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Richie Sambora ‘Still Loves’ his Ex Wife

Richie Sambora still loves Heather Locklear even though they’re just good friends.

Richie Sambora
Richie Sambora (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Global Philanthropy Group)

The Bon Jovi guitarist couldn’t keep from gushing about his ex-wife Heather Locklear, while he was celebrating his friend Ray Parker Jr.’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday.

“She’s doing her thing on Franklin & Bash and she looks better than ever,” Sambora told PEOPLE at the after-party. “She’s still hot!”

Though they’ve been divorced since 2007, the Melrose Place alum, 52, and her Bon Jovi guitarist ex, 54, remain very close. “We’re better friends now than ever,” said Sambora, who is proud of the fact that he and Locklear put their differences aside to focus on their 16-year-old daughter Ava’s needs from the get-go.

“She’s a really good kid,” says Sambora. “You have to give them the tools to take care of themselves and almost force them when they are small to make decisions on their own so they then get in that groove.”

He said he did this by always communicating with her in a loving way. “I never talked down to her, even when she was a kid. [Now] I rarely have to reprimand her. She’s fantastic.”

Now if he could only communicate with Jon Bon Jovi ;)

When singers, actors and athletes marry, it seems to be very hard for them to stay together.

Do you have a favorite celebrity marriage that ended?

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