Her heart is broken, And its a surprise, Nicollette Sheridan is usually the one who breaks hearts. She sits huddled on a green lounge chair on the patio of her exquisitely decorated Bel-Air house, looking beautiful, without a touch of makeup. To an outsider, she has everything youth, beauty, fame wealth. Shes a princess in a Hollywood paradise and yet Sheridan herself doesnt feel that way. For the past three months, except for working on the NBC movie A Time To Heal, shes been held up in this palatial prison wondering what went wrong in her love affair with Michael Bolton.

Its been a really down period, she says. Three months ago, Michael and I split up. I spent a lot of time alone. It was a time to reflect. I had to look at me life….It was painful.

This is certainly not the kind of conversation you would expect from Nicollette Sheridan. On Knots Landing, in which she plays petulant vixen Paige Matheson for seven years, she was called The Brat, for speaking her mind and getting away with it. But its her rogue reputation with men that follows her everywhere. Shes known for lining up lovers like dominoes, then toppling them over. In the past few years shes been linked with actor John Ritter, Knots Landings Joey Gian, musician Roger Wilson, and movie mogul Jon Peters. In 1991 she married L.A. Law heartthrob Harry Hamlin, then left him for Bolton.

As if her real life werent steamy enough, Sheridan is the subject of endless tabloid speculation. One charged that she was dating Tori Spellings boyfriend, Nicholas Savalas. Hes my [half-] brother! she says. They hooked my up with my own brother. You cant win.

Off-camera, Sheridan has always affected a tough, wisecracking persona. shes a Hollywood heartbreaker who used to go off-road biking and dancing on table tops. But sitting here in a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt, shes softer than anyone would imagine.

They just dont get it, says pal Jackie Collins, who met Sheridan when she starred in Collins TV miniseries Lucky/Chances. Its Nicollette the body, the blonde, and the boys. Thats all they see. Theyre wrong. Nicollette is an old soul who is very wise, very smart, and very nurturing of her friends.

Sheridan has always hidden behind her brazen image. It was easier to be a bad girl with a broken heart. Throughout the years, I have really sort of laid low and kept to myself, she says. And, of course, therefore I have been picked on a lot, and people could fabricate whatever they felt like saying about me. Now, she wants to explain herself and set the record straight.

This week, Sheridan is taking the biggest risk of her career when she appears as a woman who suffers a stroke during childbirth and has to reevaluate her life, in A Time to Heal. But in just a few hours, she will fly to Japan, where Bolton is touring, to try to put back together the pieces of her broken heart.

I love him very much, she wails, twirling her blond ponytail and looking very much like a love-struck teenager. You know how they say that opposites attract. Well, Harry and I are very much alike. And we are struggling to have the ultimate relationship.

These past few months have been her own time to heal. She and Bolton have talked, theyve learned from their mistakes, and theyre trying again.

Sheridan met Bolton in 1991. Hamlin was away and she went to a party with her closest friends, sax man Kenny G and his wife, Lyndie. Michael was so funny, she says, remembering that meeting. He makes me laugh more than anyone else I ever met.

It wasnt, she insists, love at first sight. We werent dating when the press said we were having a relationship. It started off very slowly, but we did start dating soon after my split.

She remembers her first trip on the road with Bolton. I stood in the wings, she says. I watched him in awe. I couldnt sing to save my life, so its incredible to see how he puts out so much emotion. I love watching him sing. And I love the fact that were not both actors and that he is successful in this field.

She quickly learned how successful. Wherever he goes, he causes a ruckus she doesnt. At first, it was difficult. Women freak out when they see him, she says. They just freak out. I can go to the grocery store, to the movies, or walk my dog in the park. Its getting harder and herder for him to do anything like that. I definitely dont create the kind of chaos he does.

Is it threatening No, she says. I dont feel threatened. Just scared.

Mutual friends try to explain the Bolton-Sheridan attraction. I think theyre perfect together, says Collins. He has a very dry sense of humor, and he really cares about her- and not just in a sexual way. He wants to look after her, hes concerned for her, he wants the best for her.

So what went wrong in the first round of their relationship Its difficult, Sheridan says. Long distance is difficult. And were difficult. Were both very strong and very demanding. Were both Type A personalities.

Whatever the initial attraction, whenever it officially began, Sheridans passion for Bolton quickly soured her marriage to Hamiln. he is still scarred from the breakup, which friends insist blindsided and traumatized him. It was just cheap, Hamlin told TV Guide. I didnt want to be involved with that. I was very much in love.

Sheridan doesnt want to talk about Hamlin. We are trying to work on our friendship, she says, and we agreed not to talk about out marriage. When she learns hes discussed her, shes shocked, then angry.

The breakup didnt come out of the left field, she insists. We had been in therapy for a year. We were growing apart. It wasnt due to any involvement with anybody else. It was our own problems that were insurmountable.

One of the problems, say friends, was their age difference – he was 40 when they split, she just 28. The tabloids suggested that Sheridan left Hamlin because he was dull.

She leans forward, clearly uncomfortable. This is dangerous territory, she says. I would say that he is much more low-key than I am. I think its easier for me to have a sense of humor about myself than it is for him. And its a little more personable and gregarious…But that is definitely all I am going to say.


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