Last summer, Christina Ricci called the cops on her husband James Heerdegen. That set off a series of events which were both familiar and disturbing. In short order, Ricci asked for and was given an emergency protective order against Heerdegen, then she filed for divorce. A few details began petering out, and it looked very much like Ricci was leaving an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. We hadn’t heard anything about Ricci or her divorce in months, but this week, Ricci asked for a permanent domestic violence restraining order. She detailed the extent of the abuse she suffered at Heerdegen’s hands throughout their marriage.
Christina Ricci has filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order against her estranged husband James Heerdegen six months after she filed for divorce. A judge granted Ricci’s request and under the restraining order, Heerdegen must stay 100 yards away from Ricci, and he will also have no visitation rights with their 6-year-old son Freddie and must stay away from the family’s dog, PEOPLE confirms. The 40-year-old actress alleges she was physically abused by Heerdegen, in the request on Tuesday by Ricci’s attorney Samantha Spector and obtained by PEOPLE.
A rep for Ricci and an attorney for Heerdegen did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. Heerdegen’s attorney told TMZ that his client “unequivocally denies all allegations of abuse made by Ms. Ricci as having occurred in 2020.”
In the filing, Ricci claims she was subjected to “severe physical and emotional abuse” by Heerdegen with “many of these acts of abuse” taking place in front of their son. In her declaration in the filing, Ricci claimed the alleged abuse started as soon as she learned of her pregnancy in October 2013.
“I began to feel extremely isolated,” Ricci wrote of the alleged subsequent abuse, describing a family vacation in New Zealand where Heerdegen “said something that made me think” he “could kill me.”
“He said the only way he could feel sorry for me is if I were dismembered into small pieces,” wrote Ricci in the declaration. “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.”
The Addams Family star alleges Heerdegen “brutally attacked” her on Dec. 16, 2019. Months later, Ricci said she told the cinematographer she wanted a divorce only to find herself “stuck in the house with a man who had physically and emotionally abused me, and knew that I wanted to end the marriage” when the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown began. Ricci wrote in her declaration that once the lockdown commenced, Heerdegen allegedly “focused solely on punishing and terrorizing me 24 hours a day,” adding, “I was afraid to sleep at night.”
On June 2, the actress alleges Heerdegen “chased me through and out of the house” while trying to take her cell phone from her while she was trying to call 911. “He grabbed my wrists and hands, dragged me, and slammed my body into the fire pit we have in the yard,” she wrote in her declaration. “I suffered cuts, bruising, and soreness of my hip, which still causes me pain today.”
On June 25, Ricci says Heerdegen followed her around the house “all morning, screaming at me, spitting on me, throwing coffee at me, and throwing a chair at me” in the presence of their son.
It keeps going and going. He began abusing her when she was pregnant, and after they were married in 2013. His abusive behavior escalated throughout their marriage and it became unbearable for her throughout 2019 and the first half of 2020. The moment last summer when she called 911 after he abused her doesn’t even sound like the first time she called the cops. I feel so sorry for her and it’s so painful to think that this has been happening to her for years. I hope this douchebag goes to jail.
Photos courtesy of Getty.