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Was Denise Richards “mired in a paranoiac meltdown” over her fears that she and husband Aaron Phyper, a “holistic healer,” have been “marked for death?” That’s the story one tabloid reported not too long ago. Gossip Cop looked into the rumor and took some issue with how the tabloid reported it.

National Enquirer published a story two months back describing Denise Richards as “delusional” for her belief that she and her husband were being followed by agents from the U.S. government due to Phyper’s alternative medical practices.

The outlet claimed so-called “pals” of the Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills star supplied it with inside information about Richard’s mental health, but much of the story relies on a conversation from an episode of the show from a month before. This article read more as an underwhelming, riddled with false information, recap than something that deserved to be printed.

Regardless, the outlet provided a few, select quotes from the larger conversation, all clearly in an attempt to make the Wild Things star seem unbalanced. While explaining his profession to the other Housewives and their spouses, Phyper said, “Everything you’ve been taught about how diseases process and stuff works is not true.”

But his “suspicious wife” quickly shushed him and said, “We already have people following us — be careful.” A little while later, Richards added, “Aaron [gets] tremendous results, and certain organizations don’t like to see those results because they make a lot of money otherwise.”

Richards was allegedly so certain she and her husband are being tailed, she’s even been reluctant to run errands, a source claimed. “Denise is convinced she and Aaron are threats to doctors and the medical establishment. She’s worried sick that they could be sitting right in the crosshairs of a hitman!”

While it’s true that the reality star believed she was being followed by suspicious characters, and she said as much during the episode this article pulls from so heavily. But Richards never said that she believed that it was U.S. government agents that were tailing her family.

Richards’ is clearly concerned about her family’s safety and has acknowledged that those in “Big Pharma” could potentially be trying to intimidate herself and her husband into backing off of his holistic medical practices.

While this would be extreme, it seems Richards does have a bit of a case to back up her claims. In the April episode of RHOBH in question, a flashback was shown in which Richards and her husband remarked on a car that was behind them, noting that they’d seen the car following them before. Say what you will about Richards’ claim, at least she had evidence to back herself up.

The outlet purposefully cherry picked quotes from Richards to make her seem totally unhinged, but a rep for the actress explained that Richards’ “mental well-being is fine.” Besides, the episode aired in April, and was probably filmed months earlier, but the outlet never mentioned it before now. Maybe it had a few other shows on its TiVo to get through first.

It’s far from the first time a tabloid has targeted Denise Richards or one of the other stars connected to RHOBH. Just last month, Gossip Cop debunked a tale from the Globe that alleged Lisa Rinna was starving herself over her feud with Richards. This simply was not true. Before that, we busted the same tabloid for claiming Charlie Sheen and Richards were doing their own reality show together. Obviously, that project never got off the ground, because the story was false from the start.

Our Verdict

Though Denise Richards did say that she believed she was being followed, the National Enquirer added its own spin when they claimed the star believed government agents were after her and the outlet completely went overboard by claiming Richards was afraid she was being targeted by hitmen.

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