Christina Ricci files for divorce after she was granted an emergency protection order

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Yesterday, I was surprised to learn that Christina Ricci had gotten an emergency protection order against her husband, James Heerdegen. The first reports of what went down were somewhat vague – we knew that Christina called the police and filed a report against her husband of seven years, but he was not arrested and we didn’t know what exactly had gone down. Well, in addition to getting the emergency (and temporary) protection order, it looks like Ricci filed for divorce and she’s seeking sole legal and physical custody of their son. TMZ also had some details about the incident that led to Ricci calling the cops:

Christina Ricci has just filed for divorce from her husband after almost 7 years of marriage … TMZ has learned. The “Casper” and “Addams Family” star filed in L.A. County Superior Court Thursday morning to divorce film producer James Heerdegen, whom Ricci met in 2011 while they working on the set of the show, “Pan Am.” They got married on October 26, 2013, in NYC.

Ricci cites irreconcilable differences as the reason why she wants to end the marriage. She’s asking for sole legal and physical custody of their 5-year-old son, Freddie.

Our sources say there is no prenup but Christina was the main money earner. And, then there’s this … Ricci was granted an emergency protective order by cops after an altercation in which she claims James spit on her. The altercation went down exactly a week ago in her L.A. home. Heerdegen, who was not arrested after the incident, has been ordered to stay away from Ricci. Ricci’s repped by attorney Samantha Spector in the divorce.

[From TMZ]

He spit on her? That’s disgusting. It’s one of the most contemptuous things one person can do to another. It seems clear now that she reported it to the police to establish what happened legally. The marriage seemed to go downhill fast too – just days before the spitting incident, Ricci had posted a cutesy Instagram for Father’s Day. She really doesn’t post consistently and there’s very little personal stuff, so it was notable, I guess. Anyway, I feel sorry for her and it completely sucks that this happened. He sounds like a massive jackhole. I hope she and her son are safe and that they stay that way.

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41 Responses to “Christina Ricci files for divorce after she was granted an emergency protection order”

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  1. Lightpurple says:

    May she and her son stay safe. File the paperwork to make the order permanent, Christina. Don’t let it lapse, as so many do.

  2. Lisa says:

    May she and her son be safe.

  3. Eleonor says:

    I am not a lawyer but if she had the protection order is it possible there can be even worst things?
    I hope she and her son are safe.

    • Christina says:

      We will find out if she asks for a more permanent order. He sounds psychologically abusive, and that can be worse because it’s harder to prove. If he hit her it would be easier on her in court, but psychological abuse means that the judge would need to order a psychological custody evaluation to determine who’s the “crazy” one.

      I’m no lawyer, but I am an abuse survivor of a psychologically abusive man.

      • Jellybean says:

        Unlike you, I have no experience of psychological abuse, but I do think it is important in these high profile cases, that when an accusation is made and a psychological custody evaluation is completed, a parent should not have to carry the label of an abuser if they retain custody. The parents might grow to hate each other and make each other miserable , but the if you bring the kid into it and there are not clear grounds for sole custody then it seems wrong to me.

      • AnnaKist says:

        My sister was in a long marriage that was physically, psychologically, sexually, socially and financially abusive, which started the day after the wedding. He physically assaulted her regularly, and once punched her to the floor in the kitchen. She was unable to get up unaided, due to her pain. Did he help her? No. He locked the door and left her there, in the middle of Winter, unlocking the door the next day, demanding she get up and cook his breakfast. She was 8 months pregnant. He raped her almost daily, something that makes me physically ill just to think about it. He isolated her from friends and family, the latter probably having a lot to do with my husband threatening him. She was never allowed to have money, except for Friday morning, when she’d do the family shopping. She had to give receipts for everything. The family was completely and permanently fractured when their oldest son and small granddaughter were leaving after a visit. They caught him molesting the little girl. Then came the gun threats. She was in a mess, so went to her doctor and told him what had happened. He’s a mandated reporter, so reported it to the authorities. She could never use the phone, as he’d lock it away, or take it to work with him. One night, she had access to the phone and called my number. I only heard her say my name before the line went dead. So I called her local police station. They said they couldn’t do anything because she had to make the complaint. I pleaded for half an hour with them, but got nowhere. I said, “Ok then. I’ll call you back after he’s shot her, shall I?” That bit of cheek changed everything. Three cars and 6 officers went there, found his guns, ammunition, knives…exactly where I said they’d be.

