Christina Ricci: I Was 'Trapped With Violent Abuser'

Actress, granted restraining order against her husband, says she was afraid he'd kill her
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2021 10:29 AM CST
Christina Ricci: I Feared My Husband Would Kill Me
Christina Ricci arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Christina Ricci says she's been "trapped in a house with a violent abuser" since the coronavirus pandemic broke out 10 months ago, though she now has help in the form of a restraining order. The actress was granted a domestic violence restraining order against her husband, James Heerdegen, on Wednesday, after claiming he began abusing her in December 2019. The court filing—complete with photos of a bruised Ricci—claims a brutal attack in which Heerdegen beat her, spit at her, and made pig noises in her face convinced the actress to seek a divorce, per TMZ. But that plan was complicated by stay-at-home orders beginning in March. Heerdegen then "focused solely on punishing and terrorizing me 24 hours a day," Ricci, 40, wrote in court documents, per People. The Addams Family star goes on to describe two attacks in June.

In the first incident, Heerdegen allegedly dragged Ricci from the house and threw her in a fire pit. Later, he hurled coffee and a chair at her in front of their 6-year-old son, documents claim. Ricci, who filed for divorce in July, feared Heerdegen might kill her as he told her "the only way he could feel sorry for me is if I were dismembered into small pieces," per Page Six. Heerdegen, who's moved out of the home, is required to have no contact with Ricci or their son, and to keep 100 yards away. Ricci is also asking that he surrender private audio and video of the actress, which she fears he will use to extort or humiliate her. Heerdegen's attorney says his client "unequivocally denies all allegations of abuse made by Ms. Ricci as having occurred in 2020" and plans to file for his own restraining order "detailing her abusive conduct fueled by alcohol and substance abuse." (Read more Christina Ricci stories.)

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