I have lots of little meals; it's best for me. I found eating three big meals I felt too full and got tired especially after lunch. I eat lots of fruit, veggies, egg whites, oatmeal, a little chicken, eggs, rice -- that's mostly my diet. I do splurge on ice cream and I love pretzels. My abs get the best workout with my Pilates reformer -- I had two C-sections and it was the only thing I found that got my tummy flat."
Do you have any "cheat" foods that you can't resist? "My cheat food is ice cream, but I found these tiny snack-size cones that Haagen-Dazs came out with."
What is it like turning 40 in Hollywood? Do you have any projects that you're excited about? "Turning 40 I honestly feel better than ever. I feel more confident with my body than I did in my 20s. I'm excited about my book and I have several branding opportunities that I've been working on. And looking to find a movie again."
Do you still believe in love, and would you marry again? "I absolutely believe in love and hope to be married again one day."
With that bikini bod, we doubt she'll be single for long!