        Thank goodness things have improved in my state since then. Abusers are automatically arrested and removed, and the police apply for and get an apprehended violence order on behalf of the victim.

        The point is, abuse occurs in many forms. My poor sister just appended to get the whole box and dice. She’ll probably never be mentally ok again, but she’s better off than some women. Whether physical violence is involved or not, if the partner is hell-bent on taking and keeping control, there is always psychological abuse.

      • AnnaKist says:

        And I hope Christina and her little boy are safe from harm, and that she has a supportive and loving network of family and friends to hold her hand as she gets through this.

      • Christina says:

        @jellybean, psychological custody evaluations examine the minds and motivations of the couple, the child, and any ancillary people who are part of the family dynamic, like grandparents. Usually, if you end up needing a psychological custody evaluation and/or a DVRO in your breakup, at least one person is problematic. The evaluation doesn’t name anyone an abuser, but they do diagnose mental illness. My ex was diagnosed as a narcissistic sociopath. The 80-year domestic violence restraining order is why my kid and I can openly call him an abusive man now. If a high profile person is the restrained party, that’s when the label gets applied by society as people find out.

        If Christina Ricci’s husband has a history of humiliating her, he will be diagnosed through the psychological custody evaluation process. When a man or woman is capable of spitting on their partner, I believe that it is likely that the spitter will be deemed abusive. Normal people don’t do that. Normal people realize that you can’t control anybody and they leave the relationship and do the best that they can to co-parent. Abusers humiliate and do things like spit on their partners, among other things.

      • ODIE says:

        I am also not a lawyer, but my new Covid-based celebrity gossip hobby has made it me think that an order of protection and allegation of mistreatment, assault, and/or abuse is more common than not in recent high profile divorces. I’m sure it sometimes speaks to horrible abuse in a family, but not necessarily always the case. It seems like some lawyers (and some states) try to put that in place ASAP.

      • LVL says:

        ODIE: I agree with you. It looks so common. I didnt know it was so easy…

  4. Sarah says:

    I have a feeling spitting is the tip of the iceberg. Cutesy posts on IG don’t mean shit. My close friend and their spouse just each posted saccharine anniversary messages to each other but police have been to their house more than once this year alone and there’s been a protective order…usual cycle of abuse that were trying to help them out of.

    • SM says:

      This is my feeling as well. Spit on her? I am sure there are much worse details there.

    • Granger says:

      My brother and his wife have a toxic, co-dependent relationship, where one week they appear to be madly in love and all kissy-kissy-life-is-perfect with each other; and the next, my sister-in-law is texting me that my brother is an a*#$hole and she hates his guts. So I agree, cutesy social media posts and extravagant displays of PDA mean nothing. None of us ever knows what goes on behind closed doors.

      I hope Christina gets away from that man and that she and her son are safe.

    • lucy2 says:

      This – never judge a relationship by what the parties post on social media. If anything, I find the ones that are over the top with their lovey dovey stuff are usually struggling. And if there’s a pattern of abuse, the one party might post such things to appease the other, or to try to hide what’s happening.

      I’m sorry Christina and her child are going through this, I hope they all have good support and everyone gets the help they need, legally, family support, counseling, etc.

  5. Jellybean says:

    Spitting on someone or hitting someone are things so alien to me, I can’t even imagine my body doing it. It feels as though, if my brain tried to send that message to my muscles, they wouldn’t know how to react. I can get verbal when I am angry, but that doesn’t happen very often.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I’m the same. I just cannot fathom how to make my body do that. It just wouldn’t. And let’s not forget, he spit on her while we’re all living through a pandemic; that’s especially heinous.

  6. Purplehazeforever says:

    Spitting on someone is the ultimate sign of disrespect. And there’s usually more abuse that follows with it.

  7. Betsy says:

    I’ve always had such a soft spot for her; I hope she and her son are safe and that she gets some amazing therapy to deal with having lived this situation.

  8. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    Imma just say it – he looks creepy af. Creepy and smug. Spitting on someone is one of the most disrespectful things you can do. I hope Christina and her son are safe and stay safe.

    • Lonnie tinks says:

      I was going to say the same thing, that dude is creepy looking.

    • smcollins says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Maybe he hates getting his picture taken and that’s why he looks that way in the photos but, yeah…I’m leaning more towards creepy & smug. He definitely sounds like a complete asshole so I hope she & her son are able to stay safe and far away from him.

