By Katie McLaughlin, CNN
UPDATED: 02:12 PM EDT 07.28.11
"If Charlie [Sheen] is to sort his life out," Piers Morgan asked Denise Richards. "Can you ever imagine a scenario where you might one day get back together?"
"I'm way too old for him now," joked Richards, who turned 40 this year. "I'm way past his age range."
The actress and mother of three is a guest on Thursday's "Piers Morgan Tonight." Richards is also a first-time author. Her new book, "The Real Girl Next Door," was released this week.
Richards told Morgan that she and Sheen have been split up for six years. The couple's divorce was finalized in 2006.
"When we fell in love," Richards said, "he had been sober for three years. He was getting his life back together. He had just gotten a job on 'Spin City.' And I really admired his strength and courage for overcoming addiction, and being so humble about it."
"And that's what attracted me to him. So the Charlie that some of you have seen over the last six months is not the person that I met and married," Richards said.
Richards went on to say that Sheen was "amazing" when they first met. "He was so humbled and sweet, and charming and funny. And had such a great heart, and very honest. And we just had a very deep connection."
Morgan asked Richards about her take on "the recent circus of Charlie's life."
"From the beginning of it I was very worried," she said. "And it made me sad to see him that way. And so I was concerned. I was concerned for our children."
Richards said that, in dealing with Sheen, the couple's two daughters -- Sam, 7, and Lola, 6 -- remain her priority.
"We'll always have a bond with our daughters," she said. "And I wish nothing but the best for him."
When Morgan asked Richards what her wish for her ex-husband was, the actress said she wants him to be healthy and there for his kids and himself.
"He's a survivor," said Richards. "If anyone can pick themselves up, make a huge comeback, it's Charlie."
Morgan asked, what is the weirdest rumor she'd ever heard about herself?
"Well, this isn't that hurtful, but it's weird -- that I used to be a hooker. I used to be a Heidi Fleiss girl. I heard that rumor," Richards answered.
"If anyone would know, it would be Charlie," said Richards, referring to Sheen's well-documented testimony in Fleiss' 1995 trial that he had spent over $50,000 on 27 hookers.
Richards, who is single, said of dating: "The qualities that I look for now are different than prior to getting married and having kids. I find myself very attracted to men who have children. And I think one of the sexiest qualities in a man is seeing a man great with kids."
Richards called motherhood her greatest achievement. "I love being a mother more than anything. And I get so much fulfillment and joy with my children."
Richards opened up about her recent adoption of a baby girl, whom she named Eloise Joni Richards.
"She's amazing," Richards said. She told Morgan that Sam and Lola "are so in love with her. They are very protective of her."
As for whether she'll marry again, Richards said she intends to "be a good role model for my kids, and be a strong woman, even if it's on my own."
Richards said that she also plans to continue acting, and that her dream gig has always been "a role in a movie with Quentin Tarantino directing."
QT? I wonder. Her IMDb page offers just a few parts. 1997's "Starship Troopers" and 1998's "Wild Things" are two.
Also wonder if she reveals a lot of Charlie stories in her book. Trading off her ex-husband's fame or notoriety wouldn't surprise the cynic in me.