Denise says she ultimately made the decision to leave for her kids. "I did not want this life for them," she says. "When I filed, we got into a very heated argument, and the next day he went to work and I packed a suitcase, took my oldest daughter...went to a hotel and drove straight to an attorney's office and just filed, and I was terrified and relieved that I had the strength to do it."
Much of dealing with divorce has been about what's best for her 4- and 5-year-old daughters, Sammy and Lola. "A lot of people said I was being manipulative and conniving and controlling. That wasn't the case. I think anyone in their right mind as a parent would have done what I did. My whole thing was about the girls and keeping them safe," she says.
Now that she and Charlie have achieved some peace in their relationship, Denise says she does trust him with the girls. "All of this has been a work in progress, and it's up and down."