  9. BL says:

    Dude looks like he needs and Iron supplement and about 2 weeks of sleep.

  10. JEM says:

    He looks like a sociopath in every picture. What’s up with that gross smirk? Creep.

    • Ange says:

      You wouldn’t even keep a photo album would you? No point when every pic is exactly the same

  11. Amelie says:

    I don’t know much about her and so I had no idea she had gotten married or even had a kid. I feel like she’s a pretty low-key celebrity who you only see when she does promotion for projects she’s involved in, otherwise she disappears and we never see her.

    I’m wondering if they had issues for awhile or maybe the pandemic and quarantine were maybe what pushed the marriage to fall apart. We saw that happen with Kelly Clarkson where she was staying in a one room cabin (?) with her husband and their 4 kids (her two bio kids and her two stepchildren I believe?). It’s sad but we’ll probably see many celebrity divorces this year most likely. I just hope Christina and her kid are okay.

  12. Jake says:

    His stupid looking turtle mouth reminds me of a young Mitch McConnell.

  13. Piratewench says:

    I am so disgusted that he spit on her. And it’s sad that I’m relieved it wasn’t physical abuse. Like others stated above psychological and emotional abuse it real abuse also.

    But she’s such a tiny woman. The thought of a man hitting her made my stomach turn. And maybe it’s because I’m a big woman, I’m as large as the average man, that a man hitting a woman is the same to me as a man hitting a child or an animal or any other being that he is larger than. It’s just such an act of total cowardice and evil. As a big person I always make sure to be very careful of the smaller people around me. I could never ever get violent with someone much smaller than me, someone I could obviously harm very easily. It’s just the most cowardly use of having a larger body.

    • Leigh says:

      Spitting on a partner IS physical abuse. It crossed a physical boundary. It’s considered an assault in many, if not most, places. It’s disgusting. And it’s physical abuse.

  14. Marigold says:

    I have never even been tempted to spit on another human being–not ever in my life. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been so filled with contempt at anything to spit from anger in all my life.

    Spitting, while arguably not violent in and of itself, is frightening because of the level of contempt it suggests. That level of contempt speaks of much more violent and scary things to follow.

    I’m so glad she got up out of there.

  15. Natasha says:

    I want to be on the woman’s side in every case, but real life examples have taught me to only listen to evidence- hard evidence or multiple victims speaking up. There are 2 types of protection orders but they work the same: restraining orders are given after a crime; and civil protection orders that are given on a temporary basis and there doesn’t have to be any evidence or actual incident to get one, the petitioner just had to feel intimidated and the civil protection order will immediately be granted, the “abuser” is immediately kicked out of the house. Civil protection orders are heavily overused by people who don’t need them, for the wrong reasons; it ties up the court system and pisses judges off.

    If he only spit and no arrest, it was the civil protection order. She will go to court in 2 weeks and without evidence of abuse the case will be dropped and he can go home. If she’s exaggerating the abuse this will look horrific against her in the custody case. And because their entertainment world careers are based heavily on reputation, he could sue her for loss of work.

    If Christina has evidence of abuse beyond the spit she can get the protection order permanent and full custody of the child. I hope this is the case.

    • Gretchen says:

      What would you count as hard evidence for psychological/emotional abuse though? I always fall hard on the side believing alleged victims in part precisely because of how hard it is for people to believe abuse accusations when there isn’t physical evidence.

      • BooRadley says:

        He seems like a lovely guy!
        He just spat on her. Nothing to see here, let’s move on. :-/
        Innocent until proven guilty, blah, blah, blah.

  16. Alex says:

    That guy looks like a walking corpse with a weird simpering smile.

  17. Andrea says:

    He has a creepy look about him—my friend’s baby daddy had one too. He ultimately gave her two black eyes and a broken nose and served 8 months in jail for beating her up due to a prior criminal record. She desperately wanted kids at 35–why she had two with a known criminal she went to high school with ages ago. Thankfully, she is out of that scenario and the guy is not shockingly in the children’s lives.

  18. Savannah says:

    So sad, but it happens to so many women. Violence against women is an epidemic, our society must change and our leaders need to make this a priority. This happened to me in a past relationship and it was traumatic but I survived. If you’re alone in an abusive relationship just know that with the aid of law enforcement, there are resources to help you get out and there is a place where the sun will come out.

  19. Case says:

    I completely forgot that she had a child. I wish them the best.