Christina Ricci Files Restraining Order Against Estranged Husband — Alleging ‘Severe Physical And Emotional Abuse’
Six months after filing for divorce, Christina Ricci was granted a request for a domestic violence restraining order against her estranged husband James Heerdegen on Tuesday.
Per the judge’s orders, Heerdegen must stay 100 yards away from Ricci, and will be given no visitation rights with their 6-year-old son Freddie. Interestingly enough, he is also required to stay away from the family dog, as well.
In the request obtained by People, the actresses’ attorney Samantha Spector alleges Christina was physically abused by her husband of seven years. Heerdegen’s attorney, on the other hand, shuts down the claims, telling TMZ:
“[James] unequivocally denies all allegations of abuse made by Ms. Ricci as having occurred in 2020.”
Strange wording there, if you ask us. Why the emphasis on just 2020? This statement also heavily contradicts Ricci’s detailed descriptions of the physical and emotional abuse she claims to have suffered both prior to and during the past year at the hands of the cameraman. Many of the incidents, she alleges, happened in front of their young son, too. If true, that is so horrible.
In the filing, The Addams Family star explains the harassment began just as she became pregnant in October 2013, saying:
“I began to feel extremely isolated.”
Recalling a family trip to New Zealand, Christina wrote James “said something that made me think [he] could kill me,” elaborating:
“He said the only way he could feel sorry for me is if I were dismembered into small pieces. That night I hid all the knives in the cabin where we were staying. I feared for my life and the life of our son. I slept in a separate bedroom with Freddie, and I locked the door.”
Our hearts break hearing this.
Sadly, this is not the last of the accusations within the report. After suffering an “attack” on December 16, 2019, she hit her breaking point and announced she wanted a divorce — only for the worst to happen. Mere months later, the coronavirus stay-at-home order meant she was now trapped with her alleged abuser. She shares:
“[I was] stuck in the house with a man who had physically and emotionally abused me, and knew that I wanted to end the marriage.”
As we reported in the summer following a judge granting Christina an emergency protective order against James on June 25 — after which he allegedly screamed, spit, and threw coffee and a chair at her — multiple studies showed that quarantine spurred an increase in domestic incidents. The lockdown also made it harder for those victims to seek protection or get away from their partner for any length of time, which appears to be the case for Christina as she describes the days that preceded the grant:
“[He] focused solely on punishing and terrorizing me 24 hours a day. I was afraid to sleep at night.”
The brutal recollections of her alleged difficult time in isolation with James included an incident on June 2 when she attempted to call 911:
“He] chased me through and out of the house. He grabbed my wrists and hands, dragged me, and slammed my body into the fire pit we have in the yard. I suffered cuts, bruising, and soreness of my hip, which still causes me pain today.”
According to the Pan-Am lead, the cinematographer has “become emotionally unhinged” this month after he discovered she had been spending time with a male friend. The file states James was “increasingly hostile and erratic” even going as far as to send the mother of his child aggressive messages, such as:
“Hostile text message containing veiled threats to harm my reputation in the media.”
The 40-year-old has asked the court for her husband to not distribute any private audio or video recordings of her, as well as a request for him to return them to her. The judge on the case instructed James move out of the house Christina and Freddie currently reside in. The filmmaker is to attend a 52-week batterer intervention program with proof of completion.
These vulnerable accounts of alleged abuse from Christina are truly so sad to hear.