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Denise Richards: 'I Didn't Break Up Richie Sambora's Marriage'

July 27th, 2011 2:51pm EDT

Denise RichardsActress Denise Richards is putting the record straight about her romance with Richie Sambora, insisting he had already filed for divorce from Heather Locklear before she fell in love with the rocker.

Richards found love with the Bon Jovi star in 2006, soon after she ended her marriage to Charlie Sheen. Sambora was also going through his own break-up with the former Bond girl's one-time pal, Melrose Place star Locklear, and the timing of the new relationship prompted gossips to suspect that the two splits were linked.

However, Richards has hit out at the rumors and she's adamant she was not the one to blame.

She tells Us Weekly, "We (her and Sambora) were friends and we were both going through divorces, and that's what drew us to each other... I did not steal someone's husband. Did I date a former friend's ex-husband? Yes. Did I break up a marriage? No."

"If I was still friends with (Locklear) that never would have happened with Richie. There was no friendship anymore prior to Richie and I getting together."
 
And although Richards came under attack for dating the Bon Jovi rocker, she claims she has no regrets about their bond because it helped her through a rough time.
 
She adds, "You can't explain who you're attracted to. I believe people come into your lives for a reason, and even though I got such s**t for it, he was there for me and I was there for him during a difficult time. I understand why people perceived it that way in the media, but those are the honest facts."

"I can't change what people think. (The criticism) during that horrible time made me stronger and have a thicker skin."

Richie Sambora

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Photo Credits: PR Photos