Charlie Sheen, Denise Richards

Kevin Mazur/

Charlie Sheen can walk all the red carpets he wants. But Denise Richards has never promised to make it easy for him.

An attorney for the Denise Richards: It's Complicated star was in court today to seek an emergency protective order to alter the ex-spouses' current custody and visitation arrangement with their two young daughters, Lola and Sam, Sheen's longtime attorney, Martin Singer, told E! News.

“She has always tried that, not withstanding her public statements to the contrary,” he said. “[In public} she always states it is good for the children to have her father with the kids, but [in private] put she is constantly trying to deprive Charlie from seeing the children. I guess it’s good for her reality show.”

According to Singer, a judge was planning to deny the motion when Richards' family lawyer, Neal Hersh, asked if he could withdraw the motion and refile it before another judge on Monday.

Hersh told E! News that he is planning to return to court next week to argue the motion.

Which, as far as Sheen's camp is concerned, won't have quite the same impact as taking a swipe at the Two and a Half Men star today.

"In my opinion [Hersh] did it today to tie into the Emmy nominations, and, in fact, Charlie got an Emmy nomination, so I think it was timed for that reason," Singer told us. "I wonder if she had a producer from E! there helping her put on her show.“ (E! Online is a division of E! Entertainment.)

Sheen earned his third straight Emmy nod for his lead role as a womanizing jingle writer in Two and a Half Men, which is again up for Best Comedy.

To which Hersh responded, Huh?

"Mr. Singer focuses far too much on celebrity clientele," Hersh told E! News this afternoon. "I focus on issues. I had no idea that today was the Emmy nominations whatsoever or do I care, one way or another. We went to court today because we felt it was necessary and appropriate.”

"Denise has made her position clear throughout these proceedings and her position is, all the judicial officers and the files have been sealed, but all the things have been clear," Hersh added. "And she is not saying one thing in private and one thing in public.”

This is just the latest battle in Richards and Sheen's ongoing war over access to their kids. Sheen has had varied visitation privileges with the toddlers since 2006, but in between a series of uneasy truces the two sides have kept their respective legal teams busy over the last year trying to rain on the other's parental parade.

Last fall, Sheen filed a request to be able to hire his own childcare help rather than be required to let Richards' employees accompany him on all their visits. Richards then fired back with a motion to end Sheen's overnights with the girls.

Back and forth it went, with Richards alleging that Sheen had stopped paying child support (allegation denied) and Sheen trying to stop their kids from being featured on It's Complicated (they are, to an extent). Then Sheen apologized—not really to his ex-wife but to his fans and all his black friends—for dropping the N-word in a profanity-laden voice mail he left for Richards back in 2005 that just recently made its way online.

The duo were in court again last month after Sheen requested an emergency custody hearing, supposedly after Richards failed to drop Lola and Sam off for a scheduled visit. Attorneys for both parties claimed to be quite pleased with what went on behind closed doors.

And Hersh said Thursday that his decision to hold off until Monday was merely because he wanted to bring Richards' qualms to the attention of the judge "who is familiar with this case and who has had this case for sometime."

"It is true that the judge [Judge Steinberg] did not think it was an emergency, today. And as a result, she was going to set it for a hearing when Commissioner [Harvey A.] Silberman got back from vacation. I asked her not to do that and to let me come back the first day he comes back from vacation on Monday, rather than setting it on his calendar sometime in the future."

"If Judge Steinberg wanted to deny this motion out of hand and not let me come back to court on Monday, she would have done so," Hersh said. "She is the presiding judge of the family law department. She obviously wanted to allow me to present these serious issues to Commissioner Silberman, and that is why she did what she did. ”

The attorney would not comment on what prompted Richards to file the motion in the first place.

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